The lecturer was asked to stop “denigrating” the state governor.
A lecturer of Kaduna State University, KASU, John Danfulani, has dragged the Governing Council of the university to the National Industrial Court of Nigeria sitting in Kaduna.
Mr. Kasu is challenging the attempt to stop him from commenting on public issues after he made commentaries on Governor Ramalan Yero, who is also visitor of the institution.
In the suit, Mr. Danfulani is challenging the appropriateness of a letter issued to him on June 20, 2014 titled ‘Denigration of The Person of the Visitor of Kaduna State University’.
Part of the letter read as thus, “Management has observed with dismay the way and manner in which you denigrate and make unsubstantiated remarks about the person of the Visitor of the University, Dr. Mukhtar Ramalan Yero in your numerous write ups.
“While noting that you may exercise your freedom of expression and express opinion on issues, management views the statements above by you, a staff member of the university as denigrative and as an act of misconduct in line with section 20: 4 of the university law. You are therefore by this letter required to desist forthwith from any acts of
misconduct or disrespect to the person or office of the visitor who is your employer on behalf of whom council acts. Failure to desist will leave management with no option than to take appropriate action.”
The lecturer, through his counsel, Auta Maisamari, sought determination as to whether his status as a university lecturer bars him from commenting on issues related to peace and development of both Kaduna State and Nigeria.
He is also seeking to know if commenting on public issues contravenes Sections 36, and 39 of 1999 constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria and Section 20: 4 of the university.
The lecturer is also seeking perpetual injunction restraining the university from further acts of punishing him in relation to any claims.
A date has not yet been fixed for hearing, but a credible source in the university confirmed that it has received the originating summons and working on its defence ahead of appearance in the court.
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