A human rights group, Prison Inmate Development Initiative (PIDI-Nigeria) has submitted a petition to the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, regarding the dismissal of a professor at Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University (ATBU), Bauchi, Dr. Idris Isyaku Abdullahi .
The group said in the petition, signed by Olayele Gbenga Awujoola, on behalf of the Executive Director of PIDI-Nigeria, that it received a complaint in June 2020 regarding the dismissal of the professor, who until his dismissal was a member of the University staff. in the Department of Accounting and Finance of the university.
According to the rights group, Dr. Abdullahi was arbitrarily fired by university authorities for denouncing a blunt practice perpetrated by the institution in awarding three different Bachelor of Technology degrees to a particular person in the same discipline.
“The aforementioned whistleblower was dismissed by the A.T.B.U, Bauchi on April 27, 2018 for alleged defamation of character, smear campaign / false accusation against the university in an open letter to the president that was published in a national newspaper in 2017.
“The facts of its publication are based on the fact that the institution awarded 3 different bachelor’s degrees in the same discipline to a Mustapha Isah who still has a pending case of negligence in the exams against him by the University.
“In fact, the publication became necessary after the complainant exhausted all internal mechanisms for the university to do the right thing,” the petition says.
PIDI-Nigeria alleged that following the exposure of the malpractice, Mustapha Isah initiated a lawsuit against Dr. Abdullahi, which was later dismissed by the court.
“It may interest you to know that said Mustapha Isah sued the Whistle Blower for the publication, but the claim was dismissed in favor of the Whistle Blower due to said Mustapha’s inability to establish (sic) his claim in court.”
The rights group criticized Dr. Abdullahi’s disengagement from the university service, adding that the ATBU leadership did not invite him in the course of its investigation to listen to him before taking any action against him.
He accused the University leadership of deciding to sweep under the rug the issue of negligence in examinations, which, according to the petitioner, is an act capable of sabotaging President Muhammadu Buhari’s war on corruption.
According to the petition, the ATBU administration is sabotaging the war against bad exam practices, adding that the institution is using selective justice to deal with students caught in the act.
He also indicated that the fact that the institution has supported and endorsed the granting of three different degrees in the same discipline to the aforementioned Mustapha Isah, is an open invitation capable of encouraging crime and tarnishing the image of the educational system of nations.
PIDI-Nigeria also noted in the petition that the alleged crimes for which Dr. Abdullahi was dismissed were not included in the terms of reference of the committee that investigated the matter.
Therefore, he gave the institution’s management a seven-day ultimatum to reinstate Dr. Abdullahi to a position equal to his colleagues who were at the same level as him prior to his dismissal or facing a legal battle.