From Chidi Asonye, Umuahia
The Vice Chancellor of the Michael Okpara University of Agriculture Umudike has finally been given a clean bill of health by the governing council over the Sexual Harassment and Abuse Allegations levelled against him by Dr Patricia Etuna Mba
This is the aftermath of an investigation carried out over the series of petitions written to the Council by two Lecturers of the institution against the Vice Chancellor.
While Dr. Patricia Etuna Mba had petitioned the Council accusing the Vice Chancellor sexual harassment and abuse of Office, another lecturer of the university, Dr Nelson Amanze Udenze had prayed the Council to suspend the University’s Vice Chancellor over alleged misconduct.
However, the Governing Council of the University in a statement made available to Journalists, Wednesday at the end of its meeting held at the Institution and signed by its Chairman, Rt. Hon. Lawal M. Zayanna described the petitions a frivolous, malicious as well as unfounded.
According to the Governing Council of the institution, its decision to declare Prof. Otunta not culpable of the allegations levelled against him was a resolution taken after its emergency meeting where it examined all the issues raised in the petitions, including a recent allegations that the Vice Chancellor had impregnated a 300 level student of the university as well as aided her travelling abroad in an effort to seal up the matter.
On the petition by Dr Mba against Otunta the Council posited that her allegation of incessant sexual harassment agsinst the Vice Chancellor could not be substantiated when she was interviewed by the Council.
The Governing Council said it absorbed Professor Otunta on allegation of putting a female student of the University in the family way after it adopted an investigation by the University Senate that “Prof. Francis Ogbonnaya Otunta 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 away abroad to cover the act”
Zayanna disclosed that according to the panel’s report, the university after searching through the Senate, did not locate any student presently or in the past with any such records and that the Vice Chancellor was not found guilty of the allegation.
However on the stand of the Council on the petition by Dr. Amaranze Udenze where he called on the Minister of Education’s intervention in some issue raised in his petition in order to save the University from collapse as well as to dissolve and constitute a new governing Council to look into all the cases mentioned, Zayanna said the present Governing Council was not aware of any infractions as alleged by Dr Udenze.
“He has not at any time tendered any petition to the Council on any area of disagreement with the Council, his call for the removal of the Vice Chancellor from office constitutes embarrassment to the Council and unexpected of a member of his status”
The council maintained that “the petitions were targeted at casting aspersions and damaging the image of the university and the Vice Chancellor, Professor Otunta”.