Senior advocate and founder of Afe Babalola University, Ado Ekiti, Aare Afe Babalola, on Friday, advocated review of the National Universities Commission’s laws to include barring any academic convicted of any crime from securing appointment in any other education institution.
Babalola said such, among others, would restore the erstwhile perception that academics were the embodiment of all that was noble and edifying in discipline, dressing, carriage, honesty, transparency and decency.
The legal luminary spoke at Ado Ekiti during the third year anniversary of ABUAD Multi-System Hospital and the sendforth ceremony for its pioneer Chief Medical Director, Prof. Fola Esan.
He spoke against the backdrop of the conviction by an Akwa Ibom State Court of a lecturer, Prof. Peter Ogban, to three years imprisonment for electoral fraud.
He also advised NUC to revive the monetary awards for the Best University, the Best Vice Chancellor, the Best Pro Chancellor and the Best Governing Council initiated by a former Executive Secretary of the commission, Prof. Peter Okebukola.
Babalola, who described the award as “noble and progressive action,” said, “This is one of the ways to improve the university system as this will promote keen and healthy rivalry among the universities”.
He said, “I want to use this medium to call on the NUC to review its laws about the bad eggs in the university system. The moment any academic is convicted of any crime while serving in one university, the NUC should make it impossible for him to be employed in any other university in the country. This is one of the ways to sanitize the Nigerian university system”.
The ABUAD founder, who recalled how professors were seen in the past, said, “Their presence alone was awe-inspiring. To us then, they were the embodiment of all that was noble and edifying. They were perceived as people who knew everything about everything not only in academic but in the world.
“We believed they were the best men to be appointed to the highest position in the society. Indeed, that was true at that time. Unfortunately, are these facts true of professors of today? This morning (Friday), we read in the media the shameful story of Prof. Peter Ogban of a university who has just been convicted of electoral fraud.”