The management of the Federal University of Technology, Akure, has risen in defence of the Vice Chancellor of the institution, Adebiyi Daramola, saying corruption allegations against him are “spurious.”
Mr. Daramola was on October 5 invited by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, to answer questions bordering on misappropriation of funds.
Following the allegation and the subsequent invitation of the Vice Chancellor by the EFCC, unions in the institutions seized the opportunity to revive their agitations against Mr. Daramola, calling for his removal.
The Deputy Vice Chancellor, Academics, Olatunde Alayela, while addressing journalists in Akure on Tuesday, said the recent agitations by the three unions – the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities, Non-Academic Staff Union of Universities and National Association of Academic Technologists – were founded in an earlier disagreement over the implementation of the federal government directive on the ownership of universities staff primary schools in the country.
The unions called for the removal of the Vice Chancellor and the Bursar and the dissolution of the Governing Council.
They rose from a joint congress on October 6 and began their protest. By October 7, the unions escalated the protest, blocking the two gates into the campus thus distrusting the normal activities within the university.
It took the effort of police officers to bring the situation under control.
Mr. Alayela stated that the petition to the EFCC against the Vice Chancellor was written by two non-teaching staff of the institution, and was based on an audit query to which explanations had been made.
“The Vice Chancellor has written statements on the allegations most of which are spurious and others which arose out of lack of necessary information and understanding and supported his claims with some necessary documents to clear the air on the allegations,” Mr. Alayela said.
“It is the option of the university management that since the Vice Chancellor has not been pronounced guilty by the law enforcement agent, EFCC, he is reasonably and by the provision of the law of the land, be adjudged innocent.
“The unions cannot pre-empt the law enforcement agent or be the judge in their own case.”
The deputy vice chancellor urged the unions to allow the EFCC carry out its job of investigating the matter rather than escalate the ongoing crisis.
He noted that the unions’ agitation for the reinstatement of employees of the university’s staff school relieved of their jobs in line with the new policy on staff school, was misdirected and a consequence of the misunderstanding of the government circular on the policy.
He said the management was committed to dialogue with the unions and treat the matter as an internal problem of the university.