The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has announced the formation of a committee to investigate the circumstances surrounding the Federal University of Technology Owerri’s appointment of the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy as a Professor of Cyber Security (FUTO).
According to Channels Television, Professor Emmanuel Osodeke, the President of ASUU, announced this on Monday while briefing journalists in Abuja, the nation’s capital.
He pointed out that FUTO’s dubious hiring of Pantami came after ads in some national dailies on September 2, 2020, prompting Pantami to ostensibly apply for the position, which he was then handed.
According to him, the Minister allegedly skipped three positions requiring at least three years of experience: Senior Lecturer, Associate Professor, and Professor.
According to facts at his disposal, the Minister resigned from the Abubakar Tafewa Balewa University in Bauchi in 2015 and transferred to a university in Saudi Arabia as an Assistant Professor, which is comparable to an Assistant Lecturer in Nigeria.
Pantami left academia in 2016 to become the Director-General of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), according to Osodeke.
“There are serious doubt and unanswered questions bordering on the qualification of Dr. Isa Pantami for the position,” he said.
“The attention of ASUU has been drawn to the controversy generated by the recent appointment of Dr. Isa Pantami, the current Minister of Communications and Digital Economy as a Professor of Cyber Security by the Federal University of Technology Owerri,” he said.
“From 2013 to 2016 when he ceased to be an academic is just three years which means if Futo said he is right, it means the man moved from becoming Lecturer 1 to becoming a Professor within three years which is against all rules.
“In view of the foregoing and having rejected FUTO Committee’s report, NEC set up an independent committee to go to FUTO to investigate fully and get all the data so that we can put it to the public, the role of FUTO on how this person who spent three years during Lecturer 1 and Professor, how did he become a professor.”
The ASUU President assured Nigerians that the outcome of the probe would be made public.