The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has cleared the management of the Federal University of Technology (FUTO) of any wrongdoing in appointing the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Ali Pantami as a Professor of cybersecurity.
A probe panel was set up by the FUTO chapter of ASUU in September 2021 following the controversy that followed the announcement of Pantami as a professor by the institution.
Naija News recalls Pantami’s appointment as professor in FUTO has been mired in controversy with some Nigerians faulting FUTO on the reported promotion of a minister, who has never been on the teaching roaster of the university and whose highest academic attainment was just a lecturer before he ventured into politics.
But FUTO in the heat of the controversy claimed that it did not promote the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ali Pantami, to a professorial position, but only “appointed” him a Professor, considering that the minister was already a Reader.
The five-man panel of ASUU has now agreed with FUTO that Pantami’s appointment followed due process.
The agreement was said to have been part of the report submitted by the panel made up of Professors M. S. Nwakaudu (chairman), G.A. Anyanwu, C. E. Orji, O.P. Onyewuchi, and T. I. N. Ezejiofor.
Before reaching its conclusion, the panel said it interacted with relevant stakeholders including the University Registrar and the immediate past Chairman, Committee of Deans.
It added that FUTO duly advertised the vacancies for the positions of Professor, Reader, Senior Lecturer, and Lecturer in two newspapers on September 21, 2020, and September 22, 2020, respectively based on which the Minister applied and got the position after following the required processes.
It added that those crying foul in the Pantami issue are only out to drag FUTO’s name in the mud, urging the institution to take legal action against them.
The panel’s report said to have been seen on Sunday by a Punch correspondent reads in part: “Dr. Isa Ibrahim responded and applied for the post of Professor of Cybersecurity. He was given a temporary appointment as Professor of Cybersecurity in the Cybersecurity Department, for which he accepted in writing.
“The prima facie case for Dr. Isa Ibrahim was presented to the Academic Staff Appraisal and Promotion Committee- Professorial (ASAPC-Professorial) meeting held on 17th March, 2021. The Committee discussed the issue and recommended same for approval by the FUTO Council. The Council at its meeting held on the 18th of March, 2021 approved the prima facie case for Dr. Isa Ibrahim to be appointed a Professor of Cybersecurity.
“Following the approval of the prima facie case, Dr. Isa Ibrahim’s publications and productive works were sent for external assessment. The external assessment returned positive and the Council at its meeting of 20th August 2021 approved his appointment as a Professor of Cybersecurity. He was given a tenure appointment as a Professor of Cybersecurity following his appointment by the FUTO Governing Council.
“The panel strongly recommends that the university management should as a matter of urgency take appropriate actions, including legal action, against those who deliberately try to drag the image and reputation of FUTO to the mud.”