Thursday, 8 June 2017

UNN Alumni call V-C, Senate, to probe 2016/2017 alumni admission quota …threaten to petition NUC, DSS, ICPC, others

The Vice-Chancellor, University of Nigeria, Prof Benjamin Ozumba, the university’s Senate, Governing Council, and great alumni of the premier university have been called upon to probe the 2016/2017 alumni admission quota.

This call was made by some members of the University of Nigeria Alumni Association [UNAA] at the 94th NEC meeting held recently in Benin City.

The members who protested against what they perceived as witch-hunting, and dictatorship in the association’s leadership headed by its National President, Chief Andrew Oruh, said that UNAA has become a weapon in the hands of Oruh to violate the rights of those he perceived as his enemies.

They argued that the alumni admission quota was among the benefits which members of the association were supposed to enjoy such that their biological children who meet the university’s minimum admission requirement would be offered admission.

But the protesters alleged that the 2016/2017 alumni quota may have been commercialized by the national secretary whose responsibility it is to compile candidates’ names and forward to the university for admission.

‘That is why some branches did not get any admission for their wards. In some branches, not even a single candidate was offered admission, even when they were more qualified than those offered admission.

They further alleged that most of the candidates offered admission were not biological children of the alumni members, and tasked the V-C, and his governing council to probe the 2016/2017 alumni admission quota, because it was fraught with corruption.

The protesters alleged that their grievances were that when the matter was presented at the 94th NEC, both the National President, Oruh, and the Secretary, Nze Nwariaku could not explain in clear terms the reasons some candidates were short-changed.

Not satisfied with the explanation, UNAA members who felt cheated called on the university authority to probe the 2016/2017 alumni admission quota, or cancel future UNAA admission quota outrightly since the purpose has been defeated.

The protesters also threatened to petition NUC, DSS, ICPC, EFCC, and other corruption fighting agencies if the Vice-Chancellor refuses to probe the allegation.

The protesters further alerted the V-C, of witch-hunting, harassment, intimidation, and physical attack, on the Deputy National President, Chief R.J.C. Arazu, and delegates from Enugu branch to the 94th NEC  stating that it was an sore, and very painful to watch the DNP crying openly after being attacked by National President, National Secretary, South-East Zonal Leader, Lady Doris Okoro, Ex-Officios, Linda Onyekwelu, and Vincent Alabeke, Princess Ngozi Dabrinze, Emeka Nwanevu,  and National Treasurer, Christy Obi-Keguna, and Dr. Ejoo, etc.

‘You cannot imagine that Prof Orabueze, chairman, welfare committee, Chief Reginald J.C Arazu, and Enugu branch delegates were barred from entering the Bishop Kelly Hall, venue for the 94th public lecture.

‘The Benin branch president, Dr Atu Omimi Ejoo, with these people mentioned above, in the company of heavily armed police men were detailed to intercept the DNP and her company at the entrance door of the hall.

‘They attacked her, and others with her, and would have injured her being their target before some security men came to their rescue’, they explained.   

The protesters further said that when Prof Orabueze thought that the attack was over, she went and sat at the high table, oblivious of another impending attack.

Determined to carry out their threats of humiliating and assaulting the DNP, Ejoo, Alabeke, Nwariaku, and others in their clique walked to the high table, and ordered DNP out of her seat.

The DNP went and sat in front of the seat in the hall only for this clique to attack her again and pushed her out of the seat, insisting that she must leave the public lecture hall or risk thorough beating.

The trio of Onyekwelu, Alabeke and Nwariaku further confronted Orabueze, insisting that she must leave the hall before normalcy could be restored.

The members who felt aggrieved and embarrassed at the derogatory manner their Deputy National President who is a respectable professor in their alma mater was being treated protested and called on the V-C to investigate the case of physical assault, character assassination, dictatorship and witch-hunting in UNAA before the situation deteriorates.

According to the protesters since the DNP indicated interest to run for the presidency, she has come under heavy attacks. Carrying placards with various inscriptions like: ‘UNAA: Say no to dictatorship’; ‘Oruh: UNAA is not your personal estate’; ‘Call Andrew Oruh to order’; ‘Stop gangsterism and witch-hunting’; ‘Intimidations and Harassment must stop’; ‘We don’t want a dictator’.

They revealed that Oruh had wanted his lady friend, Princess Dabrinze to succeed him as the president so that she would not probe him.

‘The plan was that Dabrinze would contest for the deputy national presidency at Abuja 2015, and defeat Orabueze. They alleged that Oruh and his clique except Nwariaku, and Alabeke then were privy to that plan.

When Prof Orabueze defeated Dabrinze, the clique resorted to blackmail to remove her by all means, questioning why a national officer should be removed without respect to the dictates in the constitution.

‘He did not set up a committee to investigate the case of fraud against the DNP as he and Alabeke who served in the committee alleged.

‘From the information that came to us, the grievances of Alabeke against Orabueze who was the chairman, Alumni Day Committee was that he [Alabeke] had hoped to enrich his pocket through the committee, but when Orabueze towed a different line, he became mad  with her, and had vowed to blackmail her.

‘Meanwhile, Oruh had insisted that his deputy must return the 5m naira which she paid into the university’s account, and return the 2.4 million the university gave her for the hosting of the alumni day celebration, and tender a well documented letter of apology to UNAA, and wait for her to be recalled or remain suspended

Also, the Benin branch president, Dr Atu Omimi Ejoo admitted that Prof Orabueze was harassed, physically assaulted and humiliated, but explained that he acted on the instruction of the national president.

‘I regret my involvement in the attack and harassment, and have apologized privately to the DNP for the role I played, and I believe she has forgiven me. I do not want to be part of this conspiracy, and blackmailing.

‘If Oruh feels somebody has defrauded the association, the first thing he should have done is to set up a committee of inquiry, and let the committee submit their findings in writing. Even after that, the DNP still has the right to contest it in court.

‘We should do things like people who are civilized, not resorting to cheap blackmail. Everybody knows that Prof Orabueze has integrity, and discipline. This allegation of fraud is what I do not understand. I only involved myself, because I was told by the national officers that her presence would ruin our events’, he confessed.

‘Okay, what of the five hundred thousand Naira which was given to us yesterday when we went on a courtesy call? In your own judgement, who is supposed to be the owner of the money? But, Oruh collected the money and insisted it belongs to national purse.

‘When my branch confronted me over the money, I simply took them to Oruh who collected the money. Is it right for the president to handle money? ‘Where is accountability?’

Speaking to Prof Orabueze, she admitted that Ejoo did apologize, and explained that her trouble in UNAA started the day she indicated interest to contest for the national presidency.

‘So, they vowed to stop me at all cost, because they were afraid I might win the election. It is now obvious that Oruh is running UNAA like his personal business, and is hell bent on destroying our association’, she lamented.


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