Abia University strips Orji Kalu of degree certificate

Former Abia Governor Uzor Orji Kalu

The Abia State University has just released a statement withdrawing the degree certificate it awarded to a former governor of the state, Uzor Orji Kalu.

In withdrawing the certificate, the university said the admission and graduation of the former governor violated its extant rules and regulations.

A statement by the registrar of the university, O. E. Onuoha, said the decision to strip Mr. Kalu of the certificate after an emergency meeting of the university senate which considered the recommendations of an investigative panel which considered allegations of breach of the school’s academic regulations by Mr. Kalu.

Mr. Onuoha said, “On the strength of the findings and recommendations of an investigative panel into allegations of breach of the extant Academic Regulations of Abia State University, in the admission process of the admission and graduation of Kalu, Orji Uzor in the discipline of Government and Public Administration, of matriculation number 00/42226, the Senate of Abia State University at its resumed 69th Extra-Ordinary meeting of Friday 1st March 2013 and by a vote of eighty-eight (88) against three (3) dissenting voices only, approved  the cancellation and withdrawal of the degree result and certificate awarded to him.

“The decision of Senate was based on the following grounds among others:

*The violation of the Academic Regulations of the university on Admission-by-Transfer, which rendered the offer irregular, ab initio.

*The non-completion of the mandatory six (6) semesters (i.e. three academic years of study), before he was awarded a degree of the university. He spent only two semesters in all.

“The university Senate maintained that its action, aforesaid, derived from the exercise of its onerous statutory responsibility to guard and maintain , at all times, the Academic Regulations of the University, its hard-earned reputation and the credibility of the certificates it awards.”

Mr. Kalu, who had dropped out of the University of Maiduguri, purportedly reenrolled at the Abia State University while he was governor of the state.

He was visitor to the university at the time and there were concerns at the time that Mr. Kalu was an absentee student.

Now, the university said the former governor’s admission and graduation made mockery of its academic rules and regulations.

Mr. Kalu could not be reached for comments Saturday night. Calls to his media consultant were neither answered nor returned.

However, some believe the withdrawal of Mr. Kalu’s certificate appears to be another chapter in the long-drawn standoff between the former governor and his successor, Theodore Orji.

Mr. Kalu had foisted Mr. Orji on the state in 2007, making sure the governor won election even while he was being detained by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

After Mr. Orji settled in office, he fell out with Mr. Kalu and quitted the Progressive Peoples Alliance, a political party created by Mr. Kalu to bring him to office.

Ever since, the two men have been at each other’s throats, with Mr. Orji opposing the plan by Mr. Kalu to return to the ruling Peoples Democratic Party.

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