By Eko Bassey
Early this week, I read the spurious publication on purported allegations against Professor Florence Obi, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Calabar (UNICAL) and was somewhat bewildered at the attempt by the unknown author to paint a picture of alleged corrupt practice at the revered University of Calabar.
From all intents and purposes, the author of the article just attested to an aphorism of corruption trying to fight back, especially when the guilty are exposed and feel threatened.
However, It sounds ridiculous that the Vice Chancellor is being accused of circumstantial corruption at the time the former Dean of the Faculty of Law is undergoing trials on allegations of sexual abuse and administrative misbehaviour.
Coming out to allege that the Vice Chancellor gave employment to her biological daughter, who has not been coming to work, is an attempt to weep up public sentiment and divert attention from the University’s determination to restore sanity, and academic excellence and instil discipline in the institution of learning.
But one would ask: At what point did the Dean and those alleged behind the said publication know about this?
Why did the Dean of the Faculty of Law wait until he came under investigation before he suddenly realised that the Vice Chancellor’s daughter was not coming to work? Is there any evidence that the Dean queried or reprimanded the staff, who is in his faculty before his own travails ensued? Or is he and perhaps his associates crying wolf where none exists?
One also shudders at the allegations that the said lady allegedly bought a house in Abuja for N44m, giving the impression that the Vice Chancellor bought the said- house using her daughter as a cover.
Such an allegation should be taken with a pinch of salt considering the current rate of property in Abuja, especially in high-brow areas. Even modest houses in some villages cost more than N44m compared to that of Abuja.
For the avoidance of doubt, Queenette Bankpang Agbe, who I know very well, is a very learned lawyer who was in the Nigerian Law School between 2007-2008 after bagging an LLB from Madonna University.
After that, she left for the UK where she earned a certificate in professional Mediation, Reconciliation and Arbitration in 2009 before bagging an LLM (with specialization in Telecommunications and Maritime law) from the University of Hertfordshire in 2012. She worked in the UK before returning to Nigeria to join Afe Babalola and Co. as a Senior Associate.
She later joined Baze University as Lecturer II, before her appointment as Special Assistant Legal by Distinguished Senator John Owan Enoh. She later left to work as Company Secretary to MYSTROSE (an oil company). She is a principal partner and founder, QBA SOLICITORS. This Lady had been in and out of the country for almost two decades before her mother became Vice-Chancellor.
Therefore, giving the impression that it’s the university’s money stolen by her mother that is spent on her is a fallacy. Let it be on record that the Vice Chancellor’s children are all hardworking adults who can answer for themselves.
For instance, Joseph Nte Bisong, who they also accused of buying a garden in Abuja for N40m, is a Deputy Director at the Nigerian Universities Commission (NUC) and also runs a restaurant and bar in one of the gardens in Abuja.
As a Deputy Director and son of a Vice Chancellor, one would have thought he would simply sit back to enjoy the wealth his mother, the Vice Chancellor, is accused of accumulating but this young man is still on the streets struggling.
Rt. Hon. Hillary Bisong has been in government since Senator Liyel Imoke was governor. He worked as PA and later SA to Senator Imoke for 7 years before he left the government. He is a third-term member of the Cross River House of Assembly, who is still living in the Assembly quarters.
It may interest you to know that his colleagues, with no Prof. or Vice Chancellor mother, have property all over Calabar and are living in their own houses. So Hilary can only own a property as a cover-up for his Mother? Blatant lies from the pit of hell.
Thorough investigation should be done to unravel the true owner of the house opposite the Presbyterian church. Only then we would know that corruption is fighting back.
I’m very sure that no matter how many false accusations and all sorts of fairy tales are being spun out by traducers, Professor Florence Obi will remain resolute and undaunted in her resolve to reposition the University of Calabar.
Those who have corruption and disciplinary questions to answer in the University of Calabar should face their issues squarely without diverting the attention of the public and the VC.
Comrade Eko Bassey, a Public Commentator writes from Ikom, Cross River State.
CAVEAT: Views expressed in this are those of the writer, Eko Bassey, and not in any way related to CONVERSEER and or its Staff.