Solomon Tamunotonye, a lecturer at Captain Elechi Amadi Polytechnic in Port Harcourt, has voiced concern over the withholding of his salaries for 20 months by the institution’s administration. The Polytechnic’s Registrar, Chris Woke, announced a three-month suspension for Tamunotonye due to alleged “harassment and exploitation” of a second-year student named Blessing Audu.
However, Tamunotonye expressed frustration when he was asked to return to work and submit a written apology, without being informed of the investigative committee’s conclusions. He claims that his refusal to apologize, based on the belief that he did not commit the alleged offence, resulted in the continued withholding of his salary.
Tamunotonye stated, “If I write an apology letter, what is the remedy for the girl who was said to have suffered sexual harassment? They should release the report and punish me accordingly if I am found guilty.”
He also alleged that in December 2022, three polytechnic employees attacked him, attempting to destroy evidence he planned to present in court. Regarding accusations of theft against him, he mentioned that the police have concluded their investigation but felt that powerful influences within the polytechnic were stalling court proceedings.
Tamunotonye is appealing for support from the public, Governor Siminalayi Fubara, and civil society organizations. He revealed that he has taken up odd jobs to make ends meet.
When reached for comment, Registrar Chris Woke briefly stated that the case was already in court and refrained from making additional remarks.