The visitation panel set up by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu-led administration in Lagos State over series of crises rocking the Lagos State Polytechnic, Ikorodu, is set to hold a public hearing next Thursday.
Less than two weeks after PREMIUM TIMES published an investigative piece on illegal arms purchase, murder and harassment of innocent students, visitors and workers of the institution, and other allegations of corruption and incompetence levelled against the Samuel Sogunro-led management of the school, Mr Sanwo-Olu in October, 2019, announced the composition of the 11-member panel.
This newspaper, in its report, entitled; “Investigation: At Lagos Polytechnic, student’s death questions legality of armed campus guards,” which was published on October 19, 2019, chronicled the tragic murder of a sophomore student of the school, Ahmed Amoo, who was gunned down by one of the armed security guards, Ademola Ogunsanwo.
The polytechnic, in its response to the report, had described it as “fake and malicious.” A rejoinder addressed to the newspaper and signed by the institution’s registrar, Shakirudeen Bello, denied any wrongdoing in the killing of the student, but also failed to talk about the allegation of illegal purchase of arms and ammunition.
The polytechnic, had, for more than seven months in 2019, been engulfed in crises which disrupted academic and administrative activities, including the cancellation of its planned convocation ceremony and accreditation exercises, among others.
Thus, the panel, which has Ibilowo Afolayan as chairman and Wasiu Jabitta as secretary, was tasked to identify and examine the remote causes of the recurring crisis on the campus; make relevant recommendations for government’s consideration towards addressing identified issues; and make other relevant recommendations aimed at ensuring peaceful industrial atmosphere and conducive learning environment in the institution.
Panel calls for memoranda, meets stakeholders
The father of the slain student, Rasaq Amoo, was among the concerned members of the public who submitted memoranda to the panel shortly after its inauguration.
According to an insider, who craved anonymity, at the expiration of deadline for the submission of memoranda on December 13, 2019, many petitions were received against the management from both individuals and associations, including the workers’ unions on the campus.
The panel also subsequently met all relevant individuals and organisations concerned in the series of protracted crises on the campus, as a follow-up to the memoranda received from them.
Mr Amoo had in December, met with the panel at the Lagos State Government Secretariat, Alausa, Ikeja, where he reportedly reiterated his call for the re-arrest and prosecution of the killer of his only son, in his quest for justice.
Panel announces date for public sitting
As part of efforts towards ensuring openness and fairness in the execution of its terms of reference, the visitation panel has announced Thursday, January 9, as a day to hold public sitting on the matter it is saddled with.
Copies of letters of invitation sent to some of the stakeholders in the institution, which was sighted by PREMIUM TIMES, indicated that the sitting would hold at the Public Service Staff Development Centre (PSSDC), Magodo, Lagos.
The letter, which was signed by the panel’s secretary, Wasiu Jabbita, stated that the public sitting would ensure further insight into the various matters of concern earlier raised in their memoranda by the invited participants.