Wednesday, May 17, 2017 9:36 am
Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta has defended the refusal of its VicVice-Chancellor, Professor Olusola Oyewole to vacate office, despite his recent suspension by the Federal Government.
The Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, had in a letter dated May 5, signed by the Acting Permanent Secretary, Dr. Hussaini Adamu, suspended Oyewole.
The suspension is pending the determination of a criminal suit instituted against him by the EFCC.
Oyewole, whose five- year tenure will expire on May 23, however defied the directive and reported for work at his office on Monday.
This led to insinuations that he was defying the Ministry’s directive.
But in a statement signed by the institution’s Registrar and Secretary to the Governing Council in Abeokuta, Mr Matthew Ayoola on Tuesday, the University said such claim was “incorrect”.
“The truth is that the Vice-Chancellor had in line with the Federal Universities of Agriculture Act, written a Letter of Appeal to the Visitor of the University in respect of the purported suspension.
“Arising from the above, the Vice-Chancellor is awaiting response from the Visitor on his appeal.
“It should be noted that once an appeal is made on matters of this nature, the status- quo remains, until the appeal is considered,” the statement said.
Meanwhile, the two non-academic staff unions of the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB) on Tuesday, expressed mixed reactions over the suspension of the Vice Chancellor.
But members of the Non-Academic Staff Union of Universities (NASU) and Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) of the institution on Tuesday held separate rallies within the campus to express their respective support for and opposition against Oyewole.
While NASU members converged on the open space in front of the Senate building, to condemn the suspension and eulogise the VC, SSANU members organised what they called ”celebration of the inglorious exit of Oyewole”.
Speaking at the SSANU rally, Chairman, FUNAAB chapter, Mr. Olurotimi Fasuwon, faulted the “VC’s defiance of the lawful directive to proceed on suspension in compliance with section 030404 of the Public Service Rule”.
Fasuwon alleged that the VC’s tenure had brought anguish and pain to the staff, and also set the university back by more than ten years.
Contrary to SSANU’s claims, the NASU chairman in the university, Mr. Isiaq Odunjo, absolved Oyewole of any wrongdoing.
Odunjo said that NASU organised the solidarity rally for Oyewole to condemn his purported suspension.
He explained that after critical study, examination and analysis of laws governing the university system in Nigeria, the union concluded that the suspension of Oyewole was “absolute illegality”.
Quoting relevant laws, Odunjo argued that the VC could be removed only by the Governing Council of the institution, adding that the Minister could not in whatever guise, circumvent a statutory provision.