New Legislation To Prohibit Sexual Harassment Will Stigmatise Lecturers – ASUU

Why We Suspended Nationwide Strike – ASUU
A file photo of ASUU National President, Professor Biodun Ogunyemi.

 

 

The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has faulted the proposed legislation to prohibit sexual harassment in tertiary institutions across the country.

ASUU National President, Professor Biodun Ogunyemi, stated this when he appeared before some lawmakers on Monday in Abuja.

He spoke at the public hearing organised by the Senate on a bill to prohibit sexual harassment in tertiary institutions.

The union president believes the new legislation will stigmatise lecturers, stressing that it is not necessary.

According to him, there are existing laws to address the problem of sexual harassment in various academic institutions.

READ ALSO: Court Restrains INEC From Deregistering 31 Political Parties

Professor Ogunyemi, however, asked the lawmakers to focus their attention on other problems in universities that needed immediate attention.

This photo taken on February 17, 2020, in Abuja shows a scene at the public hearing on a bill to prohibit sexual harassment in tertiary institutions.

 

 

The public hearing was attended by a wide range of stakeholders comprising students, as well as members of the Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and pressure groups.

Some of them disagreed with the position of the ASUU national president and described the bill as long overdue.

They also called on the Senate to expand the scope of the bill to include students in primary and secondary schools.

They argued that in primary and secondary school students also face sexual harassment from their teachers.

 

Sexual Predators

The legislation, tagged Anti-Sexual Harassment Bill, is sponsored by the Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege.

This followed an investigation by BBC which uncovered sexual misconduct by some university lecturers in Nigeria and Ghana.

Presenting the bill to his colleagues during a plenary in the Senate, Omo-Agege had said, “Sexual harassment in our campuses is a repugnant challenge to our values as a people.

“For far too long, sexual predators masquerading as educators have plied the corridors of our nation’s higher institutions unchecked. It will continue in the absence of an appropriate leadership response.”

If the bill becomes a law it would be illegal for lecturers to make any sexual advances towards students.

Lecturers’ Abduction: Kaduna Poly Rector Seeks Joint Action Against Kidnappers

Umar Chinoko                                                                                                                        Adamu Chinoko

 

 

The Rector of Kaduna Polytechnic, Professor Idris Bugaje, has called for a joint action to tackle the rate of kidnapping in the state.

Professor Bugaje made the call in a statement by his special adviser on media, Bala Aliyu, following the abduction and subsequent release of two lecturers in the state.

The two lecturers, Dr Umar Chinoko and  Adamu Chinoko, both brothers from Kebbi state, regained their freedom on Sunday, six days after they were abducted in the Mahuta area of Kaduna metropolis.

READ ALSO: Court Jails Two Ex-Bankers For N25m Fraud After 10 Years Trial

Professor Bugaje stressed the need for synergy and inter-agency cooperation among institutions, security agencies, and the public in the fight against criminality.

He also appealed to the security agencies to redouble their efforts to rid the society of all forms of criminal elements.

The rector commended the security agencies in the state for their roles in ensuring the release of two abducted lecturers of Kaduna Polytechnic and Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria.

He acknowledged the pressure of security operatives against the kidnappers that eventually led to the release of the lecturers.

Professor Bugaje also commended the state government and the Federal Government for putting mechanisms in place to check the menace of kidnapping and banditry in Kaduna and other parts of the country.

Federal Poly Lecturers In Niger Embark On Strike

A file photo of the front gate of Federal Polytechnic, Bida in Niger State. Photo: www.fedpolybida.edu.ng

 

 

Lecturers at the Federal Polytechnic Bida on Monday embark on an indefinite strike over allegations of lingering salary shortfall, non-payment of allowances, and secret recruitment of over 141 new staff, among others.

This was made known in an open letter addressed to the Accountant General of the Federation signed by Chairman of the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) at the polytechnic, Dr Umar Saganuwan.

The lecturers described the alleged recruitment of new staff as unjustifiable, especially when the existing ones have not been paid full salaries and other allowances since July 2019.

READ ALSO: Kaduna Poly Rector Seeks Joint Action Against Kidnappers

They also said the recruitment was fraudulent and does not serve the needs of the various departments of the institution.

 

What Are They Hiding?

The letter read,

Sir, it may interest you to know that apart from other allowances unjustifiably owed staff of this institution for several months and as if this is not enough, the staff have also not enjoyed payment of their full salaries since July 2019, due to management claims of the shortfall in the monthly allocation to the institution.

Coincidentally, while we are still grappling to come to terms with the reality of the  pains inflicted on us by the twin issue of the shortfall of personnel emoluments and non-payment of our allowances, we were greeted by the rude shock of secret and fraudulent recruitment (replacement) of over 141 staff by the management and which does not serve the needs of the various departments.

