FUTA Labour Unions Jubilate Over Suspension Of VC

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Labour unions in the Federal University of Technology, Akure, in Ondo State have commended the  Federal Governnment for suspending the Vice-Chancellor of the university, Professor Adebiyi Daramola, who is currently facing corruption charges at the state High Court sitting in Akure, the State capital.

Joined with the VC on the corruption charges is the university’s Bursar, Emmanuel Oresegun.

The Federal Government had suspended Daramola, and his counterpart at the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Professor Olusola Oyewole, on Thursday.

The government said in a statement by the Acting Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Education, Dr Hussaini Adamu, they were suspended in connection with their ongoing trial by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

Members of three labour unions in the university – Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU), the Non-Academic Staff Union of Universities (NASU) as well as the National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT) – expressed their delight over the development on Friday.

Upon receiving the news that the Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, had suspended the VC, the workers trooped out in their numbers on the university campus singing, drumming and dancing.

The Chairman of SSANU in FUTA, who doubles as the chairman of Joint Action Committee(JAC), Dele Durojaye, told journalists that their protests have been justified as the federal government has acceded to their demand to remove the VC, pending the time the outcome of the case.

Durojaye said the suspension was long overdue as they had expected the federal government to have since invoked the public service rules to suspend the VC.

Also speaking, a member of the university’s NAAT, Jimoh Oloro, stated that the court is in the best position to determine whether the VC is guilty or not.

He added that the unions have achieved their aim to remove the VC from office, insisting that following his suspension, he will not come back as VC of the university.

Following series of protests, starting from October 2016, the unions sent a petition to the EFCC.

The anti-graft agency intervened and arrested the VC and the Bursar, interrogated them and arraigned them.

The VC was arraigned on nine counts, including fraud, obtaining money under false pretences, abuse of office and felony, while the Bursar was on arraigned on two counts of corruption. Both of them, however, pleaded not guilty of the offences. The case is still continuing at the court.

Since both men were arraigned, the labour unions have called for the removal of the VC from office based on the corruption allegations against him.

The court had earlier in the week ordered the staff of the university who have been on strike for the past seven months to resume work within 24 hours.

It also ordered the management of the university to pay the workers all outstanding salaries and reinstate those whose appointments have been terminated forthwith.

Judge’s Absence Stalls Commencement Of Ogunlewe’s Trial

Judge's Absence Stalls Commencement Of Ogunlewe's TrailAbsence Of the Judge, has stalled the commencement of trial of a former Minister of Works, Mr Adeseye Ogunlewe and VC of the Federal University of Agriculture (FUNAAB), Bamidele Oyewole, on alleged financial mismanagement.

The presiding judge, of the Ogun State High Court-six in Isabo, Abeokuta, was said to have been bereaved, hence her absence from the court.

The first, second and third defendants and their counsels were present in court for the commencement of the trial fixed for Friday, before announcement was made about the absence of the trial judge.

The three accused have pleaded not guilty to the 18-count charge proffered against them over financial misappropriation and have since been granted bail after meeting their bail conditions.

Commenting on the absence of the trial judge, counsels to the Economic and Financial Crime commission (EFCC), the second defendant, Ben Ubi and Benjamin Ogunleye, expressed their readiness for the commencement of trial on December 19 and 20.

According to Mr Ubi, ”it is one of those things that befalls a man.

“If her lordship had not been bereaved, we would have commenced the trial today. over the period I have appeared before her lordship, I knew she is dedicated to her assignments. We came at least with five witnesses today, hoping that we will cause the trial to commence but death is about one thing in life,” he said.

“To show you the dedication of the judge, she did not vacate the Monday and Tuesday date, she sustained those dates for the commencement of trial, so, we will be back on Monday by his grace to do what we are expected to do,” he submitted.

Counsel to the second defendant, Mr Ogunleye on the other hand stated that: ”it is an unforeseen circumstance and there is nothing one can do about it.

“We learnt that the trial judge is bereaved and she cannot just sit today. But according to the court registrar, the matter continues on Monday and Tuesday, so, we keep our gunpowder dry until then.

“We are very much ready,” he added.

SSANU Shuts FUNAAB Main Gate, Wants VC Removed

SSANU, FUNAAB, Olusola OyewoleMembers of the Senior Staff Association of Nigeria Universities (SSANU) at the Federal University of Agriculture Abeokuta (FUNAAB) have called for the removal of the institution’s Vice Chancellor, Professor Bamidele Oyewole, over alleged high-handedness and financial misappropriation.

The SSANU members also locked the main gate leading to the institution to prevent movement into and out of the school to press home their demands.

They were seen displaying placards with various captions on Monday in the Ogun State capital, southwest Nigeria.

SSANU has also called for the reinstatement of three of its members allegedly suspended earlier by the Vice Chancellor.

