How Ikpeazu Orchestrated My Rustication From ABSU For Joining Labour Party – Abia Lawmaker
In what many would see as a Pandora’s box of political witch-hunt, a member of the Abia State House of Assembly representing Isiala Ngwa North Constituency, has explained the reasons why the Abia State University rusticated him for one academic year.
In a letter dated June 1, signed by the Registrar of the university, Acho Elendu, and addressed to Ginger Onwusibe, the university informed him that based on the recommendations of an investigative panel, which found that he engaged two persons to write examinations for him in three Law courses, he had been rusticated for one academic session.
Onwusibe, who is now in his fourth year as an undergraduate Law student of the university, was allegedly found guilty of the offence said to have been committed in the 2018/2019 academic year.
Justifying his rustication, the Registrar wrote, “In consideration of the findings and recommendations of the Report of the Investigative Panel on the alleged examination misconduct by you, Mr.Onwusibe, Ginger Obinna, having been aided by Opara, Chidera Hackney and Chigozie, Anthony Ugonna during the 2018/2019 academic session, Management noted as follows:
“That Opara, Chidera Hackney admitted impersonating you, Onwusibe, Ginger Obinna on mutual agreement, in the first semester and second semester, 2018/2019 examinations in the following courses: : Law 211- Family Law, Law 225- Legal System and Law 217- Constitutional Law.
“That having established the fact that the answer booklets in the above examination papers which were in your name but in the handwriting of Opara, Chidera Hackney, you were found guilty of examination misconduct.”
But in a press release on Monday, Onwusibe weaved a convincing tale that portrayed him as a victim of a his principles and for daring to leave the ruling Peoples Democratic Party to join Peter Obi in the Labour Party, despite entreaties made to him.
Onwusibe had defected to the Labour Party after Governor Ikpeazu reportedly denied him the PDP ticket to contest for the House of Representatives seat for Isiala Ngwa North/South Federal Constituency and gave it to his former Chief of Staff, Professor Anthony Chidi Agbazuere.
Onwusibe has come under pressure to return to the PDP as he is considered a huge threat in the constituency due to his popularity.
In his press statement, Onwusibe gave a detailed account of how his opposition to hike in the school fees charged by the university had set him on a collision course with the former Vice-Chancellor of the university, Prof. Eleazar Uche Ikonne, who is now the Ikpeazu- anointed Abia governorship candidate of the PDP.
But it was his defection to the Labour Party that finally nailed the coffin made for him. He said for a man who holds a bachelor’s degree and a Masters’s degree from the same unity, the allegations against him were “laughable.”
He said, “The said letter of Rustication stated that Oparah Chidera Hackney admitted impersonating me on mutual agreement in the following courses in the first and second semesters of 2018/2019: Law 211 – Family Law, Law 225 – Legal System and Law 217 – Constitutional Law. I must say that this is laughable; one person kept impersonating me in three different courses in two different semesters and yet these were courses that I have passed in past examinations.
“I wrote all these courses by myself. The only problem I had was in Law 217 – Constitutional Law because I was absent. I re-registered the course in my third year, took the examination and passed. The records are there.
“ a student who was caught in exam malpractice and who had been indicted still be allowed to keep being a student, re-registering the course and passed same (for which he has now been purportedly indicted and rusticated) be allowed to move from the said second-year then through to final year now? Is this not the academic mockery and joke of the century?
“Is it also possible that my so-called impersonator, the said Oparah Chidera Hackney who was allegedly caught red-handed and was alleged to have committed the offence of impersonation was not handed over to the police, was not arraigned in Court and not even rusticated by the acclaimed reputed University authorities?
“How come that I was actually involved in exam malpractice (the most serious offence in the academic world, universally) and my rustication is taking place three good years after the said incident? There is more to it than meets the eyes. Let nobody be deceived! “
Explaining the real reasons behind the attempt to tarnish his image, he said, “My ordeal began barely one week after I moved a motion on the floor of the Abia State House of Assembly condemning the arbitrary, unnecessary and unprecedented high increase in the school fees of our revered state-owned University and my dear alma mater and school, Abia State University, Uturu. While moving the motion, I drew the attention of the House in details on how the fees were sharply increased up to 150% and that this will work extreme hardship on our poor parents. Of course, after my motion, the House of Assembly summoned the then Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Ikonne to appear before it. “
He said attempts to cow him at the time using the same allegation failed, but his defection to the Labour Party is now seen as a bigger threat to Ikpeazu’s political hegemony.
He said, “Let me fast-forward this story to 2022 and in this party primaries’ era. I was a member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). I paid for and picked Expression of Interest and Nomination Forms for the Federal House of Representatives and had begun consultation with party stakeholders. The Governor, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu prevailed on me to go back to the State House of Assembly because, according to him, since his anointed candidate is from our Isiala Ngwa North, that to him it would be proper that the Federal House goes to Isiala Ngwa South.
“ I obeyed him and jettisoned the forms I had bought for the Federal House of Representatives and went ahead, paid again and picked a new Expression of Interest and Nomination Forms for the State House of Assembly.
“Subsequently, I left the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the Labour Party to contest primaries for member of Federal House of Representatives because of the undemocratic practice(s) perpetrated by the PDP during the ad-hoc delegates’ elections and the subsequent party primaries elections. The PDP had instead of conducting ad-hoc delegates’ elections through voting at the ward levels as required by the party’s constitution, allowed the Governor to handpick his own choice of people. I had to leave as did scores of other aspirants and members of the Party.
“My defection from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has not gone down well with Governor Okezie Ikpeazu and other aspirants from Isiala Ngwa North origin, particularly Prof. Ikonne and ACB Agbazuere (my opponent in the upcoming House of Representative election). The PDP made several attempts to bring me back to the party through the Governor of Abia State, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu, the State party Chairman, Rt. Hon. Asiforo Okere, Prof. Eleazar Uche Ikonne (the PDP gubernatorial candidate and Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu’s political godson and anointed candidate) among others who have put calls across to me either directly or through their cronies and agents but I rejected the pleas.”