Professorship: ‘I Will Obey Court’s Decision’, Pantami Reacts To ASUU Verdict

Isa Pantami

Nigeria’s minister of communications and digital economy, Isa Pantami, has hinted that he would obey the decision of the court on his appointment as a professor of Cybersecurity by the Federal University of Technology, Oweri.

Pantami said this while reacting to the rejection of his professorship by the Academic Staff Union of Universities.

ASUU had on Monday described Pantami’s professorship as “illegal”.

After ASUU’s declaration, FUTO reportedly sued ASUU.

When asked to react to ASUU’s verdict while addressing reporters after the Federal Executive Council meeting on Wednesday, the minister said, “On your second question, no comment. No comment, and no comment. That is my position. I’m here for an official assignment that focuses on my responsibility. So anything to deal with my ministry of communications and digital economy, I can be subjected to you and that is why I come here. I couldn’t go anywhere.

“What is most important is that the institutions you have mentioned are in court. As a government official, do you know what contempt of court is? You need to know. So because of this, I’m a law-abiding citizen.”

The PUNCH had reported tbat the Academic Staff Union of Universities faulted the promotion of Pantami as a professor.

The union after its National Executive Council meeting at the University of Lagos on Monday declared the promotion as “illegal”.

This was declared at a press conference addressed by the President of ASUU, Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke, on Monday.

He said, “You cannot be a minister and a lecturer in a university. It is an encouragement of illegality.

“Pantami has to quit as a minister and be tried for doing double jobs within the same federal system. He is not qualified. Pantami should not be treated as a professor.”

In September 2021, Pantami, alongside seven academics were elevated by the council of the Federal University of Technology, Owerri to the position of professorship at the council’s 186th meeting.

The minister’s elevation is generating controversy, with many faulting FUTO on the promotion of the minister, who was not teaching in the university and whose highest academic attainment was reportedly a lecturer before he ventured into politics.

Punch

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