Some lecturers of the Lagos State University (LASU), who were sacked earlier this month, have accused the university management of breaking into their offices and destroying their personal belonging before the elapse of the period of appeal provided by the university’s condition of service.
Section 3.10 of the university’s condition of service that deals with appeal state that “a staff member that has been sanctioned may appeal within six weeks from the date the sanction was communicated.”
But the lecturers are accusing the university management of breaking into their office within a week after they were dismissed.
According to the sacked lecturers, the school’s management, brought security operatives to break into their offices last Wednesday.
PREMIUM TIMES had reported that the Adebayo Ninalowo-led governing council of the university dismissed the lecturers after they were accused of “unauthorised removal, retention, and dissemination or publication of official confidential documents”.
The sacked lecturers – Tony Dansu, a senior lecturer, Department of Human Kinetics, Sports and Health Education; Adeolu Oyekan, Lecturer 1, Department of Philosophy, and Kemi Abodunrin-Shonibare, an associate professor, Department of African Languages, Literature and Communication Arts – alotre the Secretary, Assistant Secretary and Treasurer of the university’s chapter of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), respectively.
In 2018, ahead of the selection process for a new vice-chancellor 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, Olanrewaju 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 sacked officials spoke with PREMIUM TIMES Monday.
Mr Dansu told PREMIUM TIMES that the school security officials alongside police and civil defense officials stormed the institution last Wednesday to break into their offices. He claimed that his valuables were damaged while the authority locked the office up.
Similarly, Mr Adeolu told PREMIUM TIMES that he was forcefully evicted from his office. He, however, said the university authority did not permit them to appeal before taking what he described as a ‘dictatorial’ position against them.
“My students and other friends around called me that the university security and police broke into my office and they have even barred us from entering the campus,” said Mrs Abodunrin-shobanire.
“Let them appeal from home” – Management
Meanwhile, the spokesperson of the university, Ademola Adekoya, who did not deny the allegation, told PREMIUM TIMES that the lecturers can 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.
“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.”
When this newspaper confronted him with the provision of LASU condition of service, he simply replied: “Don’t allow them to interpret the law and you should not be their advocate. What you hear from me is correct.”