By Emenike Vincent Onyembi
One thousand, two hundred and twenty seven University of Port Harcourt’s graduates petitions Prof. Ndowa Lale, Uniport’s Vice Chancellor to the National Assembly through Hon. Engr. Solomon Sloddy Adaelu, member representing Obingwa, Osisioma and Ugwunagbo Federal Constituency for withholding their Degree Certificates and refusing to mobilize them for the compulsory National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) because they paid their final year school fees late even after a Federal High Court sitting in Rivers State had ordered the Vice Chancellor to issue the students their various Certificates and mobilize them for the compulsory National Youth Service Corps.
The petition was today Thursday, the 18th of July, 2019 presented and submitted to the House of Representatives by Hon. Engr. Solomon Adaelu during the House plenary session.
In the letter addressed to the Speaker, Federal House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajiabimila through Hon. Engr. Solomon Adaelu, the students unambiguously stated that they were duly admitted to the University of Port Harcourt into their various departments, passed through successive levels, paid fees, wrote and passed all the examinations prescribed. The Senate approved them for graduation, had their names published on the 31st Convocation Brochure of the University.
When it was time for clearance and offset of fees, the University Bursar informed them that there was a directive from the Vice Chancellor that students who failed to pay their fees before the 4th day of October, 2016 should not be graduated. That they should repeat the final year, notwithstanding the fact that they have all passed their final year examinations.
The students then unianimously challenged the decision of the University at the Federal High Court in Port Harcourt. Before challenging the matter at the court, the students had succumbed to the school demand, repeated their final year despite having passed it earlier. They were coreced to pay another school fees for 2015/2016 academic session.
Despite repeating their final year passed class of 2015/2016 Academic session in 2016/2017 and 2017/2018 session paying another round of fees, the school has yet refused to graduate, issue them their certificates and mobilize them for the compulsory National Youth Service Corps (NYSC).
The Federal High Court Port Harcourt found them, gave them judgement, ordered the school to graduate them, mobilize them for the compulsory National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) and refund them the school fees illegally collected from them in 2016/2017 and 2017/2018academic session.
The University refused to comply, rather approached the Court of Appeal. The students feel depressed, frustrated by the appeal filled by the University with the ultimate aim of keeping them stranded and of course helpless. The students have before written to the Governing Council of the University to intervene but no response from them.
This year marks it three (3) years of their graduation without certificate, without Job. This quite frustrating and wickedness in high places by the University of Port Harcourt management.