The teaching staff of the Imo State University are currently at daggers drawn over the inability of the institition’s chapter of the Academic Staff Union of University (ASUU) to offer meaningful explanations as to the whereabouts of the N150 million deducted from the salaries of its members for the purchase of land at Avu.
A source within the citadel of leaning revealed the lecturers are planning to petition the governor through the commisioner of education,Prof BTO Ikegwuoha whom they said is one of them in the school and understands their plights.
According to some of them who spoke to this reporter on condition of anoymity,the issue, if not promptly addressed and members hastily given their money or shown their plots of land the varsity will be engulfed in a protracted crisis. The source also alleged that complicity with the school management has made it difficult to bring the culprits to book.
“They came up with a scheme, saying they wanted to deduct the sum of N720,000 from the salaries of about 280 academic staff the the purchase of land. They also collected another N5,000 from each academic staff for form. We were told each piece of land would cost N720,000. They deducted our monies and paid into same into ASUU-IMSU bank account.
“In a bizarre move which can still not be explained till date, Rev. Dr. Chidi Nwadiaro who was the Chairman of ASUU in IMSU and Rev. Prof. Cornelius Nkwam Uwaoma, the immediate past Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic), who surprisingly was never an executive member of ASUU-IMSU, went and opened a fresh bank account without authorization from ASUU-IMSU Congress. They became the only two signatories to that private bank account,” the source said.
Further enquiries however revealed that there was never any purchase of land at Avu as members of the Union were promised. Rather, some plots of land were acquired at Aforola, and upon investigation it was gathered that the plots were worth N350,000, differing largely from the N720,000 which the lecturers were beguiled to part with.
A reliable source within the hierarchies of ASUU also revealed that in order to conceal the alleged filthy deal, all cheques for the transactions were issued to Nwadiaro and counter-signed by Nkwam Uwaoma.
“All of these were completed and all payments made since 2017, but till date we are to be allocated any land anywhere, and even the excess monies have never been refunded to our members. We suspect that the school management is shielding the perpetrators of this heinous crime from prosecution.
“A panel was setup by the new ASUU-IMSU Chairman, Engr. Dr. Luke Uzoigwe and headed by Prof. Ajero. This panel indicted Nkwam Uwaoma Chidi Nwadiaro. Also, a review committee was set up headed by Prof. Martin Nwankwo which also upheld the indictment of Uwaoma. What we can’t explain is the reason the school management has vowed the protect those who jolted with our millions of Naira,” he bemoaned.
When contacted,Prof Martin Nwankwo who is the Dean of students affairs accepted heading a panel set-up to review what was already investigated by the previous panel and submitted to ASUU.He frowned at the development and said that the lecturers have the right to protest,considering the fact that the said money was deducted from their salaries.