The questions we are asking are; what is the justification of the massive recruitment when the same institution cannot pay its existing workforce? Why was the appointment secretly done against all known procedures and rules for such exercise?

Why were the appointment letters of the newly recruited staff backdated to 7th December 2018 while they were documented in October 2019 and they are to assume duties in January 2020. What are they hiding?

 

The union, however, urged the Federal government to set up a committee to investigate the alleged shortfall in personnel emoluments which has led to cut down in staff salaries.

In its response, the management of the polytechnic wrote to the Accountant General of the Federation to counter the allegations of the lecturers.

It explained that the recruitment was transparently conducted, starting from obtaining the governing council’s permission to the issuance of a certificate of compliance by the Federal Character Commission.

The management stated that the letter by the union contained falsehood, adding that it has issued queries signed by the Deputy Registrar, Hussaini Muhammad Enagi, to the executive members of ASUP in the polytechnic.

It, however, queried the ASUP Chairman for flaunting the internal grievance procedure by writing a direct letter to the Accountant General of the Federation.

The query read,

Your action depicts that you have not changed your attitude despite the intervention of the Executive Secretary of NBTE at the Abuja Peace Accord meeting where attention was drawn to respect the internal grievance procedure which you jettisoned by directly writing the Accountant General of the Federation without first reporting to the council.

The above actions contravene Section 4 Sub-section F of the Public Service Rule Chapter 16.2 and 16.5 of the Polytechnic Staff manual.

You are given 24 hours to substantiate with facts why disciplinary action should not be taken against you.

 

Meanwhile, the union has declared that its members would not go back to lecture rooms until the query was withdrawn and all issues raised in the open letter were addressed.

#SexForGrades: UNILAG Suspends Another Lecturer

 

Another lecturer in the University of Lagos, Dr. Samuel Oladipo, has been suspended.

Oladipo who worked in the department of economics was captured in the investigative documentary filmed by the BBC, making sexual advances to the reporter who had disguised as a 17-year-old student seeking admission.

His actions according to the university contravene the policy of the institution which requires lecturers to provide parental care for students.

Read Also: UNILAG Shuts Down ‘Cold Room’ Where Lecturers Allegedly Assault Students

He is, therefore, expected to face a panel set up by the university to investigate his alleged involvement in the sex-for-grade saga.

Meanwhile, the institution has called on members of staff and students that have relevant information concerning the incidents to come forward.

Oladipo’s suspension comes just days after Dr. Boniface Igbeneghu was suspended over similar allegations.

He was also suspended from the foursquare church where he is a part-time pastor.

Lecturers At Ilesa College Of Education Commence Indefinite Strike

 

Academic activity was brought to a halt on Thursday at the Osun State College of Education in Ilesa, as lecturers commenced an indefinite strike.

The leadership of the Colleges of Education Academic Staff Union (COEASU), Ilesa branch, gave the directive following the alleged failure of the state government to fulfil all its agreements with the lecturers.

Defying the rain, the lecturers took to the streets carrying placards with various inscriptions around the campus, chanting solidarity songs.

After the peaceful walk, COEASU Chairman in Ilesa, Olusegun Lana, told journalists that the government had failed to stop the payment of modulated salary to workers as promised, a move he claimed had left untold hardship on the workers.

They also demanded the payment of half salary arrears and deductions which they claimed totalled about 36 months, as well as the reinstatement of about 42 staff dismissed in 2016, among other demands.

In response, the state government speaking through the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Adelani Baderinwa, noted that it is yet stabilise financially hence the delay in putting an end to modulated salary.

He, however, assured the lecturers that the government remains committed to the welfare of all its workers.

ASUU Strike: FG, Lecturers Meet Over Industrial Action

ASUU, JAMB Act, amendmentThe Federal Government will today be meeting with lectures in Abuja, this is in a bid to resolve the ongoing industrial action by the Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).

The meeting was called by the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, following the failure of ASUU to get back to the Federal Government after both parties met on August 17, 2017.

Others expected at today’s meeting include the Ministers of Education and Finance, Mallam Adamu Adamu and Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, the Chairman, National Income Salaries, and Wages Commission, Executive Secretary, National Universities Commission and the President of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) Comrade Ayuba Wabba.

The Union declared an indefinite strike two weeks ago, citing the failure of the government to implement agreements reached with the union in 2009.

The National President of the union, Dr. Biodun Ogunyemi, announced this at a meeting of the National Executive Council (NEC) of ASUU in Abuja.

He said during the strike, there shall be no teaching, no examination and no attendance of statutory meetings of any kind in any of the union’s branches across the country.

Dr. Ogunyemi declared a ‘total, comprehensive and indefinite’ nationwide strike after a nationwide consultation with members at an emergency NEC meeting held on Saturday, August 12, 2017.

He explained in a statement issued after Saturday’s meeting that their decision followed the failure of the government to fully implement the 2009 FGN-ASUU Agreement and the 2013 Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).

