The University of Calabar Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), has asked the Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu to reverse the reappointment of John Ngukpen into the 13th governing council of the University.
Recall that Ngukpen, who has always cut a divisive figure in the University was an external member in the 12th governing council. He was recently reappointed as the only member of the last council to be part of the 13th council.
His reappointment has, however, stirred controversy in the University with the latest coming from ASUU who had accused him of using his influence in the last council to solicit for and execute contracts which is against the extant laws.
“The attention of the Academic Staff of Universities, University of Calabar branch has been drawn to the reported reappointment of Mr John Ngukpen to serve in the 13th Governing Council of the University of Calabar. We wish to bring your notice, Honourable Minister Sir, that Mr John Ngukpen served in the 12th Governing Council of the University of Calabar as an external member. In the spirit of the Universities (miscellaneous provisions) (Amendment) Act, 2003, a reappointment of an external member is not contemplated.
“Section 2(2) hereinabove referred provides as follows: persons to be appointed to the Council shall be of proven integrity, knowledgeable and familiar with the affairs and tradition of the University”, the letter read in part.
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ASUU further explained that, “The union is persuaded that Mr John Ngukpen will obviously be burdened by a conflict of interest. As a member of the 12th Governing Council of the University of Calabar, Mr John Ngukpen became opportunistic, as he used his membership of the council to solicit for and to execute contracts. The proxy with which Mr John Ngukpen operated his contracts/businesses is known as The King Customer Enterprises Nig. Ltd.
“In light of the above, ASUU congress at its meeting of 6th May 2021, resolved inter allia to protest the reappointment of Mr John Ngukpen to the 13th Governing Council of the University of Calabar.
“While noting that his reappointment would serve, not the interest of the University but the furtherance of his personal business and financial interests, the Union demanded that “Mr John Ngukpen should not be reappointed and/or inaugurated as a member of the 13th Governing Council of the University of Calabar.”