Vice Chancellor of the university, Prof. Olanrewaju Fagbohun, yesterday addressed newsmen at the institution’s senate chamber, to clarify the issues and controversies generated by the sack in relation to Oyewunmi and Adeyemi-Suenu.
… It was a witch hunt, ASUU-LASU executives insist
The relative peace being enjoyed by the members of the Lagos State University (LASU) community seems to be under a threat with the recent sack and sanction of 17 members of the academic and non-academic staff of the university of which the chairman of Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), LASU chapter, Dr. Isaac Akinloye Oyewunmi and his deputy Dr. Adebowale Adeyemi-Suenu was affected.
Since the decision of the governing council was made public, it has been accusations and counter accusations with the executives of ASUU-LASU crying foul play and management of the institution insisting indicted officers were found guilty by the facts finding panel.
It was on this premise that the Vice Chancellor of the university, Prof. Olanrewaju Fagbohun, yesterday addressed newsmen at the institution’s senate chamber, to clarify the issues and controversies generated by the sack in relation to Oyewunmi and Adeyemi-Suenu.
According to Fagbohun, the claim by that the decision of the council did not follow due process; was manipulated; or was for political reasons was untrue, as the committees and panels thoroughly investigated all allegations and evidences before them.
“The truth is that facilitating successful organisational excellence is always difficult; but not changing is fatal. For us at LASU, we will continue to create, nurture and motivate an intentional culture of positive change. The University acted strictly in conformity with her rules and regulations.
“The petition pursuant to which Oyewunmi was investigated same which was dated 6th October, 2016 was copied to the governor of the state; the deputy governor; the speaker; the attorney general and commissioner for justice; the special adviser on education; the chancellor and the pro-chancellor. On October 28, 2016, the Attorney General requested the university for update on the investigation. The Special Adviser on Education made a similar request on December 13, 2016.
“It is instructive to note that the Fact-Finding Panel called the petitioner and four other witnesses. Oyewunmi also appeared before the panel. In their oral testimonies, the petitioner Abiodun Davies Alabi and others all of the 2003 Modular year set of Political Education programme asserted that there was indeed a demand for the sum of N50,000 by Oyewunmi. This was corroborated by Oyewunmi in his statement on the audio clip of his recorded conversation with Dr. Abanikanda wherein he stated that: “Mo pada lo ba Alhaji, a jo so, it is a fact” and I went back to M.O.B that, o sele nitoo to” meaning “it happened truly.” This was the basis of the dismissal of Dr. Oyewunmi for misconduct as it relates to demanding money from students to process their results.”
On whether the money Oyewunmi allegedly demanded from students was actually released, the vice chancellor said, “whether it was coerced, induced, attempted or actual, it was a misconduct and it is against our rules.”
In the case of Adeyemi-Suenu, Fagbohun said he was dismissed for misconduct relating to alteration of students marks. “The forensic evidence linked the PF number and password of Adeyemi-Suenu to the alterations. 12 students classified as withdrawn on the ground of academic weakness, having between four and eight outstanding courses h0ad their results in the courses changed to pass grade and their academic status upgraded from withdrawn to good standing.
He dismissed claims that the sack of the duo was aimed at weakening ASUU-LASU, and also not to have a dissenting voice when management finally perfect its plan to increase tuition. “Their dismissal among others were pursuant to thorough investigation of specific and documented allegations of misconduct. The cases of these two individuals have nothing to do with union related activities, thus, the university sees the frantic efforts being made by some individuals to make these cases a union issue as a deliberate ploy to distract and hoodwink members of the public. I reiterate again that there is no plan to increase tuition at LASU.”
But the Assistant Secretary of ASUU-LASU, Comrade Adeolu Oyekan had in a chat with The Guardian, dismissed the vice chancellor’s claims, saying the leadership of the union were being persecuted due to their positions on some of the activities of the vice chancellor.
According to him, “They were sacked because they are leaders of ASUU. If you have been following development at LASU over the last one year or thereabouts we have been having issues with the university management especially with the vice chancellor over inconsistencies and how laws are being implemented, coupled with introduction of certain policies by the management.
“You will recall that sometime in March, we wrote an open letter to the governor asking him to intervene in the looming crisis, and so the battle have been coming. Last year, we had several meetings with the vice chancellor and we made it clear to him that we are for peace and progress of the university, just as we are also for justice and fairness. But when we saw that the vice chancellor want to run the university the way he likes, relatively obeying the law, our union decided that we are going to resist him. You cannot continue to run the university without a deputy vice chancellor (DVC), or with just one DVC when the law said that the university should have two DVCs.
“If the law says that you should hold election, to appoint director of various units, you cannot be appointing people in acting capacity, just because you want them to be loyal to you. Follow the law strictly.’’