Officials of the Kaduna state University have denied that they threatened to sacked a senior lecturer of the institution, John Danfulani, for criticising the state governor.
Mr. Danfulani had dragged the Governing Council of the University to the National Industrial Court, NIC, sitting in Kaduna, for threatening to sack him from his job because he criticised Governor Ramalan Yero.
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’.
The lecturer, through his counsel, Auta Maisamari, sought to determine whether his status as a university lecturer bars him from commenting on issues related to peace and development of both Kaduna State and Nigeria.
But when contacted, the university authorities said it never threatened to sack the lecturer but only cautioned him on his utterances as a lecturer of the institution.
The university authorities also said it stands by its call on Mr. Danfulani and other lecturers to be cautious of utterances that might jeopardize the peace of the state and the country.
An official of the school, Adama Ja’afar, who spoke to PREMIUM TIMES said no threats were issued to the lecturer as reported by some media organizations.
“Go back and read the earlier letter he said the university issued him, there was nothing like threat. He was only cautioned against aggressive utterances.”
Part of the letter to Mr. DanFulani reads, “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.”
Also, in an e-mail to Sahara Reporters Mr. Danfulani claimed the school authorities wrote to him announcing the withdrawal of their earlier letter to him.
“The withdrawal of the earlier letter was as a result of the suit I initiated against the university before [the] National Industrial Court of Nigeria (NICN) in suit No. NICN/KD/19/2014 on 4th August, 2014.
“I am in receipt of the withdrawal letter dated 14th August, 2014 from the Registrar which read thus: ‘I write to withdraw the letter addressed to you dated 20th June, 2014 on the above subject matter which was written due to the seeming communication gap that existed as at the time of the letter.”
Mr. Danfulani said his lawyers are studying both letters sent to him by the authorities of the university.
The outcome of the study will inform his next action at the Industrial Court of Arbitration,
Kaduna, he said.