Unical suspends lecturer for criticizing VC on social media
Barrister Joseph Odok, a lecturer in the department of Philosophy, University of Calabar (Unical) has been suspended by the University authority over his posts on the social media.
He was said to made some allegations against the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Zana Akpagu.
The suspension letter dated January 19th titled, ‘Suspension from duty’ and signed by the registrar of the Institution, Moses Abang, stated, “The attention of Vice Chancellor has been drawn to a plethora of your posts on social media in which you make wild allegations against his person and the office of the Vice Chancellor.
“It is indeed quite disheartening, unthinkable and unbelievable for an Officer of your standing to make such wild, unsubstantiated and sweeping allegations that you know are capable of inciting the public against the Institution and its leadership.
“For the avoidance of doubt and for case of reference, some of your allegations against the Professor Zana Akpagu, Vice Chancellor, University of Calabar, (supposedly your boss) are listed below:
“Peter Agi was removed because he criticized Zana. SANU Chairman was suspended because he fought against double deductions. I was given unwarranted suspension because I advice Zana, now Associate Professor Babi Mensah is being pursued because he contested elections against Zana’s candidate.
“As for men like Zana, please, checks again despite your media hype to cover his tracks, please, tell us what tracks. Tell him to pay arrears of promotion and improve staff welfare instead of employing outside due process. UNICAL weeps because of the greed and arrogance of Zana.”
It was alleged that he made series of allegations against the Vice Chancellor, including describing him as an “arrogant and greedy” administrator.
In one of his posts, he alleged that the University lost accreditation in Law but the VC deceived prospective candidates to apply and he is now “running helter-skelter to JAMB to bribe them”.
He also accused the VC of sacking people who criticise him, while recruiting people without following due process amongst others.
The University has, however, come out to deny all the allegations, while advising the public to disregard the information being peddled by Odok against the leadership of the institution.
According to Odok’s suspension letter, the University regretted that it is “quite disheartening, unthinkable and unbelievable” for an officer of Odok’s ranking to make such “wild, unsubstantiated and sweeping allegations” capable of inciting the public against the institution and its leadership.
The letter however added that Odok will be invited by the Senior Staff Disciplinary Committee to defend his “spurious” allegations against the Vice Chancellor and the University.
When contacted, the suspended lecturer told DAILY POST on phone on Tuesday that he was in Abuja and he has not been served with any suspension letter.
He said, “I have not been served any letter of suspension; I have stories of intimidation by the University of Calabar that accumulated to assassination attack which surrounded the Vice Chancellor.
“As it stands now, the VC has been invited by the Force Headquarters, CID with regard to suspicious involvement of the VC over my assassination attack.”
He alleged that immediately the VC got the letter of invitation from the Force Headquarters, he instructed the Registrar to suspend him.
“The basis of my suspension was that I have been criticizing the VC on fact that is true.
“One of the facts was that the University is charging each of the candidates acceptance fees of N25, 000. I said that it was extortion of money from the students and that Federal Government University put school fees of N45, 000 or N46, 000 but greedy VC use other means to extort money from the students.
“Secondly, transcript fees, the transcript fees for the University of Calabar is N20, 800 for each student who wants to do masters. For instance, if you, as a student who want to do Masters in English in the University of Calabar after graduating in the University, you are asked to pay N20, 800.
“Why is it so?” He asked, “adding You don’t need to pay a kobo because the Department can as well transmit your transcript to the department. It should not have been a vehicle of extortion of money from students.
“In faculty of Law, admission has not been granted, for reason being that the faculty failed accreditation but the VC advertised for admission and he was claiming to have bribed JAMB so that they could offer students admission. Some of those things are the ones I have criticized the VC and the University and because of that he instructed the registrar to suspend me.
“I wrote an article on issue of truth where I asked the University to look inward particularly to those who have contributed to the growth of the University and give them preference when it comes to giving honorary award.
“The University took offence because of the monetary gain in awarding people. I was queried and I responded and I was queried the second time and I responded too. All of a sudden they claimed that I have not replied any of the queries but I submitted the acknowledgement letter and they got angry and framed that I have acquired arms and ammunition.
“They petitioned against me to the Commissioner of Police and that I incite the public against the University. The Deputy Security Officer of the University of Calabar invited me to the University for us to use internal mechanism to solve the problem.
“When I got there, I was in the waiting hands of the Police and I was arrested and a search warrant was slammed on me and I was taken to my house and a search was conducted, nothing was found but was detained for two days on the instruction of the VC.
“Immediately after that, there was an assassination attack on me and one of the suspects was given employment the following day after the assassination attack as compensation. That is my story, I am in Abuja”, he stated.