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Mgt To Efemini, Chinah - You Are Suspended For Gross Misconduct

Following renewed allegations of official sleaze and negligence of duty, Management has, once again, slammed another round of suspension on Professor Andrew Efemini of the Department of Philosophy and placed him on half pay. Also suspended on the same count charge is Mr Philip Chinah of the Bursary Department.

Professor Efemini's third suspension followed the conclusion of investigation into weighty allegations of extortion of money from Part-Time students of the defunct Institute of Science Laboratory Technology (ISLT) and misappropriation of funds while he served as Acting Dean of Student Affairs Department in 2013.

A letter signed by the Registrar, Mrs Dorcas Otto, which conveyed Professor Efemini's latest suspension, slammed a three-count charge on him; to wit: “exhibiting negligence of duty by failing to ensure that Part-Time students of the former Institute of Science Laboratory Technology, who did not pay for the regularisation still obtained their NYSC letters.” There was also an allegation of misappropriation of N50,125,000.00 which Professor Efemini allegedly failed and/or refused to provide documents and explanations on how the balance of the money paid for regularisation was spent. Professor Efemini was furthermore charged with wilful mis-application of funds raised from the regularisation of ISLT students which he claimed to have channelled into financing the Students' Union Week. The Registrar also observed that Professor Efemini’s expenditure curiously preceded approval and payment for regularisation by the affected students.

Consequently, Professor Efemini was summarily suspended from duty in accordance with Section 16; sub-section 2 of the University of Port Harcourt Act, CAP U13, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2014. The Registrar's letter further notified him that the status quo would remain, pending when the Governing Council would order further investigation into allegations that constituted gross misconduct.

Similarly, Mr Chinah was accused of unprofessional conduct in the discharge of his duty by making unauthorised withdrawals from the Student Affairs Account without necessary documentation and approvals. He was also charged with deliberately misleading the panel that investigated the alleged extortion of money from the former ISLT students on crucial facts concerning the management of the money paid by them to facilitate the contentious regularisation. He was also suspended under the relevant sections of the University of Port Harcourt Act, pending when Council would take appropriate decision on his case. Both suspensions came into effect on July 1, 2019.  

 It would be recalled that rather than answer the earth-quaking allegations preferred against him, Professor Efemini fired a three-page petition to the Chairman of Council, Professor Mvendaga Jibo, in which he demanded the “immediate removal of Professor N. E. S. Lale as Vice Chancellor of the University of Port Harocurt,” for apparently calling him to account for the official sleaze.

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