UNIBEN faults Oshiomhole on disputed property
AUTHORITIES of the University of Benin yesterday faulted some claims made by Edo State Governor Adams Oshiomhole in a state broadcast on the disputed properties given to the university by the then governor of old Mid-West, Major General Samuel Ogbemudia.
The university however, expressed its readiness to find lasting solutions to the lingering dispute between the university and the state government over the 18 properties which the High Court in its ruling declared as properties of the state government, it however pointed out as untrue some of the allegations made by the governor in his recent broadcast in the state.
The state government embarked on demolition of the properties, insisting that it was their intension to recover the properties following the High Court ruling.
A statement by the Public Relations Officer of the University, Michael Osasuyi, the university said that “contrary to the Governor’s claim that the demolished staff buildings were allocated to retired and non UNIBEN staff, the University of Benin did not allocate any of the said apartments to a retired staff of the University as all occupants are serving staff of the institution. Records of allocations to this effect are verifiable.
“The allegation that Prof. O.G. Oshodin, the immediate past vice chancellor of the university does not live in any of the houses is completely untrue. The quarter, which the former vice chancellor lives, was allocated to him 34 years ago not as a vice chancellor. Although, he has completed his tenure as vice chancellor, he remains a staff of the university having not attained the mandatory retirement age.
“Prof. Oshodin lived in that building throughout his tenure as vice chancellor with his wife, who is also a deputy registrar in the university. He lived in the property till the State government demolished it. As a matter of fact Prof. O.G. Oshodin JP was present when the bulldozers rolled in for demolition of his official residence.
“The Governor’s claim that a non staff, an alleged vice chancellor of Delta State University lives in one of the buildings is not correct. The said Vice Chancellor, Prof. Asagba is a staff of the University of Benin, who is currently on leave of absence to Western Delta University, Oghara and not Delta State University as claimed by the Governor.
“The claim by the Governor that the rent is paid to a wrong authority is unfounded as University of Benin is the bonafide owner of the properties and are therefore entitled to the rents from the official occupants.
“The general public should note that the University of Benin remains committed to excellence in academics and scholarship. This noble institution will not subject herself to any external forces at the expense of the peace of the good people of Edo State in particular and Nigeria in general.
“The University of Benin prefers a civil approach in dealing with the current event and not to politicize the issues at stake. The University of Benin continues to remain open for the peaceful and quick resolution of these issues. This is in line with the Governor’s disposition as stated in the broadcast,” it stated.