Just like other Nigerians who are conversant with Prof. Edwin Onyeneje’s sordid past as Rector of Institute of Management and Technology IMT Enugu, we read with utmost shock and disappointment a letter written to the Federal Ministry of Education by one Barrister B.C Oguine, who claimed to be counsel of Mr. Basil Offor, a known kinsman and ally of the indicted and ousted Rector of Institute of Management and Technology (IMT) Enugu, Prof. Edwin Onyeneje trying to counter our petition against the appointment of Onyeneje as the pioneer Rector of the newly established Federal Polytechnic Ohodo, Igbo-Etiti LGA of Enugu State on the ground of moral, integrity and corruption questions.
We are not surprised that the Bar. Oguine acted on Basil Offor’s instruction. This is because Offor who was suspended by the Governing Council of IMT and now facing various criminal charges in courts worked closely with his brother and kinsman Onyeneje as Administrative Assistant to the Rector (ASREC) to bankrupt IMT before Onyeneje’s indictment by Judicial Panel of Inquiry and summary removal from office by Enugu State Government. So, Offor is not only Prof.Onyeneje’s hatchetman but his partner in crime in liquidating IMT Enugu, before both of them were shown the way out of the institution in a disgraceful manner. Both are currently facing Criminal prosecution at the Federal High Court Enugu in Suit No: FHC/EN/CR/72/15 in the matter of Federal Republic of Nigeria Vs (1) Prof E. Onyeneje (2) Basil Offor (3) Dr Leonard Ugwu (4) Elder Fredrick Onah.
We had expected Basil Offor and his mouth piece, Barr. Oguike to speak or write on Onyeneje’s removal by Enugu State Government, content of his indictment by Judicial Panel of Inquiry and more importantly, the ongoing prosecution by ICPC. We had expected Basil Offor to state why Onyeneje is by any stretch of imagination qualified to be appointed a Rector again even when he is currently under prosecution for all manners of financial malfeasance committed in IMT.
Indeed, we are shocked by the watery response of the Bar. Oguine in his letter, which has exposed his emptiness and poor knowledge of the law, which he claimed to have studied and practicing. Instead of Bar. Oguine to address the fundamental, factual and obvious objections and moral issues we raised in our letter questioning the integrity and personality of Onyeneje for the new position as Rector of the Federal Polytechnic Ohodo, Bar. Oguine decided to engage in wild goose chase, play to gallery and resort to cheap blackmail.
It is quite unfortunate that apart from name calling and blackmail, the only infantile answer Bar. Oguine has against all the verifiable and factual moral questions raised against Prof.Onyeneje is that there is a extant and subsisting judgment of the Enugu State High Court of February 8, 2013 which among others ordered that no inquisition shall be conducted on the terms of reference of the Judicial Panel of Inquiry constituted by Enugu State Government on IMT Enugu until Enugu State Government publishes a white paper on the recommendations of the said Panel following the conclusion of its work.
Bar. Oguine should address these questions ……
1) How does the judgment of the Enugu State High Court of February 8, 2013 vitiate the fact that the content of the Judicial Panel of Inquiry into IMT is already in the public domain and available in all public libraries? Was Prof.Onyeneje not validly found culpable by Panel of Inquiry for dereliction of duty and financial impropriety, and summarily removed from office by Enugu State Government? If Prof.Onyeneje was not indicted, why was he removed from office as Rector before his tenure expired and was also denied his entitlements as former Rector by the Governing Council of IMT Enugu for being indicted and not completing his tenure?
2) Is Bar. Oguine not aware that the recommendations of the Panel of Inquiry which indicted Prof. Onyeneje and led to his immediate removal by Enugu State Government is a public document that cannot be wished away or dismiss by a wave of hand or legal gymnastics?
3) Is it not obvious that the so called judgment of Enugu State High Court of February 8, 2013 demanding for Government White Paper on the works of Judicial Panel of Inquiry on IMT Enugu that indicted Prof. Onyeneje is an afterthought and medicine after death?
4) Why was Bar. Oguine silent on the ongoing prosecution of Prof. Onyeneje by ICPC of which Federal High Court Enugu ruled that Prof. Onyeneje has a case to answer over management of the N1 bn IMT TETFUND? Is Bar. Oguine saying that Prof. Onyeneje and three others are not undergoing prosecution by the anti-graft agency?
We have it on good authority that Prof. Onyeneje used the proceed of the N1bn IMT TETFUND he mismanaged as Rector of IMT Enugu that led to his sudden ouster from office to buy the appointment as the Rector position of newly established Federal Polytechnic Ohodo, hoping to recoup it from the N2bn earmarked by Federal Government for commencement of the institution.
We are calling on the President Muhammadu Buhari and anti-graft to immediately commence investigation on the circumstances surrounding the choice of an indicted Prof. Onyeneje as Rector of the newly established Federal Polytechnic Ohodo, despite his incompetence, baggages and pending corruption charges on his neck.
We reiterate that Onyeneje was removed from office by Enugu State Government for incompetence and Financial Mismanagement, and is currently facing corruption case at the Federal High Court Enugu. Why the choice of such a character if not that the system is failing Nigerians so shockingly and brazenly too. Enugu State has qualified candidates, certainly not Onyeneje.
This is not in line with the anti-corruption mantra of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration. An indicted personality and a man with character deficit like Prof. Onyeneje is not someone to be trusted with public fund and office at this time, having not cleared himself of the indictment and corruption charges hanging on his neck.
1. Dr. Winifred Asogwa
2. Dr. Steve Udegbunam
3. Dr (Mrs) Veronica Ogbodo
4. Mr. ChukwumaUgwuagbo
5. Mr. OnyemaechiNnaji
1. Chief of Staff to the President
2. Governor, Enugu State
3. Honourable Minister of State, Federal Ministry of Education
4. The Chairman ICPC
5. Executive Secretary National Board for Technical Education
6. The National President ASUP