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ASUU calls for FUTO VC’s resignation over alleged anti-union activities and corruption



Members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, Owerri zone, have demanded the immediate resignation of the Vice Chancellor of the Federal University of Technology Owerri, Prof. Nnenna Oti, over alleged corrupt practices and anti-union activities.

ASUU stated this in a statement signed by its Coordinator, Dennis Aribodor, during a press conference held in ASUU-UNIZIK Secretariat in Awka, Anambra State capital on Friday.

The union is composed of members from Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University, Federal University of Technology Owerri, Imo State University, Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umuahia and Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka.

Aribodor, flanked by other union members, said their Secretariat in FUTO, had been sealed by the chief security officer of the university on the orders of the varsity’s vice chancellor, whom he accused of causing division among ASUU members of the institution, after her resignation as a member of the union.

He said, “The attention of the ASUU, Owerri Zone has been drawn to the consistent and concerted efforts of the administration of the Federal University of Technology, Owerri, to ridcule the leadership of ASUU and cause disaffection within the ASUU FUTO branch of the Union.

“On June 22, 2023, the Vice Chancellor of FUTO, Prof. Nnenna Oti, purportedly resigned her membership of ASUU of the university using the official letterhead of the office of the Vice Chancellor.

“Oti ought to have known that labour laws do not permit an employer to belong to a union of employees. Consequently, as Vice Chancellor of FUTO, she is not a member of the Academic Staff Union of Universities.

“If she desires to resign her membership of the Union, she should resign in her individual capacity following the extant provisions of the Constitution of the Academic Staff Union of Universities as stipulated in Article 3 Section ( vii).

“Sequel to the purported resignation, the unfortunate events began to unfold on July 3, 2023 with purported Congress meeting in which a group of ASUU-FUTO members, acting out an already prepared script, purportedly suspended all the former executives of ASUU in FUTO and replaced them with new ones in acting capacity.

“This was immediately followed by the sealing of the ASUU-FUTO Secretariat by the chief security officer of the university. The ASUU Owerri Zone hopes that these misguided members understand that the former Executive Committee of the ASUU-FUTO is the one that was led by Dr Christopher Echereobia, who is alleged to be the brain behind the efforts to decimate the union in FUTO.

“Again, on July 4, 2023, one Mr C.C Onwuachu, the acting Secretary of the misguided members, wrote to the Secretary of ASUU-FUTO, demanding a handover of all ASUU property to him. As we speak, the Secretariat of ASUU-FUTO is still under lock and key, in spite of the appeal made to the Vice Chancellor by the leadership of ASUU.”

The union also stated that the legitimate leadership of ASUU FUTO is the executive committee led by Comrade Chinedu Ihejirika, adding that any other group that claims leadership of the union at FUTO is but a group of imposters.

“On July 13, 2023, a letter from the registrar of the university, Chiedozie Uba, directed all chairmen and executive committee members of staff of the union in the university to obtain approval before embarking on any trip outside the university.

“This directive, targeted at the leadership of the staff unions, is discriminatory and obnoxious. It is discriminatory in the sense that any staff of FUTO other than the Chairman and Executive members of the Staff Union is at liberty to embark on any trip outside the university without approval. Where then is the sense of justice, equity, fair play, and good conscience on the part of the Administration of FUTO?,” the group added.

They, however, noted that the second letter from the Vice Chancellor, Professor Nnenna Oti, where she gave all staff union two weeks from the date of the letter to submit the duly signed membership forms of members authorising deduction of check off dues and any other monies from their salaries is a violation of trade union act and constitution of the union.

They added that another bone of contention rocking the Union is the corrupt and fraudulent professorial appointment of Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami while serving as a Minister of the Federation by the Administration of FUTO.

“In the dailies of Monday, September 21, 2020, the authority of the Federal University of Technology Owerri advertised for staff vacancies. For the position, ( Qualification and Experience), the advert stipulated a doctorate degree in the relevant field plus a minimum of twelve (12) years post qualification experience in teaching and research in a university.

“Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami did not have the 12 years post qualification experience having obtained his doctorate degree in March 2014. This deficit in a sane claim implies that Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami should not have made the shortlist of qualified candidates. His application should have been discarded at this point.

“This was not to be, the authority in FUTO began the scheme that saw him enlisted as one of the seven Readers Associate Professor promoted to the rank of Professor. After the purported promotion, he was issued an appointment letter.

“ASUU NEC directed ASUU-FUTO to inquire into the matter. ASUU-FUTO Congress concluded that the appointment followed due process and without reporting to ASUU NEC and went to the public with the conclusion. There waere protests by those who know the career progression of Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim,” they added.

The group also warned Oti to retrace her steps, halt the harassment and threat to the Comrade Chinedu Ihejirika-led Executive of ASUU FUTO for standing on the path of truth.


