Modupe Ajayi remains FUTA registrar
The management of the Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA) has refuted reports that the institution’s Registrar, Dr. Modupe Ajayi, has been suspended by the Federal Ministry of Education.
This was consequent upon the news that the Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, had suspended Ajayi, alongside the embattled Vice Chancellor of the institution, Prof Adebiyi Daramola.
FUTA’s Head of Information and Protocol Unit, Mr. Adegbenro Adebanjo, in a statement made available to journalists in Akure yesterday, stressed that Ajayi remains the substantive Registrar of the university.
It was, however, learnt that the Ministry confused the office of the registrar with that of the Bursar, Mr. Emmanuel Oresegun, who is being tried alongside with Daramola for corruption charges.
“Ajayi continues to carry out her duties and responsibilities as the Registrar and Secretary to the Governing Council of FUTA until the expiration of her term of office at the end of May, 2017,” the statement read in part.
But the Students Union Government (SUG) condemned the suspension of the principal officers, describing the action of the minister as illegal and “subtle usurpation,” saying it did not make recourse to the institution’s governing council.
SUG president, Mr. Oladele Segun, lamented: “It is surprising, appalling and draconian for the minister to bow to pressure from retrogressive forces determined to take a pound of flesh from the FUTA vice chancellor and the bursar.
“It is pertinent to state categorically that the corruption trial of the vice chancellor and the bursar, which was cited as reason for this illegal suspension, is before a court of competent jurisdiction.
“Thus, the students’ union finds it undemocratic, autocratic, unconstitutional and an abuse of court process for the minister to unilaterally suspend the top university officials without recourse to stipulated guidelines.
“This suspension, if allowed to hold, is an attack on the autonomy of the university system and contravenes the provisions of the Universities Miscellaneous Act No.11 of 1993 (as amended) by decree No.25, 1996 and further amended in 2003 and 2012, and other items contained in the 2009 agreement between the Federal Government and the unions.”
The students faulted the minister for the removal of the principal officers, noting: “The constitution is very clear on the procedures to be followed in the appointment and disengagement of vice chancellors and none of these procedures was followed by the minister in the FUTA case.
“The power to appoint and remove a substantive vice chancellor, and when the need arises, an acting vice chancellor, is vested in the Governing Councils. FUTA has a Governing Council in place, thus the action of the minister is an attack on the Nigerian constitution.”
The student body urged the ministry to rescind its action, saying it dies not augur well for the Nigerian university system.