There is brewing tension in the Imo State University Owerri, IMSU, following a scandal bothering on alleged extortion against some final year students over their Defence.
Affected are Departments in the Arts and Social Sciences. Worst hit is the Theatre Arts Dept where the students are alleging that their teachers are demanding some kind of payment for their final Defence of the academic work.
It was gathered that students of Theatre Arts are lamenting over a stiff demand from them to pay the sum of twenty thousand naira (#20,000) each before they are allowed to defend today, November 28, 2019.
Following the completion of their four year stay of study in the department which will be rounded off with a compulsory ‘defense’, the graduating students numbering over 90 have been mandated to pay a defense fee of #20,000, or forget about it.
Against this backdrop, the students who attracted the attention of the media narrated that such demand is not only barbaric, but act of wickedness.
Trumpeta Newspaper reliably gathered that out of the 90 students, 40 had out of fear already paid while the other 50 insisted on not paying due to paucity of funds on their own part and not having any justification for such.
It was learnt that serious warning was handed on any student who might expose the activity of the department, even as they were threatened to forfeit their defense for failure to comply.
Meanwhile, when contacted on a telephone call for reaction, the HOD of the department, one Dr. Nwaru, a woman after listening to questions from our correspondent dropped the call for unknown reasons
In a related development, the Vice Chancellor of IMSU, Prof Adaobi Obasi while reacting on the matter frowned at the alleged money demanded.
Prof. Obasi disclosed that the present HOD was recently sent to the department of Theatre Arts after series of stories against the former one.
She sounded a note of warning that her leadership does not condone illegality or extortion of any sort, pointing out that any culprit found guilty will face the full wrath of the law, in accordance to the Senate decree.
The VC assured the agitating students, especially the Theatre Arts students defending today not to panic, promising that no student is expected to pay a dime for defense.
She however cautioned lectures and HODs on their high quest for money and extortion, adding that no offender would go free if proven guilty of any allegations.