By Godwin Anene

An aggrieved Professor, Andrew Efemini, of the University of Port Harcourt (Uniport) has sued the varsity, its Vice Chancellor, Prof Ndowa Lale and nine others over his alleged unlawful suspension.

Prof Efemini is also challenging what he described as the unilateral reduction of tenure of Senate members in the Uniport Governing Council.

In the suit marked: FHC/PHC/FHR/2019, filed before the Federal High Court Holding in Port Harcourt, Rivers state, through O C Higher King Chambers, the applicant seeks the court to determine “Whether the 2nd Defendant (VC) has power and is competent under Sections 5, 6, 7, 8, 14 and 16 of the Uniport Act (UPA) CAP U30 Laws of the Federation Of Nigeria (LFN) 2004 to suspend the Plaintiff contrary to Section 16 (1) UPA CAP. U13 LFN 2004.

“Whether the 2nd Defendant’s arbitral letter of suspension dated 28th August, 2017 with reference No. UPH/REG/218 and signed by the 3rd Defendant to the Plaintiff before referring the matter to the Uniport Governing Council (UPGC) which queries the Plaintiff through a memorandum dated the 13th November, 2017 with reference No. UPH/REG/E.151 and without any hearing from Plaintiff is not a violation of Section 36 of the 1999 Constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria (CFRN) as Modified. 

“Whether under provisions of Section 16 (1) of UPA CAP. U13 LFN 2004, the 2nd Defendant can unilaterally set up any Panels/Committees especially the one presently headed by the 4th Defendant – PROFESSOR IBIBIA WORIKA to investigate any Academic, Administrative and or Professional staff without prior approval of the such Panels/Committees by the University of Port Harcourt Governing Council (UPGC) or usurp the powers of the UPGC in the administration of the 1st Defendant.


“Whether the 2nd Defendant under Article 1 (3) of the 3rd Schedule of the University of Port Harcourt Statute No.1 has power to unilaterally reduce the tenure of members representing the Senate in the University of Port Harcourt Governing Council (UPGC) from 4 years to 2 years or any reduction at all.”

Among others reliefs, the Applicant seeks the court’s “Declaration that by the combined effects of the 5th Schedule and 7th Schedule of the 1999 Constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria (CFRN) as Modified as to code of Conduct of public officers, Oath of allegiance and Oath of office under the 1999 Constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria (CFRN) as Modified, the 2nd defendant has no power to unilaterally suspend the Plaintiff as stated in the suspension letter dated 28th August, 2017 with reference no. UPH/REG/218 and signed by the 3rd Defendant.

 “A declaration that the 2nd Defendant under Article 1 (3) of the 3rd Schedule of the University of Port Harcourt Statute No.1 has no power whosoever to unilaterally reduce the tenure of members representing the Senate in the University of Port Harcourt Governing Council (UPGC) from 4 years to 2 or any reduction at all.”

Plaintiff further similarly asked for perpetual injunction restraining the defendants from setting up any Panel/Committee or carrying into effect the decision, recommendation and directives contained in any report of any investigation Panel/Committee and or acting upon it in any way or manner detrimental to the Plaintiff and for Uniport and it’s VC to pay N100Million aggravated damages.                 

Leave a Reply