By Chuks Eke
A group of Blessed Fr. Michael Iwene Tansi Movement, under the aegis of Missionary Sons of Tansi, MST has exonerated itself from among the parties that allegedly breached a consent judgment between the management of Tansian University, Umunya, Anambra State, and one of the university’s financiers, Chief Rommy Ezeonwuka.
Specifically, MST denied ever directing one Rev. Fr. Edwin Obiorah, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN whom they described as a self-acclaimed lawyer of the Tansian University, to shun and thwart the validity of the said consent judgment between the University and Chief Rommy Ezeonwuka, who donated his property, Ranent Industries, located at Oba in Idemili South Local Government Area of Anambra state, to serve a take-off site for the university at its inception.
Founder of Tansian University, the late Monsignor John Bosco Akam had in 2008, shortly after the inception of the university engaged Ezeonwuka, a financier and a property donor in a daggers-drawn over the ownership of the takeoff campus at Oba, which Ezeonwuka vehemently made clear that the land and the structures were his personal property.
The height of the crisis saw the duo throwing brickbats at each other, engaging in various forms of mudslinging to the extent that the National Universities Commission, NUC threatened to close down the university in 2010 if the ownership crisis persisted.
However, to save the university’s imminent closure, the two warring parties, Akam and Ezeonwuka met in a round table conference and resolved the protracted disagreement with a resolution to pay Ezeonwuka annual honorarium of N10 million in the form of yearly rent over the take-off campus of the university, which belonged to Renant Industries Limited then, before its conversion as the university’s takeoff site.
To guarantee a lasting peace, both parties also went to court and obtained a consent judgment ratifying the payment of N10 million as annual honorariums to Ezeonwuka by the university management.
To add flesh to the consent judgment, both parties and their witnesses signed, stamped, sealed, and lodged the judgment at Anambra State High Court.
But while washing his hands of the breach of the consent judgment allegedly perpetrated by Rev. Fr. Edwin Obiorah SAN, shortly after the demise of Monsignor Akam, the founder, Rev. Bro. Paulinus Okoli, a Director in the MST wondered how Rev. Fr. Obiorah who never knew the beginning and end of Tansian University crises, is now spearheading the breach of the consent judgment.
In a press statement issued to newsmen, Okoli described the incidents that ensued since the demise of the Msgr. John Bosco Akam is highly regrettable and disheartened, adding that the congregation is viewing Rev. Fr. Obiorah SAN’s actions as profoundly beneath the dignity of priestly vocation which also constituted an affront to legal ethics and practice.
According to Okoli, ” It is an egregious display of arrogance and disrespect toward our revered founder, Very Rev. Msgr Prof. JB Akam of blessed memories”.
“Therefore, witnessing such disrespect towards Consent Judgment binding on Tansian University and Chief Rommy Ezeonwuka, and contesting the Last Will of our founder, is a source of immense shame and an insult”
“We wholeheartedly denounce Rev. Fr. Obiorah SAN’s reprehensible conduct and insist he approves Ezeonwuka’s arrears of honorarium which has over the years risen to about N60 million, tenders public apology to Chief Rommy Ezeonwuka and, by extension, the mother church”.
“While we abhor Rev. Fr. Obiorah’s arrogance, we also express our disappointment in the estranged members of MST who acquiesced to the commands of someone who places money above and beyond dignity and respect”.
“It is totally unbelievable, reprehensible and unthinkable and it’s important that we make the facts clear. We remain steadfast in our commitment to safeguarding the honor, heritage, and dignity of the late Akam, our founder in every aspect. All of these evasions are contrary to Catholic doctrine and are unacceptable by us.”
“His Eminence, Cardinal Okpalaeze, the Catholic Bishop of Ekwulobia Diocese should deal with voracious priests properly. The decision to withhold Chief Ezeonwuka’s payment and subject our founder’s Last Will to litigation is irrelevant. As a Cardinal and Bishop of Ekwulobia Catholic Diocese, the buck stops on his table. Even if others made the decisions, he still has the authority to deal with Tansian University issues”.
“It is Obiorah’s most grievous to bring down Tansian University and other Msgr Akam’s investments and His Eminence should not be perceived to swing the pendulum in favor of such an injustice and mischief. What the future holds…no one knows”.
“Missionary Sons of Tansi, founded by the late Very Rev. Msgr Prof. John Bosco Akam of blessed memories and canonically erected as a religious and pious congregation in the Catholic Diocese of Ijebu-Ode with all the rites of the Mother Church.
