ASABA_______The recent online investigative report published by SAHARA REPORTERS, on the controversial report by an investigative committee on eight members of the academic staff of the Delta State University, Abraka, popularly known as DELSU.
The investigative committee was set up by Delta State University VC, Professor Andy Egwunyenga on assumption of office with one Professor Patrick Igbigbi as the chairman of the three man committee.
The eight staff had been said to had written to protest their promotion alleged to had properly handled by the relevant organs of the university and concluded more than six years ago.
When relevant authorities were contacted to speak on the issues of the individual staff, they kept sealed lips for fear of being reprimanded or victimized. Since the purpose of investigative journalism is to bring out the truth and facts and report the facts as they are, efforts were made to obtain a copy of the said report.
After going through the concrete evidence at hand, we can authoritatively confirm that the Sahara report was a very balanced and accurate report in respect of Dr. Laz Etimeke and Dr. Festus Arunaye which the Reporter touched on.
The sources on the know just provided hard facts that turned out to debunk the barefaced lies and fabrications contained in the Igbigbi’s report, particularly the conclusion that the duo culprits of Dr. Laz Etimeke and Dr. Festus Arunaye did not involve themselves in any academic dishonesty and that they were only being witch-hunted by the University wide academic integrity committee.
Our investigative team had been able to obtain the two articles in question in respect of Dr. Etimeke and six of Dr. Arunaye.
As part of responsible and impartial reporting, we got professionals to use a plagiarism software to objectively do a check on the said publications.
However, the outcome of the independent check alarmed us as it confirmed the very high content similarities between the two papers among the publications submitted for consideration for promotion from Senior Lecturer to the rank of Associate Professor by Dr. Laz Etimeke.
Similarly, among the publications submitted for promotion from Associate Professor to the rank of full Professor of Mathematics in the Delta State University, Abraka by Dr. Festus Arunaye, six (6) of the articles, that is, three pairs of his publications were objectively found to had a very high similarity contents of plagiarism.
Besides, with this shocking revelations, it was evident that the University Integrity Committee that conducted plagiarism checks on all submitted publications before being sent to external assessors, was unbiased in its reporting of the high similarity contents discovered in the papers of these academic cheats.
The University Integrity Committee was just being blackmailed and castigated for doing its job and reporting its findings objectively too.
From the findings of our team, especially the concrete evidence of plagiarism from the independent experts against Drs. Etimeke and Arunaye, one began to wonder if most professors made in DELSU actually deserved that title.
We also can call to question the integrity of the Professor Andy Egwunyenga’s three professors’ Investigative Committee set up to examine the protest of the eight academic staff led by Professor Patrick Igbigbi.
From the facts and evidence available, the three professors must had compromised, deliberately and shameless distorted and hidden the facts with intension to cover up these academic dishonest staff.
Is this a process of making fake professors in DELSU through the use of legal instrumentalities of the university? e.g. A&PC (Academic) by making a tinted positive report with all its lies to unsuspecting Council to confirm its recommendations of unqualified candidates for promotion to the highest academic rank of Professor in a university?.
Plagiarism reports done with a software do not hide the truth.
Why did the three professors collude to bury the truth? We are prepared for the interest of the public to publish online the plagiarism reports of these two academically dishonest staff that the VC in collusion with the Committee are hell bent in setting free and promoting them against DELSU’s promotion principles.
With the objective findings of the crack investigative team, we found out some members of the committee may be men of low character. Specifically, after being told a story of wrong doings by the Chairman of the VC’s Investigative Committee, Professor Patrick Igbigbi, the team insisted on getting evidence.
We were able to obtain a report which showed that Professor Patrick Igbigbi was really indicted by an ad hoc committee of Council some years past when he was the Provost of the Asaba Campus of the Delta State University for fraudulent practices.
The report of the investigative Ad hoc Committee to Council found him culpable/responsible for specific wrongdoings which included deliberate fragmentation of contracts far above his approval and his management approval limits, awarding contracts without funds or budget, inflating little contracts, reckless expenditure and going against all known financial guidelines of the University and those of the Federal Government.
In this process of unrestricted lawlessness , Professor Igbibi committed the Asaba Campus and the University to huge embarrassing indebtedness up to the tune of about Four Hundred Million Naira Only ( N400, 000, 000.00 )
The ad hoc Committee thereafter recommended to Council that Professor Igbigbi be arraigned before the Senior Staff Disciplinary Committee and if found culpable be appropriately disciplined.
