The sacking and demotion of 19 lecturers of the Lagos State University (LASU) for alleged multiple scandals would not stand, the Academic Staff Union of University (ASUU) chapter of the institution vowed on Saturday.
Secretary General of the teachers’ union, Anthony Dansu, said by phone that the decision by the university authorities to terminate the appointment of 17 lecturers and demote two, was still shocking despite the suspicion that the authorities were out on such a mission.
He also disclosed that a congress of the union would soon be called to address the alleged injustice.
He wasn’t definite on the date of the proposed emergency meeting, though this week wasn’t ruled out.
Both the chairman of the union Dr Isaac Oyewunmi and his vice Adebowale Adewale-Suenu, were affected in the purge, which the school authorities predicated on alleged offences like fraudulent practice, bribery, falsification of result, abandonment of duty and alteration of grades for students.
Dansu appraised this development this way: “The process leading to their sack and demotion isn’t clean. Other reports were presented, but the report that was used in terminating the appointment of the chairman, vice chairman and two other lecturers, wasn’t presented to anybody. The documents were just projected on a projector.
“The union is still processing the issue, and we will let you know what we are doing soon. The strike (action) is still on. Hopefully, we are going to hold a congress soon and address the issue. I’m not the exco (executive). Exco must meet and decide.”
When asked if the union had interfaced with the school management since the announcement was made, he answered in the negative.
“The development was not totally unexpected because we know the administration was working to an answer on the matter. It is just surprising the kind of injustice happened. Well, it is not new, it happened about two decades ago, infact more than two decades, the chairman of the union and the vice chairman were sacked but were returned and their sack reversed. By the grace of God, we will also get this (sacking of chairman and vice chairman) reversed because it is pure injustice.”
When asked how soon the process of reversing the development would commence, he said: “No date yet but very soon, we will meet.”
Oyewunmi, in a separate interview, described the corruption allegation levelled against him by the governing council of the school as laughable.
“I have nothing much to say. But if you read the school management statement, you will notice that three staff were accused of issues relating to bribe.
“We will get over the politics, though for now nothing much to say. By next week, our official reaction on the action of the school management decision will come after the congress, which we will have next week. We will get over the politics.
“Myself, I was alleged to have demanded for money and two others were alleged to have collected some money. The Governing Council is of the opinion that somebody truly requested for money and some others actually collected money, which is laughable.”
The institution in a statement, on Friday, sacked the affected lecturers.
The senior lecturer was said to have requested N50,000 from 2003 modular year students of Political Science Education, who were poised to process their results while his deputy, Adeyemi-Suenu, was accused of “unilaterally changing the status of students earlier asked to withdraw from the university from ‘withdraw’ to ‘good standing.
Meanwhile, Ademola Adekoya, the Acting Head, Centre for Information Press and Public Relations, in an interview said the decision of the university should not be seen as victimisation.
“We are not victimising anyone. The only thing is that the Governing Council, the highest body of the institution met during this period and the outcome was what we have,” He said.
“It is not what people are saying about victimisation. No one is victimising anyone. It is unfortunate that the lecturers involved are members of ASUU and it is coincidental that the two of them are part of the head of affairs in ASUU, which is the Chairman and the vice chairman. so the university does not have anything against them, whether victimization or political whatever.
“It is individual and not like the body against management. And they are even not the only members of ASUU that were affected by this. Those that are just ordinary members were also investigated and have been asked to go.”