MOUAU ASUU Condemns Suspension Of Chairman Over Alleged Fraud

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Authorities of Michael Opara University of Agriculture,
Umudike, have declined to lift the suspension order placed
on the local chapter chairman of the Academic Staff Union of
Universities (ASUU), Dr Uzochukwu Onyembinama, despite
an ultimatum by the union to recall him. The Vice-
Chancellor, Prof. Hillary Edeoga, says the university�s
decision is in line with the university�s Condition of
Service.

Onyembinama was suspended in May for taking the
university to court. But the Owerri Zone of ASUU, at its
Congress held at the university campus last Friday, had
called on the university authorities to immediately reverse
the suspension order or face the wrath of the union.

Reacting to the resolution of the union, however, Prof
Edeoga said the university took the action because the
suspended ASUU chairman violated the university�s
Condition of Service.

According to him, the suspended chairman, who was the
acting Head of Department of Agricultural Economics
Department, had been investigated by the Senate of the
university for gross misconduct, including arbitrary award of
marks.

�Following the report of staff investigation that
confirmed the case of gross misconduct, the Senate
approved the report for further action.

Rather than allowing the committee to complete its
assignment, the suspended branch chairman quickly ran to
the court and filed a case against the university,� he
explained.
On the allegation that the salary of the ASUU chairman was
stopped, the vice-chancellor described the allegation as
laughable and an attempt to divert people�s attention
from the real issue. He said that till date, the suspended
chairman is still collecting his full salary.

�The condition of service of the university is very clear.

It says once a staff takes the university to court, he must be
suspended. So, I did not suspend him, After all, his matter is
undergoing due process through the committee system. But
instead of waiting for the outcome of the Governing Council
report, which is due process, he went to court demanding
that he should not be disciplined,� Edeoga explained.

In its resolution, as presented by the Zonal ASUU
Chairperson, Dr. Chinyere Echendu, to newsmen after the
Congress, the union demanded that the university
authorities rescind their decision with immediate effect.

�A number of things are going wrong here. The ASUU
branch chairperson was last month suspended by the
university for seeking redress and the protection of his
rights as a Nigerian against the retrogressive measures by
the university authorities who accused him of gross
misconduct.

�The university, contrary to the rule of law and the
guidelines of the university, suspended him and banned him
from entering the premises of the institution.

�We have come here today to tell members of the
Congress that the action against the oppressed would only
last for a short time,� he declared.

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