An Appellate court sitting in Owerri has upheld the withdrawal of the bachelor’s degree awarded to former Governor of Abia State Orji Uzor Kalu by the Abia State University.
Delivering judgement, Justice Oludotun Adefope-Okojie said Kalu ought to have exhausted all the remedies available to him before approaching the court to challenge the decision of the senate of Abia state university.
Abia State University, through its registrar, on March 2, 2013, withdrew the certificate awarded to Orji Uzo kalu for violating university’s admission and graduation extant rules and regulations.
The university, had in a statement by the then registrar of the university, O. E. Onuoha, said the decision to strip Mr. Kalu of the certificate was after an emergency meeting of the university senate which considered the recommendations of an investigative panel that considered allegations of breach of the school’s academic regulations.
Onuoha had said, “On the strength of the findings and recommendations of an investigative panel into allegations of breach of the extant Academic Regulations of Abia State University, in the admission process of the admission and graduation of Kalu, Orji Uzor in the discipline of Government and Public Administration, of matriculation number 00/42226, the Senate of Abia State University at its resumed 69th Extra-Ordinary meeting of Friday 1st March 2013 and by a vote of eighty-eight (88) against three (3) dissenting voices only, approved the cancellation and withdrawal of the degree result and certificate awarded to him.
“The decision of Senate was based on the following grounds among others:
“The violation of the Academic Regulations of the university on Admission-by-Transfer, which rendered the offer irregular, ab initio.
“The non-completion of the mandatory six (6) semesters (i.e. three academic years of study), before he was awarded a degree of the university. He spent only two semesters in all.
“The university Senate maintained that its action, aforesaid, derived from the exercise of its onerous statutory responsibility to guard and maintain, at all times, the Academic Regulations of the University, its hard-earned reputation and the credibility of the certificates it awards.”
Kalu, had purportedly enrolled at the Abia State University while he was governor of the state. He was also a visitor to the university at the time and there were concerns at the time that Mr. Kalu was an absentee student.
The former governor later approached a state high court in Isikuato in Abia State to challenge the allegations and the subsequent withdrawal of his degree by the university.
The appeal court’s decision on Tuesday was on the grounds that the state high court in Isikwuato lacked jurisdiction over the matter