Reacting to the accusation, Professor Oyewole insisted that he acted within the ambit of the law governing the university.

He asked the union members to sheath their sword to pave way for the resumption of students on October 3, after they were sent home after a violent demonstration.

The three senior staff of the institution were suspended by the Vice Chancellor over allegation of acts inimical to the smooth running of the institution.

SSANU had earlier called on the Federal Government fact finding team to investigate FUNAAB’s Vice Chancellor.

The union’s Chairman at the institution, Mr Rotimi Fasuwon, said their members were suspended on the order of Professor Oyewole for alleged acts prejudicial to the smooth running and governance of the university.

He accused the university authority of carrying out the suspension in bad faith.

The Vice Chancellor on his part, defended his action, saying due process was followed in the suspension of the three members of the union.

He also alleged that the crisis was motivated by internal politics, playing itself out among gladiators in the institution, a claim the SSANU Chairman denied.

SSANU Asks FG To Probe FUNAAB Leadership

SSANU, FUNAAB, Olusola OyewoleThe Senior Staff Association of Universities (SSANU) at the Federal University of Agriculture Abeokuta (FUNAAB) has called for a Federal Government fact finding team to investigate the Vice Chancellor of the institution, Professor Olusola Oyewole.

The call is a fall out of the suspension of three members of SSANU, which had pitched the Vice Chancellor against the union and led to the call for his removal.

The SSANU Chairman at FUNAAB, Mr Rotimi Fasuwon, said their members were suspended on the order of Professor Oyewole for alleged acts prejudicial to the smooth running and governance of the university.

He accused the university authority of carrying out the suspension in bad faith.

The Vice Chancellor on his part, defended his action, saying due process was followed in the suspension of the three members of the union.

He also alleged that the crisis was motivated by internal politics, playing itself out among gladiators in the institution, a claim the SSANU Chairman denied.

Meanwhile, the Chairman of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) at FUNAAB, Mr Adebayo Oni, has waded into the face-off.

He asked the gladiators to explore internal university mechanism in resolving the crisis.

Mr Oni also passed a vote of confidence on the leadership of the school, asking it to continue to provide academic, research and administrative leadership the school desires.

While the crisis continues, the university authority has extended the mid semester holiday granted to the students following the violent protest which resulted into wanton destruction of property.

Police Charge 27 FUNAAB Students Over Violent Protest

FUNAAB, Police, Protest, Ogun, StateThe Ogun State Police Command has charged 27 students of the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta over the violent protest which resulted in the destruction of at least 10 vehicles and attack on a church.

The students were arraign on a 6-count charge which include arson, malicious damage of property, unlawful assembly and rioting, at the Isabo Magistrate Court in the state capital, southwest Nigeria.

Delivering his judgement on Friday, Magistrate Oriyomi Sofowora ruled that the students could only be bailed after satisfying the bail conditions.

He stated the conditions to include two sureties of which one must be a parent and a resident in Ogun State while the other must have property worth 100,000 Naira.

The President of the National Association of Nigerian Students, Ogun State chapter,  Seun Opaleye, said the accused were arraigned after seven of the 34 earlier arrested were found not culpable by the Police.

A drama ensued when one of the students, who was taken out of the Black Maria vehicle, expected to convey them to the Ibara Prison fainted.

This drew sympathy from on-lookers who alleged that the victim was not given the necessary attention he deserved at that moment.

Meanwhile, the Special Assistant to Governor Ibikunle Amosun on Youths, Mr Clement Olusegun, faulted the claims that one of the students was shot in the head by the Police, saying he witnessed the incident.

The injured student was said to have been discharged from the Federal Medical Centre in Abeokuta, where he was taken to after the incident.

He had since been transferred to the University College Hospital in Ibadan, the Oyo State’s capital.

Economist Backs Increase in Agriculture Produce

The global population is expected to grow by more than 9 billion by 2050, some Nigerians have expressed fears about how prepared the country is to ensure an increased level in food supply.

That was the focus on Channels Television Business Morning where an Agricultural Economist at Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, (FUNAAB), Prof. Bola Okuneye and the Chairman, Agricultural Group, Lagos Chambers of Commerce and Industry, LCCI, Wale Oyekoya, asked the Federal Government to provide more funding towards agriculture in the country, especially in the area of budget allocation to the sector.

While commending the government’s agricultural transformation agenda, they called for the sustainability of such policies and also advocated the need to come up with more policies that would encourage the private sector participation.

The analysts were also of the opinion that more attention should be given to the real farmers, particularly in the rural areas.

This can be done through the granting of loans and provision of arable land for farming.

The aspect of fish farming was also an area of concern. Prof Okuneye and Mr Oyekoya advised that a more conducive environment should be provided to encourage fish farming in the country.

This they say would help reduce the level of fish importation into the country.