Abuja activist lawyer, Chief Amobi Nzelu who earned prominence in championing the cause of the Apo Six victims has blasted the Abia State University (ABSU) over the withdrawal of the certificate of former state governor, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu.
Nzelu in reaction to the development told Daily Sun that nothing could be more ignoble of a university than getting as low as ABSU did to announce that it was an appendage of the state government.
In his office in Abuja, Nzelu displayed a brief he had written and intended to send to the university as counsel to Kalu, but did not send it as he said a very senior person in the university told him there was no need.
He said the professor he contacted told him the university and the government had already made up their minds to revoke the certificate. But he questioned the rationale when the person accused and whose certificate was the issue was never invited to any panel sitting.
He insisted that there was no fair hearing in the decision, saying it was a matter of time before a court would quashed the verdict, he said, was most irrational.
“Beyond Kalu as an individual, the university has done terrible damage to its reputation by destroying the integrity for which an ivory tower should be known by allowing itself to be used cheaply by the state government.
“The university has unwittingly called to question its credibility and integrity. The implication and import of what it has done is making its entire system suspect. It is a big minus and it exposes all the certificates ever awarded by the university to question. If it admits that Kalu’s certificate was not properly awarded, it has by implication admitted also that it is an institution with a reputation for awarding frivolous certificates.
“Before it could validly invalidate any certificate should the need arise, the Senate that approved the certificate in question, the vice chancellor then and the graduand involved must be invited to testify. But in this case with the known political friction between Governor T. A. Orji and Kalu, the politics of the action is glaring and ABSU can’t recover from the shame it brought on itself.”
The activist could not understand why it took the university about 12 years to suddenly wake up to the fact that it awarded Kalu’s certificate in error. He said ABSU had exposed its graduates to a development where their certificates would not be trusted as genuine and also as university that was lacking in character.
He questioned the legal rationale for the action and said any institution that decided and overruled itself was lacking in tenacity. “If there was a reason to doubt Kalu’s certificate, the only competent body to certify it unfit and annulled should be a court because if a university awards a certificate and withdraws it later, it means its integrity is lacking.”
He described Governor Orji as a betrayer who cannot feign to exhibit “charity for a man who lifted him from a salary staff to chief of staff of the governor, a man you did obeisance to for eight years, the same man who lifted you from prison into the palace. That is the height of traitor status, even worse than what Judas did.
“Moreover, Orji was voted to lift the state and make some good life available to the electorate, and I can’t see how this callous act of the Judas helps that cause. What he did will forever haunt him and haunt his history even after death and leaving office.”
He said Orji took the politics of bitterness beyond the point and has invariably attracted so much sympathy to the man he had thought he was out to undo.
“Instead of undoing Kalu, Governor Orji has rather finished himself and whatever reputation he had in the past.”