Former Abia State governor and eminent businessman, Dr Orji Uzor Kalu, has floored Abia State University, Uturu and its Senate, at the High Court Isuikwuato Judicial Division of Abia State in a matter relating to allegations of fraud and breach of admission regulations concerning graduation and subsequent withdrawal of his degree.
The former governor, who was claimant in a suit dragged Abia State University and Senate of the institution, named first and second defendants to court, on May 25, 2013, to challenge the cancellation and whithdrawal of his degree by the institution, without giving him an opportunity to defend himself against some grave allegations against him.
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Kalu, through his counsel, C. A. Obianwu, prayed the court for declaration that the report of the Ad hoc Senate Investigation Panel on Allegations of Fraud and Breach of Regulations concerning his admission and graduation and the decision of the Senate of the Abia State University of March, 1, 2013, which cancelled and withdrew his degree, without affording him any opportunity to defend himself, amounts to a breach of his right to fair hearing, guaranteed in the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, (as amended).
He prayed for an order of court quashing the proceedings, decisions, findings and or report of Abia State University Senate’s ad hoc Senate probe panel, for breach of his right to fair hearing, which is guaranteed in the 1999 constitution.
He also prayed an order of the court to quash the March 1, 2013 decision of the Senate of the university, for breach of his right to fair hearing, as guaranteed in the constitution and an order of the court directing and or mandating the Senate of the institution to restore his degree and certificate .
In the judgement delivered on Wednesday by Justice Agwu Umah Kalu, he granted the former governor all his prayers and ordered the university and Senate “to immediately restore the degree result and certificate” of the former governor.
The court noted that the actions of the first and second defendants, in not giving Kalu opportunity to defend himself, amounts “to a breach of Kalu’s right to fair hearing guaranteed under the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended),” and ordered them to pay Kalu N100,000, as costs for the suit.
Justice Umah Kalu said in the judgement: “The court holds that the suit of the claimant is meritorious and grants all the relief sought by the claimant.
“The court proceeds to declare that the report of the Ad hoc Senate Investigation Panel on allegations of Fraud and Breach of Regulations concerning the admission and graduation of the claimant (Kalu, Orji U. 00/42226-GDP) and the decision of the Senate of the Abia State University of 1st March, 2013, which cancelled and withdrew the degree result of the claimant (Kalu Orji U. 00/42226-GDP), without affording the claimant an opportunity to defend the grave allegations against him, amounted to a breach of the claimant’s right to a fair hearing, guaranteed under the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended).