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Otuoke varsity lecturer alleges victimisation, laments indefinite postponement of suit at NIC

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Federal University, Otuoke

The National Industrial Court (NIC) sitting in Yenagoa has again postponed indefinitely the suit brought before it by a lecturer of the Federal University, Otuoke, Dr. Etumudon Asien, against the institution’s Vice-Chancellor (VC), Seth Jaja, and two others.

Asien took the VC and two others to the industrial court over alleged victimisation and promotion fraud in the institution.

At the last proceeding, the presiding judge, Justice Bashar. A. Alkali, after listening to the argument of the two counsel, asked that they go for an out-of-court settlement.

The judge adjourned the hearing till October 9, adding that failure to settle the matter through alternative dispute, will ensure commencement of hearing on the substantive suit.

But after attempts to settle out of court failed, both parties were expected to appear in court on Wednesday but the court failed to mention the case for hearing, which prompted Aisien to lament the indefinite postponement.

He said the postponement of the suit speaks volumes, as he was yet to know why the case was postponed or when it will hold.

The lecturer from the Faculty of Management Science alleged that he was removed as the head of the Banking and Finance Department and denied mandatory promotion in line with the results of institution review exercise.

In the suit, he also accused the vice chancellor of the institution of wrongful recruitment and promotion of two lecturers without due process and deliberately punishing him for his refusal to belong to the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).

According to the claimant, by the virtue of the irregular appointment of the two lecturers with alleged questionable characters, his professional growth have been negatively affected as they occupy positions that would have been occupied by him and that despite all actions and complaints, the defendants are still carrying out their acts of discrimination and illegality and if no remedial action is taken, they will continue to impede his growth in the service.

He asked the court to issue an order that he has a constitutionally-guaranteed right to decide whether to become a member of ASUU or not and cannot suffer discrimination by the institution and the vice chancellor.

He also prayed the court to issue a “declaration to the effect that the removal of the claimant as the head of Department of Banking and Finance of the Faculty of the Management Sciences of the institution on the ground that the claimant is not a member of the ASUU is a breach of the claimant’s fundamental human right and is thus illegal, null and void.”


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