The authorities of the Lagos State University, Ojo, have said that the withdrawal of 18 PhD certificates from some of their graduates is not for witch-hunt.
The Vice-Chancellor of the university, Prof. John Obafunwa, stated this while speaking to journalists in Lagos.
He spoke against the backdrop of the Academic Staff Union of Universities’ claim that the certificate withdrawal was to embarrass the LASU-ASUU Chairman, Dr. Adekunle Idris.
The ASUU Lagos Zonal Chairman, Dr. Nasir Adesola, had accused the VC of orchestrating the withdrawal following Idris’ role in the call for the reversal of tuition in the school.
Before the tuition reversal to N25,000, the typical undergraduate student of the institution paid between N150,000, and N350,000 depending on his course of study.
But dismissing the ASUU allegation, Obafunwa said his leadership was only interested in cleansing the rot in the university.
According to him, before he became the VC in 2011, the university had so many anomalies bordering on certificate, transcript and admission problems, as well as record keeping, staffing, infrastructure and external system, among other challenges.
He said, “The claim by ASUU and Idris is not correct. The allegation is not true. The issue is that somebody had been complaining, unknown to many of us, that the PhD she obtained was not what she applied for. She obtained a PhD in Business Administration (Marketing), whereas she applied for a PhD in International Business. That is what brought about the certificate review/screening.
“I recall that in one of the Senate meetings, someone said that we should overlook these things because it would put LASU in bad light, but others said no. We should be bold enough to admit that certain things went wrong within the system and deal with such.
“The leadership of the university is fighting a genuine cause. It is not targeting or seeking to victimise any individual. As we speak, a committee has been set up to look into the issue and its members have two weeks to do what they have to do.
“I can assure you that when we identify anything, this vice-chancellor will be bold enough to make it public. On Idris particularly, I do not want to say much. When we get to the court, certain things will be revealed there.”
Obafunwa further said that his administration had not only been transforming the university but also blocking a lot of waste in the system.
For instance, he noted that apart from infrastructural development, many old graduates had obtained their certificates just as students now get their examination results within three weeks.
He said, “One of the first things we had to do was to restructure our registration process, starting from the departments and faculties, so that the heads of departments will have an idea of how many students they have and know the number to prepare for during examination.”