By Eba Alobo
The University of Calabar, UNICAL as an ivory tower is a sacred institution where transparency, fairness and justice ought to be given its pride of place. In line with this, the Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice through the Director of Public Prosecution recently Charged one, Dr. Eyo Mensah of the department of Linguistics, UNICAL among other staff and students to court who are alleged to be involved in “Certificate Forgery”, a crime that contradict the extant laws of the state.
Investigation has revealed that this petition was written by the former Vice Chancellor, VC of the University, Prof. James Epoke about three years ago before Prof. Zana Akpagu became the VC. Upon completion of analysis of the case file by the Police as submitted to the Attorney General and having been “sufficiently implicated”, Dr. Mensah and others involved in the case were recently charged to court to answer to the allegations levelled against them.
However it does appear some individuals who are bent on tarnishing the image of the present Vice Chancellor, Prof. Akpagu want to politicise the issue and make it look as if the present VC is the brain behind his trial.
According to a recent post by a self acclaimed Social Change Agent, Mr. Joseph Odok, who in his article addressed Dr. Mensah as the “only voice still curtailing the excesses in UNICAL”, Mr. Odok alleged that the VC attempts to sack Dr. Mensah for criticising him among other issues raised which borders on the increment of acceptance fee and transcript.
The VC in his usual magnanimous and sportsmanship spirit will definitely not respond to him but for public interest, the records should be put straight that the petition which culminated to the recent invitation of the said Dr. Mensah was written by the former VC, Prof. Epoke and not Prof. Zana as alleged by Mr. Odok.
Also, it should be stated here that it is not the prerogative of the Vice Chancellor to increase acceptance fee or transcript fee without the input of Management. Never has it be heard that any VC just wake up on his own accord to make any law as regards the University runnings without the approval of the University Management.
Moreover, if there is any issue that is tantamount to the interest of the students and university at large, there are constituted bodies like the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), the Alumni body as well as other unions who are empowered by law to agitate for the welfare and wellbeing of the students and not a self acclaimed Social Change Agent.
It is on this note that members of the public, the university community as well as well meaning individuals are advised to ignore whatever insinuations made by Mr. Odok as no one even takes him serious due to his controversial lifestyle.
The Vice Chancellor, Prof. Zana is committed to building a better institution that will produce graduates that are well groomed in both character and learning and who are development inclined and better positioned to bring about the desired change in our dear state.
Eba Alobo is a Public Affairs Commentator/Analyst