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The Acting Vice-Chancellor of the Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma, Professor Sonnie Adagbonyin and the Management of the University have been dragged to the National Universities Commission (NUC) by some aggrieved students of the institution over the alleged plan by the University to commence the second-semester examination for 2020/2021 academic session without being taught and prepared for the examination.

The aggrieved students in a tense petition to the Executive Secretary of NUC through a Lagos-based Lawyer, Mr Oriname Akeredolu and dated June 29, 2022, informed the NUC that the University’s VC and the management have concluded a plan to commence the second-semester examination for 2020/2021 academic session without students being taught and prepared for the examination.

The petition, entitled “Petition against the Vice-Chancellor and Management of Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma, Edo State”, expressed serious concern that while the roll-over national industrial action by various staff unions in public universities is still on “the University in a militia and Gestapo manner” announced the resumption of academic activities and a new adjusted academic calendar.

The students are asking NUC to urgently intervene, failing which they would not hesitate to seek legal redress to stop the bastardization of their education.

According to the students’ lawyer, “Please, be informed that in the event the Commission is unable and unwilling to deploy its powers to avert and redress this manifest evil against our client and others affected students within 5 days of the service of this letter, our client shall without further recourse to you let the law in motion to redress this wrong.”

By virtue of the purported adjusted calendar, lectures were to commence on 30th May 2022, continuous assessment to begin on 20th – 25th June 2022, and examinations to begin on 4th July 2022.

Mr Akeredolu further said that “it is our understanding that at the time of being brief, not a single lecturer in the department of our client and other departments have taught any topic since the purported resumption and commencement of lectures.

“This is further substantiated by the press release of 23rd May, 2022 by the University chapter of ASUU with the title, “ASUU AAU, Ekpoma is still fully on strike: Any Resumption News is a Hoax”.

Flowing from the above, it is crystal clear that our client and other students of the University have not been taught since the commencement of the second-semester academic session.

“Hence, the hell-bent approach of the University to commence examination to evaluate students that were not taught by their lecturers, and having to answer questions not prepared by the course lecturers is an act of grave injustice and one which violates the sacred principles of natural justice, equity and good conscience,” Mr Akeredolu said.

Mr Akeredolu also drew the attention of the Executive secretary of NUC to the commission’s news bulletin dated 22nd October 2018, which expressly stated that all Universities are to devote 13 weeks per semester for teaching, adding that the action of AAU, Ekpoma runs contrary to this guideline laid by the Commission in the said bulletin.

The Lagos-based Lawyer urged the Executive Secretary of NUC to use his good office “to cause an investigation to be made in respect of the foregoing and use your statutory and inherent powers to stop the management of the University from embarking on this ill-fated journey as it portends great danger and a bad precedent for our already comatose educational system.”

Several documents attached to the petition include the Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma, Approved Adjusted Academic Calendar for Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma; the Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma, Internal Memorandum, dated 18th March 2022 with reference number AAU/REG/CIR.100/VOL.VIII/40; the Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma, Internal Memorandum, dated 23rd May 2022 with reference number AAU/REG/CIR.100/VOL.VIII/45; the Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma, Internal Memorandum, dated 26th May 2022 with reference number AAU/REG/CIR.100/VOL.VIII/49; the ASUU, AAU, Ekpoma Chapter Press Release dated 23rd May 2022; and the Bulletin of National Universities Commission with ISSN 0795-3089 dated 22nd October 2018.

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