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Kogi Varsity Removes Union Leader


THE Kogi State University (KSU), Students’ Union Government (SUG), crisis has come to a head with the impeachment of the president, Philip Omepa.

He was removed by the parliament for alleged funds misappropriation and destruction of the union property.

But, Philip is contending that his impeachment cannot hold because he has completed his tenure.

He claimed that the Vice-Chancellor (VC), Prof Mohammed Sanni Abdulkadir prevailed on him to remain in office until the election of a new president.

The SUG’s Public Relations Officer, Cosmos Ogiri, who has been feuding with Philip for allegedly collecting bribe from Governor Yahya Bello, resigned to avoid impeachment.

CAMPUSLIFE gathered that the parliament impeached Philip during an emergency sitting, where the allegations against him were considered.

It was gathered that Gabriel Okolo, member representing Animal Science Department, moved the motion for Philip’s impeachment.

The allegations against Philip include receiving the bribe from the government, embezzlement of funds for the construction of students’ centre, and refusal to appear before the committee investigating misappropriation of the N300,000 voted for national convention of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS).

Other allegations include embezzlement of stipends meant for members of the executive and judicial arms, destruction of union vehicle and embezzlement of money allocated for bus repair, deceit in the discharge of his duty as president and incompetency.

Conveying the parliament’s decision to the VC, Registrar, Dean of Students’ Affair, Chief Security Officer, and Nationla Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), the Speaker, Usman Attaja said it was in line with Article (3), and Article (3), (7) (4, Paragraph A) and Article (10) (1), Paragraph (a) of the SUG constitution.

The speaker urged Philip to return the union’s property in his possession and stop parading himself as president.

The Vice President, Anthony Edogbo was sworn in as Acting President. Anthony promised to correct wrongs of Philip’s tenure.

The Acting President said: “I apologise to all students for the way the affairs of the union were run by the Philip-led executive since the assumption of office. I want to assure our teeming students that efforts are being made to ensure that the institution is re-opened for academic activities.”

Reacting, Philip described the allegations as frivolous, accusing the speaker of an agenda to cause disaffection in the union. He said he was not given fair hearing by the committee set up to investigate him.

Philip described the government as the mastermind of his travail, saying the plot was to silence students while the school remains shut over teachers’ strike.

He said: “I see those who are calling the shot in the SUG as agents being used by government in its ploy to elongate the duration of the students’ stay at home. I have every reason to believe that they (parliament members) have been bought over.

“The government is using the recently constituted leadership of Kogi chapter of the Joint Campus Committee (JCC), a body that is supposed to oversee the activities of students from all campuses in the state, to weaken the students’ resolve to protest against the authorities over the continued closure of our campus.”

But, Usman, who also chairs  JCC described Philip as a “drowning man.” He denied the claims of being used by the government to destabilise the SUG. He said students were disenchanted with Philip’s leadership style.

The Governor’s Director-General of Media and Publicity Mr Kingsley Fanwo denied claims that government infiltrated the JCC. He described the allegation as a “tissue of lies”. He distanced government’s from what he described as “internal wrangling” of students, saying it would not be involved in such “trivial matter”.

The union has been embroiled in controversy, since its inauguration more than a year ago. There have been allegations and counter allegations of collusion with government to frustrate  the striking workers’ efforts to draw attention to their plight.

Former Dean of Students’ Affair Dr Usman Ogbo lampooned the students’ leaders for what he called their bad public conduct. He lamented that the union leaders were bickering over money, while academic activities have been grounded for more than three months.

Students, who spoke with CAMPUSLIFE, described Philip’s impeachment as welcome.

They said his tenure was marred by stories of failures.

Bridget David, a 300-Level Law student, said the impeachment was long overdue. She described Philip as a selfish president, adding that his leadership was corrupt and self-serving.

He said: “The cancellation of the April 1 protest remains fresh in our mind. Since that day, it was crystal clear to many of us that Philip is feeding fat on our plights.”

Other students said none of the two camps has their interest at heart.


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