The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has declared Minister of Communications and Digital Economy Dr. Isa Ibrahim Pantami is going through all necessary procedures before being appointed a Professor of Cybersecurity in the School of Information and Communication Technology (SICT) by the Federal University of Technology Owerri (FUTO).
According to the local chapter of ASUU, Pantami’s application scaled six hurdles before his appointment by the institution’s Governing Council.
Besides, the body said external assessors were engaged to examine the minister’s publications as criteria for getting appointed.
These were the highlights of a report by a five-man panel of the FUTO chapter of ASUU.
The panel was set up by the union to look into the veracity or otherwise of the controversies that greeted Pantami’s appointment as a Professor of Cybersecurity by the institution.
The investigation, it was gathered, was commissioned by the local ASUU congress at a session held September 22nd, 2021.
The panel comprised Engr. Prof. M. S. Nwakaudu (Chairman); Prof. G.A. Anyanwu; Prof. C. E. Orji; Prof. Mrs. O.P. Onyewuchi; and Prof. T. I. N. Ezejiofor (Member/Secretary).
At the end of its assignment, the panel declared Pantami’s appointment was not one done via shoddy processes.
The panel listed the procedures adopted to include; copies of advertisement for Academic and Academic Support Staff Vacancies in FUTO for the positions of Professor, Reader, Senior Lecturer, etc in some national newspapers, Monday, September 21, 2020 and Tuesday, September 22, 2020, Federal Universities of Technology Act, CAP F23 (Section 11, 1-6, and Section 18, 1-2); Students’ Handbook of the Cyber security Department and Guidelines for the appointment and Promotion of Academic Staff for 2020/2021 Appraisal Year.
The report said: “FUTO in her quest to be counted in the modem trends in the fields of science, engineering, technology, etc, decided to establish new programmes such as Forensic Science, Software Engineering, Mechatronics Engineering, Cybersecurity, Radiography and Radiation Science, etc.
“FUTO advertised for vacancies in Academic and Academic Support Staff in six Schools (namely SICT, SESET, SOES, SOHT, SBMS and SOBS) and 23 Departments including Cybersecurity.
“Vacancies advertised in the Academic Departments (including Cybersecurity Department) are for Professor, Reader, Senior Lecturer, etc.
” The advertisement appeared in the two National Newspapers (The Sun and The Guardian) and interested candidates were invited to apply for the position to which they are qualified.
“Dr. Isa Ibrahim responded and applied for the post of Professor of Cybersecurity. He was given a Temporary Appointment as Professor of Cybersecurity in the Cybersecurity Department, for which he accepted in writing.
“Dr. Isa Ibrahim’s qualifications include B.Sc, M.Sc in Computer Science and MBA all from ATBU, PhD in Computer Information System from Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen, UK. He is a Fellow and member of some foreign Computer Science professional societies.
“Dr. Isa Ibrahim was requested to submit details of his publications and productive works for
both internal and external assessments. He complied with the request.
“Dr. Isa Ibrahim’s publications and productive works were sent to the Dean of SICT for internal assessment for the purpose of establishment of prima facie case for the Professorial Appointment.
“The Dean of SICT assessed the publications and productive works using the FUTO Guidelines for Appointment and Promotion and established a prima facie case for Dr. Isa Ibrahim for him to be appointed a Professor of Cybersecurity.
“The prima facie case for Dr. Isa Ibrahim was presented to the Academic Staff Appraisal and Promotion Committee- Professorial (ASAPC-Professorial) meeting held on 17th March, 2021. The Committee discussed the issue and recommended same for approval by the FUTO Council.
“The Council at its meeting held on the 18th of March, 2021 approved the prima facie case for Dr. Isa Ibrahim to be appointed a Professor of Cybersecurity.
” Following the approval of the prima facie case, Dr. Isa Ibrahim’s publications and productive works were sent for external assessment.
“The external assessment returned positive and the Council at its meeting of 20th August, 2021 approved his appointment as a Professor of Cybersecurity.
“Dr. Isa Ibrahim was given a tenure appointment as a Professor of Cybersecurity following his appointment by the FUTO Governing Council.
“Dr. Isa Ibrahim has assumed duties and is currently involved in the teaching of CYB 201 (Fundamentals of Cyber Security), via online and a lead Supervisor of one PhD Student/Staff of Cybersecurity Department.”
The report said:” From our findings and evidence before the panel, members are of the opinion that the appointment of Dr. Isa Ibrahim as a Professor of Cybersecurity by the FUTO Governing Council followed due process.”
“The panel strongly recommends that the university management should as a matter of urgency take appropriate actions, including legal action, against those who deliberately try to drag the image and reputation of FUTO to the mud.”