Asks Varsity to stay action
The National Industrial Court of Nigeria in Abuja, on Tuesday, ordered authorities of the Federal University, Oye Ekiti, (FUOYE) to refrain from taking further steps to sack its embattled Registrar, Olatunbosun Odunsanya.
Mr Odunsanya had approached the court with an ex-parte request, urging it to make an interim order restraining the university, its Vice Chancellor, Abayomi Fashina and the National Universities Commission (NUC) who are defendants in the suit from sacking him.
Kenechukwu Azie, Mr Odunsanya’s lawyer prayed the court to grant “an order of interim injunction restraining the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th defendants their agents, privies, assigns, servants however so called, from appointing a new Registrar for Federal University, Oye-Ekiti pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice,” on Tuesday.
Alternatively, the claimant asked the court to direct all parties in the case to “maintain status quo ante bellum,” pending the hearing and final determination of the substantive suit.
After listening to Mr Odunsanya’s ex-parte request, the presiding judge, E.N. Agbakoba, ordered parties in the matter to “maintain status quo ante”, pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice.
The judge however held that the interest of justice would best be served by the grant of an order of accelerated hearing.
Adjourning the case till February 17, Mrs Agbakoba, ordered parties to “refrain from conduct that would lead to breakdown of law and order.”
Other defendants in the matter are: the Chairman, Governing Council, Muhammad Yahuza; Jeremiah Omotola, Deputy Vice Chancellor, Administration and Shola Ojo who is the Deputy Vice Chancellor, Academics of the uninversity.
The university management and the bursar have been locked in a power tussle since last April.
The dispute got to a head when the Governing Council of FUOYE suspended the Registrar, Mr Odusanya from office over alleged misconduct.
In a statement issued in Ado-Ekiti on April 20, 2021 by the Special Adviser on Media Matters to the Vice-Chancellor, Wole Balogun, the university explained that Mr Odusanya’s suspension was to allow proper investigation into allegations of misconduct levelled against him over irregularities in recent appointments.
The letter of suspension, which was entitled “Suspension From the University”, reads in part: “you would please note that consequent upon the consideration of the report of the Committee on the review of appointments made in the University from Aug. 1, 2020, to February, 2021 by council, “You were recently queried via our memo Ref. No: FUOYE/VC/CD/007 dated 6th April, 2021, for act of misconduct in the appointments.
“The Staff Disciplinary Committee which was constituted by the governing council has considered your written representation and found it unacceptable to exculpate you from the act of misconduct.
”In line with the Regulations Governing the Conditions of Service of Senior Staff on CONTIS 06 and the above in the University , the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Council, on behalf of Council, has directed that your appointment be suspended from the University with half salary, with immediate effect, pending the determination of the case against you.
”Accordingly, you are hereby suspended from the University with half pay with immediate effect.
“Consequently, you are directed to hand over all the University property in your possession to the Officer next in rank to you immediately.”
The council directed the suspended registrar to submit his Identity Card to the Personnel Affairs Officer
Seven days after Mr Odusanya’s suspension, his appointment was purportedly terminated.
Mr Fasina, the Vice Chancellor said that instead of the former registrar showing remorse over his alleged misconduct, he had resorted to blackmail and assault on him.
The Vice Chancellor advised Mr Odunsanya to stop misleading the public over events leading to the termination of his appointment by the FUOYE Governing Council, headed by Mr Yahuza.
He noted that Mr Odusanya’s appointment was terminated by the governing council on April 27, in strict compliance with the university’s regulations on staff discipline and termination of employment.
It was gathered that the sacked registrar, Mr Odusanya, in a national daily, recently made several claims against the VC, alleging that his sack was out of personal vendetta.
Mr Odunsanya was quoted as saying that “My fear is that if this kind of thing is allowed to just go away like that, it shows that FUOYE is in serious trouble. Ideally, this is an offence I did not commit; it is not my responsibility to employ, it is my responsibility to carry out the directives of the chief executive.
”If Prof. Fasina could manoeuvre his way to remove the name of the registrar within 10 days, I don’t know what is likely going to be the future of all staff in FUOYE,” he Mr Odunsanya said.