From Chidi Asonye, Umuahia
The Vice Chancellor of the Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike (MOUAU), Prof. Francis Otunta has finally been given a clean bill of health by the governing council over the sexual harassment and abuse allegations leveled against him.
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.
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 as frivolous, malicious as well as unfounded.
According to the Governing Council, its decision to declare Prof. Otunta not culpable of the allegations leveled 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 alleged incessant sexual harassment, the Council posited that the allegation against the VC could was not substantiated by the accuser when 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.