“Missionary Servants of the Church, MSC which later changed its name to Missionary Sons of Tansi MST remains the proprietor of Tansian University, Umunya Anambra state as captured and enshrined by the NUC, is the Proprietor of Tansian University. Any other registration outside the transition from MSC to MST is void and of no consequence and should be disregarded”.
“MST is not factionalised, it remains one body with a single novitiate based in Ijebu-Ode. It upholds the tenets of the mother church with obligatory allegiance to the host Diocese of Ijebu-Ode. We cannot go against the Last Will of the Founder or go against his beliefs”.
“We therefore appeal to everyone to put the interest of the Congregation and that of the mother church, above the selfish needs of any individual and profit from baseless endeavor”, said Re. Bro. Okoli.
NIPR Commends Gov Soludo For Appointing Prof Omenugha As COOU New VC
The Chairman of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR), Anambra State chapter, Professor Angela Nwammuo has described the appointment of Prof Kate Omenugha to be the new Vice Chancellor of Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University (COOU) as a square peg in a square hole.
Prof Nwammuo who issued a press release, yesterday, in Awka, in her capacity as the NIPR Chairman in the State said Prof Omenugha’s appointment to the number one position in the university was apt.
She further described it as a reflection of the increasing belief that public relations practitioners were bridge builders and better managers of human and material resources.
Prof Nwammuo, also the Head of, the Department of Mass Communication, COOU noted that by this appointment, Prof Omenugha became the first female and only Vice Chancellor in Anambra State.
“The appointment of Prof Omenugha as the new VC of the COOU who is also a Fellow of the Institute and Council member is in recognition of her exceptional performance as a renowned academic. Most importantly, as the Commissioner for Education in Anambra State the State is still reaping the fruit of the innovations she introduced into the educational sector.
“She is a square peg in a square hole and a familiar terrain.
“As the Institute congratulates her on the deserved honour, we commend the Governor of Anambra State, Prof Charles Soludo for being gender sensitive, identifying and rewarding hard work.
“We pray that the good Lord will be with the new VC as she pilots the affairs of the university. Thank you Mr Governor, “Prof Nwammuo concluded.
Institute Challenges Nigerians On Nation’s Economic Growth
The African School of Diplomacy and International Relations (ASDIR) has stated that concerted efforts from all parties are required to create significant economic progress in Nigeria, stating that without this, the country’s economy will continue to struggle.
The advice was given by Dr Tunji Asaolu, Vice-Chairman/CEO of ASDIR, at the school’s 2023 annual public lecture series, induction, and conferment of honorary doctorate degree ceremony in Abuja.
Asaolu, who is also the Deputy Secretary-General, of African Affairs, International Society of Diplomats (ISD), stated that the call has become critical to ensure the country’s long-term progress.
The theme of the third edition was “The Political Economy of Nation Building: The World’s Unfinished Business.”
“We looked at perceived gaps in terms of economic crisis to chart a way forward to support government efforts to achieve its purpose of representing the people,” Asaolu added.
“Critically, we looked at some ways we can be of help in terms of recommending solutions to perceived economic challenges. Then we came up with a topic centered on the political economy of nation-building.
“We considered this topic as unfinished business because we will continue to be experiencing economic challenges if all hands are not on deck to tackle issues bordering inequality, socioeconomic crisis, poverty and insecurity.”
He explained that the honourary degrees and fellowship awards were carefully conferred on specific persons based on their proven track record of excellence in society.
He mentioned that the awards, which cut across various fields of endeavour, were conferred through collaboration with Queens University Belfast, United Kingdom, which has the right of conferment.
In his remarks, Prof. Jonathan Aremu, Chairman of, Governing Board of ASDIR, said the programme is apt because it will help to boost the capacity of citizens in the area of diplomacy.
He said: “This programme has become necessary for diplomats like those inducted today, to enable them to develop the know-how about best practices and to collaborate with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on diplomacy.
“What the school is doing is to position the graduands to contribute meaningfully to government efforts centered on diplomatic activities and ensure Nigeria performs excellently, among the committee of developed nations.
“Countries must abide by ratified international relations, therefore, this ASDIR initiative is to enable Nigerians imbibe international best practices and concepts of diplomacy.”
