UG Vice Chancellor sues UGSSA President for $10M

UG’s Vice Chancellor Professor Jacob Opadeyi. [iNews' Photo]

By Jomo Paul

UG’s Vice Chancellor Professor Jacob Opadeyi
UG’s Vice Chancellor Professor Jacob Opadeyi

[] – The Vice Chancellor of the University of Guyana Professor Jacob Opadeyi has secured an interim injunction against the President of the University of Guyana Senior Staff Association (UGSSA) Dr Melissa Ifill over some remarks she made about him.

According to the court documents obtained by iNews, Professor Opadey is seeking damages over a statement released by Ifill on the 23rd day of June, 2015.

“The Defendant disseminated an e-mail to dozens of persons, including junior and senior staff at the University of Guyana, students and others, which contained a document titled, “Petition of No Confidence in University of Guyana’s Vice Chancellor Professor Jacob Opadeyi” in which she falsely and maliciously published the following defamatory words of and concerning the Plaintiff: “… failure to honour contracts with employees including illegally withholding legitimate payments due to staff; … circumvention and breach of University financial systems, practices and procedures; … financial mismanagement and impropriety including but not limited to system override at the bursary;… repeated failure to meet legal obligations to transfer deductions from worker’s salaries to various bodies…”   the court document states.

UGSSA President Dr Melissa Ifill
UGSSA President Dr Melissa Ifill

According to Opadeyi, the statements are purely intended to sully his character.

“The said words and publications were calculated and intended to disparage the Plaintiff’s character, standing and reputation,” the documents further stated.

Opadeyi is seeking $10M in damages.



  1. It could be that both sides were at fault for failing to reach an amicable settlement. As I am living abroad, I did not follow the events that led to the situation which now involves a libel action. I have been involved in higher education in Hong Kong, Singapore and in the UK for over 20 years without encountering a similar situation. Any disagreement of substance was dealt with in an orderly manner. Educated people should know better as they are deemed to have the skills and learning to analyse any problem before it gets out of hand. No problem within reason in an academic environment is insurmountable. A failure to reach an acceptable settlement could result in others being adversely affected as indeed it was the students who suffered in many ways.


  3. The UG unions have no interest in the public nor private disgrace of anyone. Our only quest is to improve the university

  4. If he indeed called UG staff “a pack of lazy vagabonds”, that’s way out of line. It shows reckless immaturity and cringeworthy tacklessness. There are many university lecturers in the UK who have a masters degree as their highest academic qualification. I do hope the problems at UG are resolved as quickly as possible.
    As a Guyanese I really don’t want there to be any perceptions that had the VC been a Guyanese that he would have been treated differently. My major concern is that xenophobic nationalism might soon rear its ugly head in this matter and I don’t want us to tainted with such stench.

  5. @Dr. Pat Francis. You are a disgrace to our country and the fact that you are willing to publicly destroy another human being is sickening. I hope your rabid quest for public humiliation of another human being backfires on you.

  6. This man called the UG staff a pack of lazy vagabonds – no one bothered to sue him. Under his supervision staff were denied salaries in a blatantly discriminate manner during industrial actions – no one bothered to sue him. He told me to my face that UG is subsidizing the staff including me since I am unqualified to lecture at UG (I have a Masters in Math) – I didnt bother to sue him. He bypassed the constitution and due process in executing many of HIS plans for UG – no one bothered to sue him. I call on the union leaders to counter sue this man for $10M times the number of staff he has publicly or privately insulted, defamed character, denied salary, not given the right to sanction in matters that affect UG, etc; he list is long and true. Let us come together as witnesses and show the courts the evidence and there will be no more need for no-confidence vote. While I admit that he has done some good for UG, he is an arrogant, deceitful, self-opinionated and manipulative VC – dictator.

  7. Dr. Opadeyi’s persecutors, Melissa Ifill and company have to be careful that perception, if not reality may point to rancid xenophobic nationalism, not incompetence.
    I think a Kenyan had been Chancellor at UG and had left unceremoniously.Taking on any administrative post at UG is tantamount to taking a poisoned chalice.
    This man has been scapegoated for problems he never created in the first place and I do hope his most vociferous critic, Melissa Ifill, understands this. The problems at UG are not insuperable but they must be placed into context. Dr.Opadeyi had nothing to do with UG when the PPP was busy taking its wrecking ball to it over 23 years.

  8. The Vice-Chancellor can’t be blamed for what currently obtains at UG. The already poor conditions there had been exacerbated by 23 years of PPP misrule of Guyana.

  9. We are ready for this battle. The petition was signed by the majority of UG staff members. The presidents of the two unions represent all workers therefore the suit is against all of us. I call on the Minister of Education to send Opadeyi packing. How much more injury must the children of Guyana suffer?


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