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Crisis looms at LASU over alleged plot to sack three lecturers

By Ujunwa Atueyi
20 September 2018   |   3:09 am
There seems to be no end in sight to the intractable crisis between the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Lagos State University (LASU) branch and the management of the institution, as members of ASUU...


• ASUU urges Ambode to set up visitation panel
• LASU vows to sanction erring members

There seems to be no end in sight to the intractable crisis between the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Lagos State University (LASU) branch and the management of the institution, as members of ASUU south west zone accused the institution’s vice chancellor, Prof. Lanre Fagbohun of plotting to dismiss three of their members who queried the procedure for his professorship.

Addressing journalists during the union’s southwest zonal congress held at LASU recently, the leaders drawn from various chapters vowed to resist any attempt by the university management to further humiliate their members.

The group also marched to the governor’s office in protest against the planned sack calling on the governor and Visitor to the institution, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode to urgently set up a visitation panel to look into the issue before it degenerated further.But in a swift reaction, the institution’s spokesman, Mr. Adekoya Ademola dismissed the union allegation, saying the management cannot wake up and dismiss its staff as there are laid down regulations for everything in the university system. Ademola urged the union to await the decision of the council rather than resorting to malicious argument.

The university spokesman described the action of the union members as an act of gross misconduct, which attracts a serious sanction.He said, “The documents are confidential, where did they get it from? Getting the document and making it public is against the rules of the university. They did not see the complete document connected to the backdating of the VC’s promotion. They saw one document, capitalise on it and jumped into conclusion. There is sanction for every misconduct.”

Members of ASUU-LASU had petitioned the institution’s governing council demanding an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the illegal backdating of Fagbohun’s promotion to professorial cadre.

The union leaders who championed the petition were later queried for illegitimately sourcing the document attached to the petition.The affected members are the Secretary of ASUU-LASU, Dr. Tony Dansu; assistant secretary, Dr. Adeolu Oyekan and treasurer, Dr. Kemi Aboderin. They were accused of illegally obtaining the contentious document, and therefore must be sanctioned for their action.

The Akure Zonal Coordinator of ASUU, Dr. Alex Odigi, expressed worry over the planned move by LASU management to unjustly dismiss three lecturers, saying the union in solidarity is bringing the matter to the court of public opinion. “The management of LASU has begun another process to sack our members in this branch. It is not new that the university unjustly sacked some lecturers and they want to sack some other members of our union on the charge of classified document revealed to the public.

“We are here to protest to government that we are displeased with the matter. We are hopeful that the intervention of the governor would go a long way in resolving the matter. We want the members of the public to judge too. Our members have the right to unionise but the administration wants to destroy the union.”

Zonal Coordinator for Lagos ASUU branch, Prof. Olusiji Sowande, who accused LASU management of operating against the law, stated, “Let it be known to the management that we will not accept their dismissal. The issue is that the union asked the governing Council to investigate how the vice chancellor got his professorship and the next thing is that the management queried them about how they got the document attached to their allegation.  We will not accept intimidation of our members.”

ASUU Zonal Coordinator for Benin branch, Prof. Fred Esumeh, and his Ibadan branch counterpart, Dr. Ade Adejumo, in their respective remarks stated that adequate measures must be taken to curb the excesses of the institution’s management.