Nigerian University Goes To Court To Uphold Buhari’s Controversial Minister, Isa Pantami’s Professorship

Dr. Isa Pantami

The Vice Chancellor of the Federal University, Owerri (FUTO), Prof. Nnenna Oti, says the management has gone to court over the rejection of Dr. Isah Ibrahim Pantami’s promotion to the rank as a professor of Cyber Security by the institution.

This followed a threat by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to sanction FUTO management for approving Pantami as a professor while he was still in Nigerian government’s active service as a minister.

The management went to court on the matter, saying any comment or discussion on it was sub-judicial.

According to The Nation, Oti said that the management went to court on the matter, saying any comment or discussion on it was sub-judicial.

President of ASUU, Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke had on Monday declared Pantami’s promotion as illegal.

The minister was among seven Readers (Associate Professors) promoted to professor by the governing council of Federal Univerity of Technology Owerri (FUTO) at its 186th meeting held on August 20, 2021.

This triggered criticisms around Pantami’s appointment in some sections of the media.

The United States Associate Professor and social critic, Farooq Kperogi, at the time described the Professorship granted by the university to Pantami as “some self-humiliating intellectual duplicity perpetrated by Pantami himself.”

Nigerians have described Pantami as a closet extremist after the Islamist views he held in the past came to light in 2021.

The Muhammadu Buhari government, however, said it would stand by the minister.

Pantami expressed views sympathetic to groups such as al-Qaeda and Boko Haram.

In a sermon from the 2000s, he said he considered al-Qaeda founder, Osama Bin Laden, a better Muslim than himself.

For instance, in a 2006 speech, he publicly offered his condolences after the death of al-Qaeda’s leader in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.

In another, he said he was happy when infidels were massacred.

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