Council met over the report and approved the findings and recommendations of its ad hoc Committee. When he was written to and invited to appear before the SSDC (academic), Professor Igbigbi quickly ran to Court of Law and never appeared before the SSDC to answer for his fraudulent activities because he knew he would be found guilty and probably be humiliated out of office.
The team was also reliably informed that some two years ago, he lost his own case with the University but still hurriedly rushed to appeal his lost against the university.
The idea behind his actions is to use the Courts to delay/stifle the process so that he would not appear before the SSDC, found culpable and probably terminated for fraudulent practices, until he proceeds on retirement in four years’ time from the university.
It needs to be noted that the indebtedness came to the attention of Council with surprise only after the about 130 contractors constituted themselves to form a pressure group called the Association of Contractors, Asaba campus, and took the Council/University to court complaining of their families hardship and excruciating sufferings arising from the long non-payment for contracts awarded to them by Professor Igbigbi that were duly executed. From the documented truth available, the VC’s Investigative Committee is not an honest one; it appears to be as dishonest as the report itself.
The investigative reporters also enquired why three supposedly academic professors would condescends so low as to stake their integrity to writing such a bogus report that contained hatred for the obvious truth? From our reliable source, we gathered that the Chairman and members of the panel would have been made some promises as to be rewarded with juicy positions if and when they submitted a “clever” report that would enable him, the VC, to free and promote all eight petitioners who are his friends and members of the Vice Chancellor’s long established CABAL called the FORUM.
Professor Igbigbi was assured one of the Deputy Vice Chancellors’ slot come December, 2020, Professor John Igwe, the Chairman of a TETFUND committee and Prof. Akpotor of political science, one of the Center’s director.
However, some members of the university are watching and alert to see if the Vice Chancellor would dare go ahead to nominate Prof.
Igbigbi the promised position of DVC for doing the dirty job in spite the fact that he is in Court with the university, have been indicted by the university’s highest body for fraudulent practices and refusing to appear before the University Senior Staff Disciplinary Committee.
Plagiarism is a very serious academic crime in universities throughout the world, including DELSU. Records at our disposal showed that over 38 academic staff found culpable after due process to have committed academic dishonesty of any form or colorations had been sanctioned with stagnation ranging from one year to five years depending on the degree of academic misconduct or plagiarism, in the last seven years.
Over thirty three of such staff had served their punishment and had been re-appraised and those who met the promotion criteria had also been promoted to the rank of associate professor or full professor.
There are three who were stagnated for three to five years and when they couldn’t withstand the shame associated with the long waiting, had to transfer their services to other unsuspecting universities outside the South-south, South-East and South-West geopolitical zone, three or more years ago. With the new change in administration, some of the academic cheats had indicated interest to return to the university but are being hunted and taunted by those who had served their years of stagnation.
This group had vowed that except whenever they return, if and when their applications are granted, they must have to atone for their sins by completing their years of stagnation before they can put in again for appraisal, or else they would create problems of various form for the management and Council of the University.
Those culprits who had served their punishment are also complaining bitterly, although quietly, and want explanation as to why Dr. Laz Etimeke and Arunaye whose magnitude of academic dishonesty /plagiarism was visibly higher than theirs, be aided by the incumbent VC, Professor Egwunyenga, popularly called the Comrade, to escape justice or punishment because of their personal relationship.
A true university should never be run this way, they opined. They wondered what had happened to the once vibrant and thorough Council that it now allows itself to be easily misled to promote those who had been certified to have issues, promote those who had genuinely failed appraisal since, 4, 5, and 6 years ago and recalling those found guilty of financial offences and wicked extortion that has caused a number of our students from graduating and some others painfully dropping out of the University.
We also gathered that three years back, the incumbent VC knew he was going to get the position of the VC for the role the wife played as the returning officer for the North Senatorial election to Senate when the present governor of the state was contesting for the Senatorial seat which he won.
In addition, Delta North had been making the case for one of their own to be appointed VC since all other senatorial districts had had their own share of the Vice Chancellorship position of the only Delta State University.
It was alleged it was the VC who propped/urged the eight academic staff who are members of his FORUM to apply and submit an appeal letter to him as soon as he assumed office.
