LASU Crisis: ASUU sanctions university for sacking lecturers who exposed fraud

LASU VC, Olanrewaju Fagbohun
LASU VC, Olanrewaju Fagbohun

The National Executive Council of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), has sanctioned the management of Lagos State University (LASU) for sacking some of its lecturers who exposed fraud in the institution.

The university claimed the lecturers stole documents containing details of the alleged fraud.

The sacked lecturers are Anthony Dansu, a senior lecturer, Department of Human Kinetics, Sports and Health Education; Adeolu Oyekan, lecturer 1, at Department of Philosophy, and Kemi Abodunrin-Shonibare, an associate professor, Department of African Languages, Literature and Communication Arts.

The trio are the secretary, assistant secretary and treasurer of the university’s chapter of the ASUU, respectively.

PREMIUM TIMES on Friday obtained extract from ASUU NEC resolution of March 7 and 8, 2020 but published March 12, 2020. The meetings held at the Enugu State University of Technology (ESUT).

The union said having considered the report of its Ad-hoc Committee on LASU, it resolved that the Vice Chancellor of the institution, Olanrewaju Fagbohun, be declared an enemy of the union.

ASUU barred its members from other universities from partnering with LASU in academic exercises such as sabbatical leave, visitation, part-time lectureship, external examinations, external assessment, conferences.

The union also barred its members from its other branches across the country from accepting any collaboration from lecturers from LASU.

The Genesis:

PREMIUM TIMES in September 2019 reported how LASU accused three of its lecturers of unauthorised removal, retention and dissemination or publication of official confidential documents to expose alleged fraud in the school.

NEC Resolution on LASU
NEC Resolution on LASU

In 2018, ahead of the selection process for a new registrar at the university, the university’s chapter of ASUU petitioned the governing council, accusing the immediate past Registrar, Akinwunmi Lewis, of illegally backdating the professorial promotion of the incumbent vice-chancellor, Mr Fagbohun.

The petition, which was signed by Messrs Dansu and Oyekan, accused Mr Lewis of misinterpreting the decision of the council, which was taken on May 7, 2014, to promote the vice-chancellor by backdating the promotion to 2008.

The union attached a document classified as ‘confidential’ and containing the purported governing council’s decision to the petition.

READ ALSO: ASUU reacts to alleged diversion of research grants by Nigerian lecturers

An irate management accused the leadership of ASUU of unauthorised use of the document which was believed to have been illegally taken from Mr Fagbohun’s file in the office of the Dean of the Faculty of Law, Fabunmi Adeleke.

Following this action, the university sacked the lecturers.

The Eviction

On September 23, the sacked lecturers accused the university management of breaking into their offices and destroying their personal belongings before the elapse of the period of appeal provided by the university’s condition of service. They said the management brought security operatives to break into their offices.

Reacting to this, the spokesperson of the university, Ademola Adekoya, who did not deny the allegation, told PREMIUM TIMES that the lecturers could appeal their dismissal from home.

“That you have six weeks to appeal does not say you are supposed to be on campus. You leave the campus first and you will then appeal,” he maintained then. “I was not there… But let me just tell you one thing. If a staff of an organization is dismissed, the dismissal takes immediate effect. The only way you could stay is to appeal in court.”

Oath of secrecy:

After a series of reports by PREMIUM TIMES detailing alleged fraud in the school, the management of the university issued directives that all staff must sign an “oath of secrecy”.

The oath of secrecy forbids staff from disclosing matters of the institution to the public.

LASU authorities took the decision four months after PREMIUM TIMES revealed that Peter Okebukola, a former executive secretary of the Nigerian University Commission (NUC), and professor of Science Education at LASU, falsified his age to extend his retirement date.

He used three different dates of birth (February 17, 1949; February 17, 1948 and February 17, 1951) interchangeably to manipulate the system at several times during his career.



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