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Lawyer contests petition against former IMT Rector

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An Enugu-based lawyer, Benedict Oguine, has contested the petition by some concerned stakeholders from Enugu North Senatorial against the former Rector of the Institute of Management and Technology (IMT), Enugu, Prof Edwin Onyeneje.

The petitioners had asked for replacement of Onyeneje as the polytechnic’s pioneer rector, saying he is not fit for the job
In their petition dated April 12, 2021 and signed by Winifred Asogwa, Steve Udegbunam, Mrs. Veronica Ogbodo, Chukwuma Ugwuagbo and Onyemaechi Nnaji, they alleged that Onyeneje was dismissed from office as rector of IMT after being found wanting of maladministration by a Judicial Commission of Inquiry set up by Enugu State government and has been under prosecution by the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related Commission since then.

But, in a letter to the Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, Oguine urged him to ignore purported petitions against the posting of, Prof Edwin Onyeneje to the newly established Ohodo Federal Polytechnic, Igboetiti, Enugu State.

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He stated that there is no documentary evidence in public view anywhere in the state that indicted Onyeneje of wrongdoing during his five years tenure at the IMT, Enugu, contrary to the claims of the petitioners.

Dismissing the petition as “untrue and lacking sufficient evidence,” Oguine, said Onyeneje ran a successful tenure that lasted for five years at the institution, adding that the petition was borne out of ethnic sentiments.

On account of the judicial panel of Inquiry being referred to by the petitioners, he stated that the Enugu State High Court of February 8 2013, had ordered that “no inquisition shall be conducted on the terms of reference of the judicial panel of inquiry constituted by the state government until it publishes a white paper on the recommendations of the said panel following the conclusion of its work.”

Wondering where the petitioners got their information, he stated that till date, there had not been any documentary evidence in public view to suggest that the panel had concluded its assignment and the state government published a white paper on the administration of Onyeneje at the IMT, Enugu.

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Meanwhile, some staff of the IMT, Enugu, led by Mr. Basil Offor, a chief lecturer, had also dismissed the petition against Onyeneje as “politically motivated” and being driven by ethnic bias and urged the minister to ignore it.

Wondering why the petition was coming more than 11 years after Onyeneje left the IMT, they insisted that the former IMT boss was responsible for the lifeline the IMT was enjoying crrently, stressing that he is being persecuted because he is not from Enugu North Senatorial zone where the school is sited.

They added that since leaving the IMT after a meritorious service, Onyeneje had served in one of the prestigious universities in the southeast as Deputy Vice Chancellor and has held other positions of honour in the school.

The group attached a list of projects, executed in IMT during the five-year tenure of Onyeneje and which they claimed was submitted by the school’s management to the Judicial panel, stressing that “this document is a declaration by IMT Enugu itself that all the items alleged not to have been procured for the 2009 accreditation of programme were indeed 100 per cent procured.”

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