A lecturer with Nwafor Orizu College of Education, Nsugbe, Anambra East Local Government Area, Anambra State, Chinwe Valentiia Ohagba, has cried out to Governor Willie Obiano to come to her aid.
Ohagba who alleged that the Provost of the College, Dr (Mrs.) Ego Uzoezie terminated her appointment after journalists made inquiry into the arrears of salary she was being owed, also appealed to Obiano to urgently ensure that justice is done by reinstating her.
Addressing newsmen in Onitsha, the lecturer said she was the best graduating student of the college in 1990 and was promised a job by the College management any time she wanted.
In 2005, Ohagba said, she returned to the school after graduating as a lawyer and was offered a part time appointment, which was made full in 2006.
Since then she was working until September 2013, when she was issued a letter to proceed on suspension on half salary without any query, even though they stated in the letter that her suspension was based on her refusal to answer a query issued her on December 7, 2011.
But she went to the management with her own copy of the reply of the query signed by G.U. Okeke which they endorsed on Dec 9, 2011.
In spite of this glaring evidence they insisted that Ohagba should proceed on suspension, which she went from Sept 23, 2013 to February, 2015.
Consequently, the Anambra State Government set up a Visitation panel, which looked into her case and recommended her recall and payment of all arrears of salary owed her in the white paper of May 2015 report of the panel.
However, the Dr.Uzoezie, the Provost of the college jettisoned the White paper report and set up her own panel: Senior Staff Disciplinary Committee to investigate her case through a letter dated July 21, 2014.
After the Committee’s sitting and heard from her, it also recommended that she should be recalled and all her arrears paid to her, which now compelled the management to recall her via a letter dated February 2, 2015.
Ohagba said when she was on suspension under the former Provost, Dr Mrs. Clara Osuagwu, she was paid her half salary for 15 months but immediately Dr. Uzoezie, took over the first thing she did was to remove her name from the payroll after a letter she wrote to her to intervene in her case.
From February to November 2015 after her recall, she was not paid, hence she wrote requesting the payment of her salary, which has now accumulated to 25 months, but the Provost invited her to her office where she warned her never to ask for the arrears again.
“She threatened me that if I continued, she would sack me but I told her that I would ask for the money, because there is no reason for me to forfeit it.
From that day she started using her machineries, executive powers to fight me. She personally instructed my Head of Department, Mr. F.O. Okafor and my Dean, Mrs. Edna Obi to raise queries against me.
From January 2015 to September 2016 I had problem till date she generated 20 queries against me, which I have responded to,” said the lecturer.
She said based on those queries Dr. Uzoezie set up a committee headed by Dr. F. A. Chukwuemeka, to terminate her appointment. It sat without inviting her to hear her own side of the case and recommended that her appointment be determined.
Ohagba said Uzoezie submitted the report to the Council, alleging that before setting up the committee she had removed her name from payroll for the second time without suspension or termination letter since October 2016 till date.
Her name, according to her was also removed from all official assignments, saying all these she did before taking her name to the council.
The Council however set up a committee on the matter, headed by Prof. C.A. Umeobi, which recommended after sitting and heard from her that all her arrears of salaries including half and full should be paid in bulk within one month of council’s approval of the report.
The Provost was also directed to restore all her course and fully integrate her into the system with immediate effect, in addition to her appraisal for promotion from 2016 to date among other recommendations.
“The committee frowned at the discriminatory practices observed in the College and wishes to state that they negate the constitutional provision of section 42 subsections 1 of the 1999 Constitution,” Ohagba said.
Despite this report, she continued, Uzoezie refused to implement the report, rather wrote a rejoinder that she should be sacked based on her poor attitude to work, which was not what she initially accused her in the committee she set up, rather she accused her of “non-invigilation and failure to produce results”.
Ohagba called on Governor Obiano to intervene in her matter by directing Uzoezie to pay her all outstanding salary arrears, since she has allegedly intimidated the council from implementing all the reports directing her to recall and pay her all her arrears of salary, boasting that nothing would happen.
When contacted on her cell phone, Dr Uzoezie said if Ohagba claimed that she has been cleared her she should bring documents from the council to that effect, insisting that the matter was still with the council.
But Ohagba said Uzoezie was being economical with the truth as the council has finished the matter and it is not in her place to give her any paper from the council, since she has her own as the provost.
But Ohagba told newsmen that she was served with termination paper last Wednesday,December 13, 2017 after the inquiry about the matter with Dr. Uzoezie.
From Alphonsus Nweze, Awka