AAU graduate attempts suicide over withheld results




A graduate of Ambrose Ali University, Ekpoma, Edo State, identified as Precious Ogbeide, has attempted suicide over the alleged university’s refusal to issue him and several other students their results after they graduated from school in 2018.

It was learned that Ogbeide, whose parents claimed he had been battling depression due to his inability to be issued his results after spending five years in the school, started to stab himself with pieces of a bottle he had broken.

Some aggrieved students of the school had lamented the inability to receive their degree results after spending five years undergoing the programme, claiming that the situation had demoralised them.

According to them, they are facing a bleak future as a result of the development.

It was learned from the aggrieved students that the tertiary institution had been promising them that the backlog of results would be cleared and students who were yet to be mobilised for the National Youth Service Corps scheme would be settled.

However, a source, who was privy to Monday’s incident, told newsmen that Ogbeide became frustrated and decided to end his life over the matter.

The source, who craved anonymity, said, “I received a call at about 3:30 pm on Monday that Ogbeinde had been rushed to the hospital. I was told he had been showing signs of depression and that they had tried to help in every possible way they could.

“The mother told me that he just stood up all of a sudden with a bottle and smashed it on the floor. They told me it was a slip. But he started to pierce his neck and body with the pieces of the broken bottle.

“It was the efforts of his relative present at the time of the incident that overpowered him before he was rushed to the hospital where he is currently receiving treatment.

“He said he was tired of everything. He said he had not been able to face his parents and family members after going to school for five years without any result to show for it.

“He could not get a job because they kept asking him to provide his certificate. He said any time he met those who could help him get a job, they would tell him to wait for his result. He was just fed up with the whole thing and became frustrated that his future was on hold.”

Meanwhile, the school, through the Head of Corporate Communications and Protocol, Mike Aladenika, had told newsmen that the students affected by certificate and result issues might have had issues with some courses during their time in school.

“If you had graduated and done all you were asked to do while you were a student, you would not have problems with your results.

“Some of the students who did not take cognizance of the deficiencies they had with their courses are the ones facing these challenges,” Aladenika stated.

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Covenant, UI, FUTA emerge top universities in Nigeria




Covenant University, University of Ibadan and the Federal University of Technology, Akure have secured top ranking in Nigeria according to Times Higher Education’s 2024 rating.

Analysis of the latest ranking showed that Covenant University is among the top 1,000 universities in the world.

Though ranked first in Nigeria, Covenant University is placed within the global 801-1000 range.

Covenant University, a private-owned institution, stands at the top spot in Nigeria, while the University of Ibadan followed in second and FUTA emerged third.

The University of Lagos and the University of Bayero emerged fourth and fifth in Nigeria, respectively.

The Ranking Web said the World University ranking includes 1,904 universities across 108 countries and regions.

“The Times Higher World University ranking includes 1,904 universities across 108 countries and regions.

“The table is based on our new WUR 3.0 methodology, which is carefully calibrated performance indicators that measure an institution’s performance across five areas; teaching, research environment, research quality, industry and international outlook.”

Others universities that achieve the top ranking is Nigeria include the University of Ilorin, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Afe Babalola University, University of Benin, Federal Univ of Agric, Abeokuta, Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Lagos State University, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Obafemi Awolowo University, University of Port Harcourt.

Among the 15 top universities, nine are located in the South West, two in the South East, two in the South South, one in the North West and one in the North Central.

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Harry, Meghan donates school supplies to Nigerian female students




Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, his wife, have donated school supplies and menstrual products to female students in Nigeria.

In a statement on Tuesday, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s Archewell Foundation announced the donation in partnership with the GEANCO Foundation.

The foundation said it will support the well-being of 2,500 girls by providing them with menstrual health education.

“As students around the world returned to school this month, The Archewell Foundation supported girls’ education and health by sending school supplies and menstrual products to young scholars in Nigeria with The GEANCO Foundation,” the statement reads.

“GEANCO provides critical health care and education services in Nigeria. Its David Oyelowo Leadership Scholarship provides full tuition, medical care, and social and emotional support to young female victims of terrorism and gender inequality in Nigeria.

“Afam Onyema, CEO of GEANCO, joined the Archewell staff to help fill backpacks with supplies and menstrual products.

“AWF’s support will also provide menstrual health education for 2,500 girls in the region GEANCO serves, supporting the health and well-being of girls pursuing their education.”

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Bodex F. Hungbo, SPMIIM is a multiple award-winning Nigerian Digital Media Practitioner, Digital Strategist, PR consultant, Brand and Event Expert, Tv Presenter, Tier-A Blogger/Influencer, and a top cobbler in Nigeria.

She has widespread experiences across different professions and skills, which includes experiences in; Marketing, Media, Broadcasting, Brand and Event Management, Administration and Management with prior stints at MTN, NAPIMS-NNPC, GLOBAL FLEET OIL AND GAS, LTV, Silverbird and a host of others

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