- The authority of Kogi State University (KSU) Anyigba, has cleared Professor Stephen Ikani Ocheni
- KSU declared that the professorial appointment of the Kogi ministerial nominee followed due process
- They called on the general public to disregard publication making the round about the Ocheni's academic qualifications
The authority of KSU Anyigba has cleared President Muhammadu Buhari's ministerial nominee, Professor Ocheni from Kogi of any wrongdoings academically.
According to the University, the procedure used in appointing Professor Ocheni was the same as that used in appointing other professors in the University.
A statement signed by the registrar/secretary of council, Dr Yunusa Abubakar, and seen by NAIJ.com on Tuesday, May 2 said that between 19 and 21 May, 2014, the KSU Appointments and Promotions Committee recommended the appointment of the then Dr Ocheni as a professor.
The statement read in part: "K.S.U has always recruited from time to time to meet its accreditation requirements. In its bid to meet one of such requirements, the Vice Chancellor received an application from the then Dr. S.I. Ocheni for appointment as a professor.
"In line with the due process procedure, the application was minuted to the Dean of Management Sciences in the Faculty of Management Sciences for comments. The Dean positively recommended the application.
"The Vice Chancellor constituted a prima facie panel comprising the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Admin), Professor Z. Apata as chairman, three other professors, representative of the registrar and establishments officer, who served as secretary.
''The panel interviewed Dr Ocheni to the position of Professor and Dr. H Iwarere as reader. The interview was conducted on September 26, 2013. Dr Ocheni scored a total of 72.5 and was found appointable as a professor subject to positive external assessment of his scholarly publications.
"In the interim he was appointed as a senior lecturer on CONUAS 5/13. He accepted the offer and assumed duties on October 15, 2013. His publications were sent to three external assessors (out of the six submitted by the faculty) in three different Universities all of whom are chartered accountants. All the assessors returned positive verdicts on Professor S.I. Ocheni.
"The governing council during its 37th regular meeting held on May 22, 2014 considered and approved the appointment of the then Dr. S.I. Ocheni as a professor.
"As an institution that is grounded in due process, when the University Management received a petition from ASUU alleging that Professor Ocheni does not possess a PhD degree the then Vice Chancellor, Professor Hassan Isah, immediately directed the verification of the certificate.
''The secretary of the School of Postgraduate Studies, University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN) confirmed in her letter dated February 12, 2015 that he obtained PhD in Public Administration (with specialization in Financial Management) from their Institution in March 2004.
"On insinuation that he was given a tenured appointment when he was already above fifty years of age, we wish to affirm that by a letter dated November 26, 2013 his services was transferred from the Federal Civil Service Commission to Kogi State University, which was accepted."
The KSU authority, however, stated that It's providing explanation so that public can be properly guided.
"We also wish to assure our alumni, students and their parents that their confidence should remain unshaken as we would never do anything that will lower our standard. To us in Kogi State University due process has always been the hallmark of our administration in all circumstances," the statement concluded.
Recently, a researcher, Mohammed Usman wrote on the sterling qualities of Professor Ikani, adding that efforts to rubbish his name by disgrunteld elements will meet a brickwall.