The authorities of the Federal University of Technology, Akure, Ondo State, has suspended 23 workers of the institution for insubordination to the Governing Council of the institution.
Members of the three labour unions of the university – the Non-Academic Staff Union, Senior Staff Association of Nigeria Universities and National Association of Academic Technologists – have been at loggerheads with the the Vice-Chancellor of the university, Prof. Adebiyi Daramola, over alleged financial mismanagement.
Following a petition, the VC was invited by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and was released, but members of the unions on the campus were not pleased. They consequently embarked on a series of protests, calling for the sacking of the VC.
However, on Thursday, the institution in a letter signed by the Registrar, Mrs. Modupe Ajayi, alleged that the sacked members of staff had been disturbing academic activities on the campus.
The letter gave the names of the affected workers as Dele Durojaye, Mike Opirijit, Remi Egunjobi, Bunmi Ayo -Alafe, Felix Adunbi, Obe Rotimi, Aladesuyi Ajoke, Philip Jayeoba, Akanji Justinah, Bayo Aladerotohun, Adefolarin Adesida and Ruth Bakare.
Other names on the letter included M.P. Faola, S. Arokoyu, J.S. Asante, Thomas Aina, Nelson Njoku, A.E. Omoraka, O.R. Bello, O.M. Fagbamiye-Akinwale and Mathew Fayiwole.
The letter read in part, “Your action amounts to wilful disobedience and act of insubordination to the Governing Council, which is tantamount to misconduct. In this regard, the portion of the letter under reference which states that, ‘Council will therefore take appropriate action to restore normalcy if the unions fail to comply with its directive,’ is hereby being effected.
“Consequent upon that, and in consonance with the university’s enabling law, I have been directed that you be put on suspension (on half pay) with effect from Monday, 28th November, 2016, pending the resolution of the matter.
“Accordingly, you are hereby suspended from the services of the university and placed on half pay with effect from 28th November, 2016. You are to hand over all university property in your custody to your Head of Department/Unit.
“In view of the foregoing, you are to stay away from the university campus until further notice.”
However, one of the affected members and SSANU Chairman, Mr. Dele Durojaye, who is also the chairman of the university’s Joint Action Committee, said the three labour unions were not aware of any letter suspending any member of staff of the institution.
He said, “I just left the university after 4pm; there was no letter to such effect. What we noticed when we were leaving was the presence of policemen at the gates of the university. We are not aware of any letter.”