Education National News

Panel Clears Pantami on Appointment as Professor of Cybersecurity

The panel set up by the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, chapter of Federal University of Technology, Owerri, FUTO, has put to rest the controversy over the appointment of the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ibrahim Pantami, as a professor of Cyber-Security by the university.

The panel in its report said the appointment of Pantami followed due process.

Recall that the panel was inaugurated by ASUU chapter of the university at its congress on September 22, 2021.

The panel in its report, asked the university management to protect the integrity of FUTO by taking steps to correct some misrepresentations against it.

Among other measures, the panel recommended a legal action against those who attempted to stain the reputation of the university.

Members of the committee included Prof. M. S. Nwakaudu (Chairman), Prof. G.A. Anyanwu; Prof. C. E. Orji, Prof. O.P. Onyewuchi, and Prof.T. I. N. Ezejiofor (member/Secretary).

The panel explained in detail, how Pantami applied for a professorial appointment and the steps taken by the university to grant his request.

The report stated: “FUTO in her quest to be counted in the modem trends in the fields of science, engineering, technology, etc, decided to establish new programmes, such as Forensic Science, Software Engineering, Mechatronics Engineering, Cybersecurity, Radiography and Radiation Science, etc.

“FUTO advertised vacancies in the Academic and Academic Support Staff in six schools (namely SICT, SESET, SOES, SOHT, SBMS and SOBS) and 23 departments, which includes Cybersecurity

“Vacancies advertised in the Academic Departments (including Cyber Security Department) are for Professor, Reader, Senior Lecturer, etc.

“The advertisement appeared in two national newspapers (THE SUN and THE GUARDIAN) and interested candidates were invited to apply for the position which they qualified for.

“Dr. Isa Ibrahim responded and applied for the post of Professor of Cybersecurity. He was given a temporary appointment as Professor of Cybersecurity in the Cyber-security Department, for which he accepted in writing.

“Dr. Isa Ibrahim’s qualifications include BSc, MSc in Computer Science and MBA all from ATBU, PhD in Computer Information System from Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen, UK.

“He is a Fellow and member of some foreign computer science professional societies.

“Dr. Isa Ibrahim was requested to submit details of his publications and productive works for both internal and external assessments. He complied with the request.

“Dr. Isa Ibrahim’s publications and productive works were sent to the Dean of SICT for internal assessment for the purpose of establishment of prima facie case for the professorial appointment.

“The Dean of SICT assessed the publications and productive works using the FUTO guidelines for appointment and promotion and established a prima facie case for Dr. Isa Ibrahim for him to be appointed a Professor of Cybersecurity.

“The prima facie case for Dr. Isa Ibrahim was presented to the Academic Staff Appraisal and Promotion Committee- Professorial (ASAPC-Professorial) meeting held on 17th March, 2021. The Committee discussed the issue and recommended same for approval by the FUTO Council.

“The Council at its meeting held on the 18th of March, 2021 approved the prima facie case for Dr. Isa Ibrahim to be appointed a Professor of Cybersecurity.

“Following the approval of the prima facie case, Dr. Isa Ibrahim’s publications and productive works were sent for external assessment.

“The external assessment returned positive and the council at its meeting of 20th August, 2021 approved his appointment as a Professor of Cybersecurity.

“Dr. Isa Ibrahim was given a tenure appointment as a Professor of Cybersecurity following his appointment by the FUTO Governing Council.

“Dr. Isa Ibrahim has assumed duties and is currently involved in the teaching of CYB 201 (Fundamentals of Cyber Security), via online and a lead Supervisor of one PhD Student/Staff of Cybersecurity Department.”

As part of its findings, the panel said it interacted with the following stakeholders: University Registrar; the immediate Past Chairman, Committee of Deans; the Dean, School of Information and Communication Technology (SICT); some Deans of Schools who were members of ASAPC-Professional duringthe 2020/2021 Appraisal Year; some Internal Members of the last FUTO Governing Council and the Acting Head, Cybersecurity Department.

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