He had assured them that he would ensure that those who failed appraisal and assessment and even those among them that had retired would be quickly assessed and promoted and recalled, and those whom Council had disciplined for misconduct and directed that they should not hold any office for certain number of years ,would be given positions and that Council members are aware of his personal relationship with the State Governor and will dare not take any punitive action against him for any infractions.
This category of staff became boisterous and began to open their mouth wide in staff club to the hearing of non-members of their FORUM as to what they would do as soon as the new VC assumed office on 1st December, 2020.
So people were aware what to expect from his administration. The lawlessness in the manipulations of extant rules and regulations and established practices are a fulfillment of this grand promise and design.
This nonsense, as our sources called it, is giving birth to an association called The DELSU PATRIOT WATCHDOG to ensure that the sanctity of our rules and laws and academic standards are not run down as the VC did some years back when he was the Rector of the Delta State Polytechnic, Ogwashi-uku, which came to be notoriously referred to in popular DELTA adage, JUST CARRY GO, among staff and students.
Our investigation team had also heard of a plot/ plan to make a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Business Administration who had one positive and two negative reports from external assessors and therefore failed, to be re-reassessed using different guidelines. This is to give him a second positive report, send his report to the unsuspecting Council to be approved for the rank of Associate Professor of Business Administration and backdated to 2014.
Our team has the A&PC minutes confirming that this academic staff (name withheld for now) had his two negative reports already read some years back, besides the one positive, and therefore failed. He was due to apply for and assessed for 2015 but he deliberately failed to do so.
Those who are prepared to swallow Panadol for the headache of others and stake the little integrity left of them would be exposed when we publish the facts for the public to see.
We have the A&PC minutes showing that two negative reports have been read and no other one is being awaited as lied and told in the notorious Igbigbi report.
Similarly, plan has been perfected to promote an unproductive Senior Lecturer in the Department of Theatre Arts( who is the local legal adviser to the FORUM group to which unfortunately the Commissioner of Higher Education has been a founding member), to the rank of Full Professor without even passing through the rank of Associate Professor.
This academic staff who is being rewarded had genuinely failed faculty appraisal in the past four consecutive years “due to the inadequacies in the quality and the quantity of his publications” as captured in the Professor Igbigbi’s investigative report to the VC in early March 2020.
He is now being rewarded with underserved accelerated promotion to the rank of FULL professor and backdated to 2016 which he was not even qualified for. This is an absurdity.
Another member of THE FORUM in the Department of History & International Studies who had not been successful in Faculty appraisal in 2014 and subsequent years and failed to apply in 2018 and 2019 is now been assessed through the backdoor and recommended through the backdoor supported with tinted positive appraisal reports and been forwarded through the university now puppet A&PC Academic to Council for approval to the rank of an Associate Professor of History & International Studies.
The reasons why he had failed assessment are even contained in the Professor Igbigbi’s report.
We have also found out that the Lawlessness is not only prevalent with the Management, Senate and A&PC (Academic) where members are restrained by their friends from referring the chairman or VC to important regulations of the university for the fear of being labelled the enemy of the VC or somebody who is in opposition to the VC.
Therefore, all professor are expected to keep quiet and let him, the VC, have his way as he will surely leave office after five years.
This position is unfortunate and ridiculous as it does not consider the irreparable havoc he would have caused the university after five years of reckless impunity.
Students have also been permitted to be lawless. For example, prohibited use of heavy duty appliances such as ring boilers were being allowed to be used in the hostels at the beginning of the 2019/2020 academic session.
This led to the unfortunate fire hazard /inferno which engulfed the new postgraduate hall, called the Executive Hostel, occupied by Undergraduate students at about 1:00am that fateful early morning.
God averted what would have been a calamitous loss of over 120 dear lives of students and the total destruction of that two storey buildings.
Similarly, we gathered that as part of the emerging lawlessness, first semester examination questions and question papers in almost all undergraduate courses leaked as they were being openly sold and purchased, and posted on social media – WhatsApp, Facebook, etc. The ongoing second semester examinations were not any better.
Further, it has been confirmed from students and staff that extortion of students, both graduates and postgraduates, has been established and has taken an intolerable proportion. Poor students who can’t pay are weeping and frustrated. They have no one to cry to.
In addition, wild jubilations in which the university had lost students and some others injured in the past and Senate had to deliberate the dangers associated with wild celebrations and prescribed severe sanctions and brought it to an end s three years ago, had reared its ugly head again.
