Acting Vice Chancellor of the University, Prof. Asomwan Sonnie Adagbonyi, made the revelation while presenting the Committee’s Report to the Chairman of the Special Intervention Team, Andrew Olotu, at the Government House, Benin City.
The report, according to him, contained the findings, recommendations, and/or actions taken by the USDC regarding charges of misconduct, gross misconduct, and other unethical practices levied against some academic and non-academic staff of the university.
The USDC, the report said, has taken a total of 219 cases, completed investigations, and taken decisions on 132 cases (63%) with 87 cases (63%) ongoing.
The Acting Vice Chancellor said the 13 staff were dismissed for charges ranging from fraud, extortion, collection of illegal fees, and sexual harassment, while other staff members recommended for other sanctions/punishment were charged for extortion, age manipulation, and examination malpractices, among others.
He noted that while disciplinary actions have been taken on some of the affected staff by the committee in time past, the committee made recommendations on others (including the completed and ongoing cases) for possible actions to be taken as will be decided by the SIT based on evidence and further findings.
Adagbonyi stated that among the 13 staff dismissed, four were from the Faculty of Engineering; two from the Department of Nursing Sciences; one from the Department of Law; three from the Faculty of Basic Medical Science; one from the Department of Medical Laboratory Science; one from Department of Political Science and one from the University farms.
Reporting on some of the cases already decided by the committee, Adagbonyi said: “Mr. Christopher Ehigie, an Assistant Lecturer was found guilty of sexual harassment and recommended that his appointment be terminated which has already been carried out.
“Dr. John Ehiavbi, an Associate Professor, who was charged with extortion and other misconduct, was found guilty and the committee recommended his dismissal which has been carried out with the approval of the SIT.”
He continued: “Mr Ifeanyi Nwadike (a former Head of Nursing Science Department) and Mrs. Deliverance Brotobo of the same department were found guilty of fraud and extortion of funds from students.
“The committee concluded that based on findings, Mr Ifeanyi Nwadike was guilty of fraud and extortion. Mrs Deliverance Brotobo was also found guilty of the same as she was taking instructions from Mr Ifeanyi, the HOD. They both employed a non-staff and put him on the payroll to help them in the illegal fund collection.
“The committee recommended that Mr Ifeanyi should be dismissed, which has been carried out, with the criminal aspects handed over to relevant security agencies for retrieval of said funds to be returned to the students. It was recommended that Mrs Deliverance should not be promoted for the next six years. This was rejected by the SIT for being too lenient. She was then dismissed from the institution.”
On further findings by the USDC, he said, “Austin Aghemelo was found guilty of gross financial misconduct and was recommended to be either dismissed from the University or for his appointment to be terminated.
“For other charges such as age discrepancies and multiple dates of birth and other forms of misconduct, the committee recommended demotion and redeployment, loss of annual increment for years (depending on the gravity of the offense and findings of the SIT) and leniency.”
Adagbonyi further stated that the institution will continue to do its best and cooperate with the SIT to sanitize the university and ensure that the staff hold firm to the institution’s work ethics, rules and regulations.
Receiving the report, the Head of the Special Intervention Team, Andrew Olotu expressed appreciation to the USDC for their fair, objective and unbiased investigations and recommendations, adding that the SIT will further investigate and deliberate on the report so that anyone found guilty does not escape the law.