MOUAU governing council clears vice chancellor of sex scandal allegation

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By Joe Akwarandu, Umuahia

The Governing Council of Michael Okpara University of Agriculture Umudike (MOUAU) had exonerated the vice chancellor, Professor Francis Ogbonnaya Otunta, from all the allegations of sexual harassment, abuse of office, seizure of salary and victimisation instituted against him by staff of the institution, Dr Patricia Etuna Mbah and Dr Nelson Amanze Udenze, including impregnating a student.

The chairman of the Governing Council, Rt Hon. Lawal M Zayanna disclosed their decision to the press after a two day emergency meeting held in the campus to examine all the petitions against the V.C.

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The council instead, indicted Dr Patricia Mbah of traveling out of the university for 42 days without due authorisation and that her demotion was done by the university council and not the vice chancellor as alleged.

On another petitioner, Dr Nelson Amanze Udenze, the council panel noted that he was part of all the decisions of the council investigation and could not turn around to deny all the decisions he took part in taking.

And on the allegations of the vice chancellor, Professor Francis Otunta, putting a student (names withheld) in the family way, promoting her from third year to final year, graduating her without due process and sending her abroad to cover the act, council panel said that the university, after searching all her records, through the senate, did not locate any student presently or in the past with any such records and found the vice chancellor, Prof. Otunta not guilty of the allegation.

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It would be recalled that a lecturer of MOUAU, Dr Patricia Mbah, had petitioned against the vice chancellor, Professor Francis Otunta, accusing him of seizure of her salary, victimisation, sexual harassment and abuse of office; while Dr Nelson Udenze, petitioned against the university, praying the Minister of Education’s intervention in the issues he raised in order to save the university from academic collapse, suspension of the vice chancellor from office, the dissolution of the university council and new one constituted to look into all the cases mentioned and restoration of peace in the university.

In the decision of the university council, which investigated the issues, decided to pass a vote of confidence on the chairman of the council, Rt Hon Lawal Zayanna, and the vice chancellor, Professor Francis Otunta.

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They also accepted and adopted the result of an investigation by the University Senate that the Vice Chancellor did not, at any time, put any student in the family way, promoted her from third year to final year, graduated her without due process and sent her abroad to cover the act. The university council also noted that after searching all her records through the senate, did not locate any student presently or in the past with any such records.

The chairman of the council urged the general public to disregard the petitions which he said were targeted at casting aspersions and damaging the image of the school, the council chairman and the vice chancellor.

It would also be recalled that the sex scandal involving the vice chancellor of MOUAU had gone viral in the social media and some print media in the country recently.

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