It has come to the notice of all that Professorial Promotions of Dr Dominic Albert Akpan of the Department of History and International Studies, University of Uyo, Uyo, were inappropriate and fell short of the requirements of the regulatory body of the University, and therefore, there is need to go back on it and engage in the proper method of assessment as required by University culture and traditions. For now, Dr Dominic Akpan engaged in promotional fraud.
Facts of the Matter
Dr Dominic Akpan railroaded into the Department of History and International Studies in 2004 as a part-time lecturer in the School of Continuing Education of the University of Uyo. Before this time, he was a Lecturer in Akwa Ibom State Polytechnic, Ikot Osurua in Ikot Ekpene Local Government Area, where he had no proper role.
For promotion to Professorial ranks in the University system, a number of conditions must be met, chief of which is external assessment. In assessment, it is against the regulation of the Nigerian Universities Commission (NUC) for a candidate assessed for Associate Professor or Professor to be in the same Department with the Assessor either as Visiting Scholar or External Examiner to the Department.
In the case of Dr Dominic Albert Akpan, two of his External Examiners were Professor John Horace Enemugwem and Professor Offiong Timothy Abia.
Professor Enemugwem had been an External Examiner of the Department of History and International Studies of the University of Uyo since 2005 and this makes it impossible for him to engage in External Assessment of any candidate for Professorial rank within the Department of History and International Studies of the University of Uyo within the period of his engagement. Put differently, his association with the Department as its External Examiner does not permit him whatsoever to have assessed Dr Dominic Albert Akpan otherwise the entire exercise becomes null and void and ultra vires.
The same is applicable to Professor Offiong Timothy Abia who has been an Adjunct staff in the Department since 2007. He too assessed Dr Dominic Akpan as an External Assessor for his Associate Professorial and Professorial Assessments.
Fundamentally, it is morally, ethically and absolutely wrong and against university convention and international best practices, for both Professors who had a direct association with the Department and by implication with the candidate (Dr Dominic Akpan) to have assessed him in the first place.
Overall, in the eyes of the university law and NUC regulation and convention such assessment whether by omission or commission did not take place as it did not follow the rules.
His being assessed by associates of the Department was nothing other than to shoot him up into the Professorial Cadre when by his academic past, he never deserved such an honour.
May it be noted that Dominic Akpan is a weak scholar and this is reflected in the quality of his publications and his PhD thesis at the University of Port Harcourt. With regards to the latter, Dominic Albert Akpan failed in his first PhD assessment under Professor Adebayo O. Lawal of the Department of History and Strategic Studies, the University of Lagos in 2005. In the second attempt, he barely managed to scale through on sympathetic ground having lost his wife within the period of his second Voce Viva.
The university should initiate a proper assessment of Dr Dominic Albert Akpan to a higher rank by assessors who are external to both the Department of History and International Studies of the University of Uyo and the University of Uyo. This should be done and urgently so in order to uphold the integrity of the Department and the University at large as there are dangerous rumours on this matter in the Department and outside the University Community. Where the candidacy of Dr Dominic Akpan was given professorial rank in error, which is obvious enough from NUC regulations, the needful should be done right away. Meanwhile, until that is done, Dr Dominic Albert Akpan should be reverted to the rank from which he earned undeserved promotions.