By; VITALIS UGOH, Calabar
A lecturer, Mr. Joseph Odok, in the department of Philosophy, University of Calabar who is currently serving suspension order for an alleged official misconduct, has found himself in fresh trouble.
This time around the university authority has accused him of evasion of payment of school charges in three academic sessions.
Until recently when his programme was suspended, Odok was a PhD student in the Philosophy department of the institution and the evasion allegedly happened within the seven years he spent running the programme.
The Deputy Vice Chancellor Academics, Prof. Uche Amalu, who is the head of the committee set up by management to investigate the lecturer said that “Odok has no evidence of payment of school charges during the 2016/2017, 2010/2011 and 2009/2010 academic sessions”.
Prof. Amalu insisted that before Odok’s programme was suspended, he connived with the leadership of his department to get clearance for his defence last year without meeting up the University’s financial requirement to participate in any post graduate defence.
He maintained that “there is no evidence of payment of school charges during 2016/2017, 2010/2011 and 2009/2010 academic years and the HOD failed to point these”.
Continuing, he said that “I stand firmly on my initial observations of “aiding and abetting gross academic misconduct, abdication of official responsibility and covert complicity of the Head of Department of Philosophy in evasion of payment of school charges by Mr. Odok who is both staff and student under this jurisdiction”.
But in his response to a letter from the head of the investigation, the HOD of Philosophy, Prof. Kyrian Ojong, denied aiding Odok in his suspected evasion of payment of school charges.
Ojong noted that “for the avoidance of doubts, I became HOD of philosophy 1st of June, 2015; while Odok started his programme in 2010. I could not have aided his evasion of payment of school charges”.
One of the University staff who spoke in confidence as he was not permitted to speak on the issue said that “you see, when you want to go to equity you go with clean hands. Odok has so many cockroaches in his cupboard that he shouldn’t even be involved in this kind of fight against the university.
“Those of us who have been here for long can tell you that, he has been very lucky to have still been in the system for this long. I’ve personally begged on his behalf for many times. Like this issue of evasion of payment of school charges for some years, it’s a serious academic misconduct. From the documents I’ve seen, there’s a strong suspicion that he may have forged some receipts”.