By Jonathan Ugbal
Despite a court injunction against a sacked lecturer in the Department of philosophy, University of Calabar, Mr. Joseph Odok from posting “libelous materials” against the Vice Chancellor, Professor Zana Akpagu on Facebook, CrossRiverWatch findings have revealed that Mr. Odok has continued such.
Odok was on November 2, 2018 sacked by the Varsity’s governing council which upheld the report of the senior staff union which recommended his sack after failing to honor its invitation.
His sack came after two suspensions within a year. He was placed on indefinite suspension he January 2018, less than three months after been recalled from his previous suspension bordering on similar allegations of insubordination, malicious and false publications against the University and its organs.
However, he claimed that he was not sacked as he had resigned his appointment.
“Those who claimed I was sacked from UNICAL should display my sack letter as I have produced my resignation letter. Zana the VC Unical (six) is a a coward that have turned a respected Institution to a Banana Republic. Since the VC is jobless he need to employ more bloggers to blackmail me,” Odok wrote on his Facebook wall on November 4, 2018.
He also produced a letter dated September 26, 2018 and addressed to the Chairman of the governing council which read in part: “I write to tender a conditional resignation of my appointments (sic) as a lecturer in the University of Calabar. This is due to my inability to appear before the University of Calabar Council Disciplinary due to police advice to a response to a petition on assassination attack on me.”
He claimed that his letter was written under “duress” as he was aware of the implication of not appearing before a “legally constituted disciplinary committee,” instituted by the Varsity’s governing council.
Also, he claimed that he had not been served a notice of invitation by the disciplinary committee insisting that he got a phone call two days to the sitting and could not leave Abuja, his place of “Asylum” to Calabar on such short notice.
However, CrossRiverWatch gathered that Professor Akpagu had gone to court over defamation of character by Odok.
And, court documents obtained by CrossRiverWatch showed that a Motion on Notice dated August 3, 2018 was filed on August 15, 2018.
And, having heard from the counsels to the applicant (Zana Akpagu) and the 1st respondent (Joseph Odok), Barristers Emmanuel Umoren and Oliver Osang respectively, Justice Ukpai Ibitham of the Calabar Judicial Division of the Cross River State High Court in his ruling of September 21, 2018 ordered an, “interlocutory injunction restraining the 1st defendant/respondent from continuing publication of the libelous materials on the platform of the 2nd defendant/respondent pending the hearing and determination of this suit.”
The second respondent, Facebook incorporated, USA was unrepresented.
Justice Ibitham struck out the application of the claimant to grant leave to use, “the written address filed for the motion Ex-Parte therein to argue the Motion on Notice.”
Also, he ruled that there will be no order as to cost.
But, Mr. Odok, again, took to Facebook and claimed that as soon as Mr. Akpagu got the court injunction, he abandoned the case.
In a post dated November 3, 2018, Pdok wrote: “Zana Akpagu is a coward, he instituted a matter against me for defamation of Character and abandoned the case after he fraudulently obtained an injunction. I have defense of justification on all issues I have published. Immediately he got the injunction, he paid one of his media aide Inyali Peter to begin writing libelous articles against me. When a Vice Chancellor of a revered University begins to act as a motor pack agbero.”
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