The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma chapter, has slammed the Special Intervention Team for its claim that it uncovered academic fraud in the school.
The SIT had alleged that 30 students schooling abroad had graduated from AAU due to the marking of their examination script by lecturers of the university
The chairman of the ASUU chapter, Dr Cyril Onognosele, described the allegation as an illusion while calling on SIT’s spokesperson, Austin Osakwe to publish names, courses, departments, and years of graduation of the students in question as well as details of the lecturers involved in the alleged academic fraud.
He said the actions of the SIT were demarketing the institution, stating that the SIT was cooking up all these allegations in a bid to extend its tenure that ended in March.
Onognosele said: “In presenting SIT’s progress report to the Governor of Edo State, Mr. Austin Osakue claimed that SIT had uncovered academic fraud in the university. Further, he alleged that over 30 students schooling overseas had graduated from AAU, Ekpoma due to the marking of their examination answer scripts by lecturers of the University.
“ASUU considers this allegation of academic fraud as an illusion and demands publication of the names, courses, departments, years of graduation of the students in question as well as details of the lecturers involved in the alleged academic fraud.
“Does graduation of students in a university start and end with “marking of scripts”? Among other requirements, for a student to graduate from the University, first, the student must be admitted, registered, take lectures, pass the examination of courses, and get the approval of results/recommendation for graduation from the Department Board of Studies, Faculty Board of Studies and the Senate of the University.
“Why then is the graduation of the students in the alleged academic fraud restricted to “marking of scripts by lecturers”? Undoubtedly, it is a ploy to give the dog a bad name so as to hang it. For self-serving reasons, a particular member of the SIT who is the de facto chairman of the team is preoccupied with, and committed to blackmailing the academic staff of the University and demarketing the University in order to consign the image of the University to the hall of shame.
“This has serious implications for the academic integrity and credibility of the University in local, national, and global competitiveness, and is unacceptable to ASUU and stakeholders of goodwill for the University.
“Consequently, we insist on a thorough, transparent, and just investigation of the claim of academic fraud in the University widely believed to be in the realm of propaganda and blackmail. We urge the Visitor to the University/Governor of Edo State to direct full investigation into the allegation of academic fraud which is an ‘indictment’ of all relevant organs and authorities of the University and not just the lecturers.”
The ASUU chair said the interim and progress reports by SIT to the visitor to AAU and the general public were full of misinformation and propaganda and should be investigated to determine the true state of the crisis in the university.
He added: “Edo State Government, as a matter of urgency, should implement the decisions reached at the stakeholders’ meeting on the crisis in the university held on 16th March, 2023 in order to genuinely resolve the crisis rocking the University.
“Without delay, the problem of selective payment of salaries of staff in the University should be resolved with payment of all outstanding salaries to staff of the University.
“The Union believes that repositioning of a university does not translate to infringement of workers’ rights, denial of wages, and lack of improved welfare of workers.
“The annual increments of staff salaries stopped by the University Administration should be restored. We implore the Visitor to the University, as a matter of urgency, to constitute a governing council for the University to enable the University to function properly.”