Wild jubilations, involves amongst others, mostly yahoo plus boys and their friends, bringing cars into the campus to pick up their girlfriends and friends who had just completed their final year examinations, with some standing with their heads out through open roofs, spraying monies, some sitting on the bonnets, some hanging on the doors and others standing and sitting inside booth, driving dangerously and making noise with their music and blowing their car horns inside the campuses and around the university town.
Information has it that the main campus gate in site 3 was even blocked for more than fifteen minutes. Staff, students and visitors could neither get in nor exit as long as the madness lasted.
A student was also knocked down when this started at the end of the second semester exams for final year students ended in early November, 2020.
Sexual harassment that has been outlawed by the national assembly is now the order of the day and those caught are treated like ‘honorable men’.
For instance, in the early months of the 2019/2020 academic session, the then HOD of Chemistry, Professor E. Osabohien was reported to have been involved in a case of sexual harassment of a married lady who reported to the husband and he was caught.
When it became obvious that the scandal could not be covered up, the VC was forced to appoint one Dr. Mrs. P.O. Agbaire to take over the Headship of the Chemistry Department. When after several months the Professor was at last arraigned before the Senior Staff Disciplinary Committee, and the much lobbying to free him failed, he was found culpable and recommended to be demoted to the rank of Senior lecturer instead of terminating his appointment which had been the practice of the university to deter such misconducts.
The chemistry sexicology professor is from Abavo and Agbor, the same Delta North Senatorial district where the VC comes from.
On receiving the report, he became furious and queried one of the officers why the committee should be allowed to make such a recommendation on somebody from their area. He was of the view that under no circumstance would a professor be demoted under his management.
He therefore went ahead to alter the SSDC’s report and recommendation going to Council to, not to hold any official position for two to three years.The staff, like a wondered lion, now does what he knows doing best more subtly, saying, NOTHING DEY HAPPEN.
Our investigative team also received complaints as to how the VC and his cronies are systematically destroying/altering unilaterally the appointment and promotion guidelines recently approved by Council in 2020.
When this watered down guidelines taken to Council by him and approved was first applied to staff appraisal late this year, most of his association members, The FORUM, failed.
One of his very strong friend of the FORUM and whom two months ago he made HOD, Physical Education, threatened to resign his position if he does not do something to the criteria to enable him scale through faculty of Education appraisal so that he could be made a professor in 2020.
The VC , we are reliably told, got a few close friends, examined the CV of some lazy friends and watered down again the COUNCIL approved guidelines to be in tandem with his unilaterally worked out one just to have the semblance of APPOINTMENT & PROMOTIONs (Academic) blessing. This is a pure deceit and arrogating to one’s self authority that doesn’t belong to his purview.
It is the tradition of universities that it is Council that considers and approves appointment and promotion guidelines, after those criteria had gone through the Departments to the faculties and through the Appointment & Promotion Committee (Academic) to Council for approval.
Once approved, no one can use any other criteria outside the Council approved for appraisal of academic staff.
In DELSU, the incumbent VC is said to consider himself bigger and higher than Council. He has therefore drawn up his own cheap criteria which he has recently sent out to all departments and faculties to be used for appraisal this 2020 for that his friends could be recommended for promotion.
Interestingly and surprising too, he had directed that the result of the earlier appraisal already done based on the Council approved guidelines should be jettisoned.
The University is watching how Council would cheapen itself and compromised same to approve the recommended appraisal reports based on the VC’s personal promotion criteria in the name of clarifying gray areas of the Council approved guidelines without bringing such to the attention of council for consideration and approval.
Every day for the thief and one day for the owner. Council is at the apex of the university organogram.
It must not allow the Maradona of our times and in the university to destroy the only Delta State University the State has, even if the members of Council, especially the external members who concur because most have sold their souls cheaply to the Devil, would not mind having their names and images destroyed.
Finally, it had been brought to our attention that the Vice Chancellor’s office was alleged to had been broken into about two weeks ago and the VC had directed that this should be kept secrete.
But some had wondered why the VC would want the said break-in kept away from the university community if it was not self-designed in order to request for an increase in security vote from the three million naira per month to five million naira a month through his FORUM member and friend, the Commissioner for Higher Education, to get Government to approved.
Others reasoned that the story of breaking into his office was just a ploy to cause a distrust among principal officers so as not to nominate or re-appoint some principal officers for a second term of two years come December, 2020.
GOD BLESS OUR ONLY DELTA STATE UNIVERSITY AND THE UNIVERSITY COMMUNITY.