ABOUT 300 protesters led by the President, National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), Chinonso Obasi, on Thursday stormed Abuja with placards demanding the prosecution and imprisonment of the Vice Chancellor of Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike, Prof. Francis Otunta, over alleged fraud and bad governance.
During the protest which took them to the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission, ICPC; Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, and the Ministry of Education, they urged the agencies to investigate fraudulent contracts issued by the VC when he was the Rector of Akanu Ibiam Federal Polytechnic, Unwana.
The protesters, who carried placards with inscriptions such as, “Resign Now! Concentrate on defending the corrupt allegations before you”, “Save our educational institutions from corrupt administrators,” “Francis Otunta when did you become education contractor,” among others.
The VC, the protesters alleged has pending fraud case instituted against him at the Federal High Court, Abakaliki.
They alleged most of the administrators from tertiary institutions in the country have ruined the institutes, looting resources meant to develop, train and educate the students.
According to Obasi, a Post Graduate Diploma student from Ebonyi State University, the worst corruption occurs in the universities, polytechnics and other tertiary institutions in the country.
The NANS president, who ho stated that the protesters did not come to seek for financial reward disclosed readiness of the students to volunteer their supports against corruption in the institutes of higher learning.
“We know this corrupt VC. We want to help the ICPC. Corrupt officers in our universities must be arrested and prosecuted,” he added.
In her remark, ICPC Head of Intelligence and Security, Mrs. Patience Osaye appealed to the protesters to relax their protest stressing that demands of the protesters would be presented to management of the commission.
ICPC director of Administration, Nathaniel Baku acknowledged a copy of the petition submitted to the ICPC.
He said the commission will read through the petition and take best action.
“You know we are partners in this fight against corruption. We are working on system of the institution to fight corruption,” Baku added.
At the EFCC, the protesters accused the VC of similar offence, extortion of N4, 000 from students for campus shuttle and compulsory N5, 000 levies for Information Communication Technology (ICT).
— Feb 9, 2017 @ 20:00 GMT