A Professor in the Department of Philosophy, Faculty of Humanities at the University of Port Harcourt has accused the Vice Chancellor of increasing school fees for undergraduates illegally.
Prof Andrew O. Efemini of the Department of Philosophy at the University of Port Harcourt, has called for the immediate removal of Prof N.E.S Lale as the Vice Chancellor of the institution for “criminally misleading the senate by not providing an approved schedule of fees in federal universities to distinguished members”.
In a petition he addressed to the Pro Chancellor and Chairman of Governing Council, University of Port Harcourt and issued to Pulse, Efemini says the national fee schedule states that the recommended fees for all levels of students should be a maximum of forty five thousand Naira only (N45,000).
“Sir, the directive is that students who are coming into the university should be charged fees not exceeding N45,000 all inclusive. The circular warned against the collection of acceptance fees. But Prof Lale collected N30,000 as acceptance fee from each incoming student”,
He adds that “under Prof Lale’s watch, first year students are charged approximately one hundred and twenty eight thousand Naira (N128,000) excluding non statutory charges at the various faculties and departments.
“Due to Prof Lale’s criminal concealment, Senate and Council have taken decisions to enforce illegal fees on unsuspecting parents and students with very damaging consequences.
“The implication of the excess charges on 1st year students is that Senate was misled into forcing 2nd year and 3rd year students to repeat their classes for inability to pay their fees when the draconian Vice Chancellor has collected such fees in their first year.
“Prof Lale must urgently be removed as investigations into how much was collected and what he did with these illegal collections are carried out.”
Prof Efemini is also accusing Prof Lale of “criminal and deliberate violation of the University Act, abuse of the university law and installing his stooges and surrogates as members of the university governing body.
“Armed with his surrogates and cronies; Prof Okey Onuchukwu, Prof Antonia Okerengwu, Prof Femi Shaka and Prof Henry Alapiki, the vice chancellor proceeded to unleash terror on all dissenting voices. Prof Frank Uguimoh and myself suffered from the ruthless abuse of office by Prof Lale and his illegal internal council members.
“Pro Chancellor Sir, it is obvious that Prof Lale must be urgently removed from office and investigated to save the university from further high handedness and damage”.
Calls repeatedly placed to the mobile of Vice Chancellor Lale for a reaction to the allegations were not answered nor returned before this story was published. An aide of the vice chancellor who picked up our call told Pulse that he has not been authorized to comment on the subject just yet.
Pulse also understands that the student union body of the University of Port Harcourt is planning showdown protests with the institution’s authorities if fees aren’t reverted to the nationally agreed schedule.
Miscellaneous and school fee charges across all federal universities in Nigeria have been harmonized by the Ministry of Education to avoid extortion and exploitation by respective university governing councils.