UNIZIK VC Tussle: Court Strikes Out Case Over Lack Of Merit
By Nedum Noble
A National Industrial Court in Awka has dismissed a case brought before it by Prof. Greg Nwakobi challenging the appointment of Prof. Joseph Ahaneku as the Vice Chancellor of the Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka for lack of merit.
Nwakobi, a former deputy Vice-Chancellor (Administration) and one of the contenders in the 2014 Vice-Chancellorship race that saw the emergence of Ahaneku, had challenged the Governing Council of the institution over Ahaneku’s appointment.
Delivering the judgment, Justice J.I Targema, observed that most of the allegations leveled against the defendant by the plaintiff were unsubstantial and baseless, insisting that the Council totally complied with the provisions of the law in making the appointment.
He said the Council did not deviate from the provisions of the law that required selection and appointment of one person from the three persons recommended to it by the Joint Council and Senate Selection Board.
According to him, the three persons recommended by the Joint Council and Senate Selection Board were equal before the law, and therefore equal before the Council by virtue of the provisions of the Miscallanous Provisions ( Amendment) Act No1 of 2007.
“The casting of votes for determining the preferred candidate was proper as there was no consensus, voting being a universally acceptable democratic process of arriving at decisions. Voting was not used in the appointment of Prof Egboka because there was consensus.
“The claim that practice and convention should have been followed does not hold water as the law is always superior to practice and convention. Besides, there is even no convention or tradition as the claimed convention could not be proved.
“The claim of bribery and corruption could not be proved beyond reasonable doubt as he who asserts must prove. Moreover, the witnesses under cross-examination contradicted themselves,” he added.
Counsel to the defendant, Ogadimma Chukwuebuka, said they were happy with the judgment and expressed their readiness to meet the plaintiff if they appealled the judgment.
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