The keynote speaker Prof. Mkpa Agu Mkpa, former Vice-Chancellor of Abia State University, Uturu, described knowledge sharing about diplomacy as apt, saying it will enable people to tackle challenges collectively.
According to him, a society that has a sound diplomacy inculcated into its leadership will not experience many conflicts.
“Wherever there is a breakdown of law and order, whenever there is conflict, the first thing people consider is the breakdown of diplomacy.
“So what ASDIR is doing for Nigeria is a very key role in bringing peace to this country.
“All over the world, diplomacy is rated as the number one tool to advocate peace wherever there is conflict,” Mkpa said.
The high point of the event was the conferment of 10 honorary fellowships, the award of 10 honorary doctorate degrees to distinguished personalities, and the induction of 40 persons into the ASDIR.
The event was chaired by Sen. Opeyemi Bamidele, Majority Leader of the 10th Senate, represented by Dr Sadiyat Adepoju.
It attracted dignitaries including Rev. Sam Oye, Founder/Lead Pastor of the Transformation Church, and Dr Temitope Enitan-Ogunwusi, Wife of the Ooni of Ife, as awardees among others.
Hensard University Education Is International, Says Prof. Kumar
Dileep Kumar, a professor and the Vice Chancellor of Hensard University, answers a constant question asked about Hensard University, Nigeria’s international university nestled on River Forcados in Toru-Orua, Bayelsa States. Why should Hensard be the favourite choice of students and parents?
“Anyone who chooses Hensard would benefit from the University’s uniqueness which we summarise as the Hensard Advantage. They are distinct innovations that the University has brought to higher education,” he said in a press statement.
“Hensard students will enjoy a rare combination of academics, practical skills, industrial exposure, and mentorship. Hensard aims to equip its students with real-world experiences and entrepreneurial skills. It is poised to transform graduates into entrepreneurs and wealth creators with industry-oriented skills with international standards that are readily available to Hensard students.
Kumar, with 21 years of international experience garnered from teaching in universities in the Netherlands, Belgium, Georgia, South Africa, UAE, Bahrain, Sultanate of Oman, Ukraine, Turkey, Indonesia, Malaysia, Morocco, Singapore, Thailand, Brunei, Vietnam, Cambodia, India, said that Hensard was primed to benefit from international linkages and collaborations that would offer the students advantages of receiving instructions in an international environment for teaching and learning.
He summarised the Hensard Advantage thus:
· Dual certifications, international collaborations and partnerships will ensure standards, and exposure of Hensard students to renowned mentors and leaders in various fields, globally
· Collaborations and partnerships with reputable universities, institutions, and industries will ensure that Hensard students draw from sources of knowledge from several points
· Global Student Exchange Programme under which Hensard students would attend lectures in universities abroad as part of the dual certification process
· The worldwide scholars’ programme with rigorous academic experience intertwined and unique opportunities that tap into global academic resources and expertise will avail Hensard student’s exposure to the best international resources
· Global academic network of lecturers and researchers, including the Diaspora Scholars Group, will use cutting-edge technology to deliver lectures in Hensard’s smart lecture halls
· Hensard’s Institutes and Centres of Excellence will ensure constant exposure of students to national and international seminars and conferences that will keep Hensard students abreast of the latest developments in the international knowledge space
· Mentorship of students will be by global leaders from international and corporate advisory boards with relevant competencies in the students’ fields
· The International Board of Governors comprising global leaders in government, academia, business, and research will provide students with a unique combination of diverse mentoring experience
· Practical Entrepreneurship Exposure while at school and Start-up Funds for Hensard graduates through the Hensard Entrepreneurship and Cooperative make Hensard unique
“These are to be coordinated by the carefully selected Hensard team of international faculty and staff with vast experiences to create a truly robust academic community of students, staff, researchers, visiting academics, and global leaders who are committed to extending the frontiers of knowledge, beyond boundaries, for society’s sustenance,” Kumar said.
The University has invested in training ethical leaders through its Core Values that emphasise character and skills to develop the total human being. Hensard’s 12 Core Values are to guide students to become responsible, ethical, honorable citizens, leaders, and servants to God and humanity, as encapsulated in Hensard’s motto, “Qui Servit Homo, Servit Deo” (He who serves man, serves God).
“Hensard graduates will enjoy continued mentorship and support in establishing businesses of their own through the Hensard University Business Support Programme. We invite you to benefit from the Hansard Advantage,” Kumar said.