Withdrawn PhD Student Drags ABU, 2 Others to Court

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Ahmadu Bello University

Jamilu Auwalu Adam has dragged the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) (1st defendant), Dr. Abubakar Yahaya (2nd defendant) and Professor Babangida Sani (3rd defendant) both of the Department of Mathematics of the university to the Federal High Court sitting in Kaduna over wrongful withdrawal and extension of period of studies at the ABU School of Postgraduate Studies.

In the statement of claims in suit no. FHC/CS/84/2017 made available to Daily Trust, Jamilu (plaintiff) is also demanding N20 million as general damages for waste of time, energy and resources, causing suffering and psychological trauma.

According to the statement of claims, “The plaintiff sometimes in 2014 applied for Doctor of Philosophy Degree (PhD) in Mathematics to ABU and after satisfying the stipulated requirements was offered admission to study his desired course.

“The plaintiff proposed “Estimation of Probability of Default and Migration Rate under Hypothetical and Historical Observe Stress Scenarios” as his research topic which was approved by ABU. The plaintiff was assigned Dr. Abubakar as major supervisor and Prof. Babangida as minor supervisor, upon that, the plaintiff continued with his research and when he found out that research method seem working and yielding fruitful results, then Dr. Abubakar asked him to publish the research findings in a reputable journal (local or international).

“The plaintiff avers that after the publications of some of the research findings, he called and informed the Dr. Abubakar that his research findings were published in an Asian journal of Management Science among other reputable journals and Dr. Abubakar asked him to provide copies of the journals. Dr. Abubakar started harassing and intimidating Jamilu that how dare he publish a research without making him (Dr. Abubakar) a co-author of the papers.

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“The plaintiff avers that Dr. Abubakar told him that it has been a practice in the department that students usually make their supervisors co-authors in whatever works they produce and later discovered that Dr. Abubakar is not eligible to supervise him because assignment of doctoral students to major supervisor requires that the person possess relevant doctoral degrees and has demonstration of research interests minimum of three relevant publications in three preceding years with at least two years postgraduate level teaching  amongst others.

“The plaintiff avers that Dr. Abubakar is not a senior lecturer being a lecturer 1 as at the time of filling this suit, does not possess a relevant doctoral degree in mathematics and has not demonstrated research interest in three relevant publications in and is not competent to serve as the plaintiff’s major supervisor.

“The plaintiff lodged a formal complaint against Dr. Abubakar at the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) with file no. ICPC/P/NW/32/2016. Sequel to the petition, the ABU management constituted a Panel of Enquiry and based on the Regulations Governing Higher Degree Studies, School of Postgraduate Studies (SPGDS), ABU issued to the plaintiff as a PhD student, violation of the regulations only attracts a penalty fee to be determined by the SPGDS and not withdrawal.”

He prayed the court to direct ABU to comply with section iii of the Regulations Governing Higher Degree Studies, SPGDS, ABU that violation of the registration only attracts a penalty fee to be determined by SPGDS and not withdrawal and that the purported withdrawal of the plaintiff is invalid, null and void with no effect whatsoever.

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He further urged the court to compel ABU to award him with PhD Degree certificate in Mathematics or alternatively direct the university to assign a competent and eligible major supervisor to effect the necessary emendation (if any) in his PhD thesis.

The case comes up on 9th November, 2017 for hearing.

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