The ASUU president added that related demands made by the union were yet to be addressed, which was why they resolved to embark on an indefinite strike from Sunday, August 13, 2017.

Some of the key outstanding issues discussed at the meeting were the payment of fractions/ non-payment of salaries; non-payment of Earned Academic Allowances (EAA); non-release of operational license of NUPEMCO and the non-implementation of the provisions of the 2014 Pension Reform Act with respect to retired professors and their salaries.

Others include the removal of Universal Staff Schools from funding by government; funds for the revitalisation of Public Universities (Implementation of Needs Assessment Report), as well as the poor funding of existing State Universities and proliferation of universities by their visitors among other issues.

The union had embarked on a six-month strike between July and December 2013, but the strike was suspended when the government signed a MoU with the lecturers following a meeting with former President Goodluck Jonathan.

ASUU, however, claimed that of all the items contained in the MoU, only the N200b out of a total of N1.3tr of the Public Universities Revitalisation (Needs Assesment) fund was released.

The union had also embarked on a warning strike in November 2016 to press for the implementation of the 2013 MoU.

However, the government did not implement the understanding reached with the union based on an intervention by the Senate.

Boko Haram Ambush: ASUU Demands Rescue Of Lecturers, Threatens Strike

The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has threatened an indefinite nationwide strike if its members that were abducted by Boko Haram terrorists are not rescued.

This comes six days after some members of the University of  Maiduguri chapter of the union were abducted in an ambush by the terrorists in Borno.

The UNIMAID lecturers were part of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) exploration team in the Lake Chad Basin.

At least 48 people – including five lecturers of UNIMAID, about 15 soldiers, 11 members of the civilian JTF and NNPC workers – were part of the exploration team attacked by Boko Haram insurgents on Tuesday last week.

The oil workers and the security operatives were on their way to  Barno Yasu in the Magumeri Local Government Area of Borno State.

On Saturday, the Nigerian Army disclosed that it had recovered the bodies of 21 people who were part of the ambushed exploration team.

The Director of Army Public Relations, Brigadier General Sani Usman, said an earlier statement claiming that the exploration workers had been rescued was “most regrettable”.

The terrorists had on Friday released a video showing three of those abducted.

Lecturers Protest Arraignment Of Former OAU VC

Lecturers Protest Arraignment Of Former OAU VC

Lecturers at the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) on Monday protested the arraignment of the former acting vice chancellor of the school, Professor Anthony Elujoba.

Professor Elujoba was arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for his alleged involvement in financial misappropriations.

The lecturers embarked on a peaceful demonstration on Monday around the campus in solidarity with a former acting vice chancellor, carrying placards with various inscriptions such as “Free Elujoba” and “Elujoba is innocent, we demand his release”.

The protest was led by the Chairman of the Academic Staff Union of University (ASUU), OAU chapter, Dr. Niyi Sumonu.

He told reporters that the action was to identify with Professor Elujoba whom the lecturers said was innocent of all the charges levelled against him.

The union acknowledged the efforts of the EFCC in beaming its searchlight on financial happenings in the school but claimed that the real culprits were not been tried.

Professor Elujoba was arraigned on Friday, July 7 by the anti-graft agency on seven counts bothering on financial misappropriations.

Although he was remanded in EFCC custody, his bail application hearing has been scheduled for Tuesday, July 11 before Justice David Oladimeji of the Osun State High Court in Ede.

Students, Lecturers In Protest Over Closed Osun College Of Education

osun, lecturers, students,Lecturers of the Osun State College of Education, Ila Orangun, are calling for the dissolution of the Governing Council, which has led to a closure of the institution and threats by students to cause chaos if the school is not re-opened in a week.

The crisis, which appears to be rocking the management and staff of the school, on grounds of misappropriation and mismanagement of funds, is taking a new dimension.

The issue began when about 72 workers were laid off on the recommendation of the chairman of the ‎Governing Council of the institution, Mr Oyeniyi Akande and ever since, management and staff have been at loggerheads.

Also, members of Staff accused the council of misappropriation of the school’s funds, particularly the allocation of 107 million Naira disbursed for building the Amphil Theatre; a project which they said had been at its foundation stage for about three years now.

Few weeks back, the workers stormed the assembly complex, with chants and placards calling for the removal of Mr Akande and other members of the council.

Subsequently, the workers decided to take their plight to God, as they were reportedly gathered at the institution’s premises praying for divine intervention.

Students, who seem to be more at the receiving end, complained that they were no longer comfortable with the crisis, as it had delayed the academic year.

They warned that they could be forced to create chaos if the school was not reopened to finish the first semester.

The Osun State government has, however, appealed to the students, to give them time to wade into the crisis while the State House of Assembly, said status quo should be maintained until the governor gives his verdict.

The chairman of the Governing Council and the Commissioner For Education, Titilayo Tomori-laoye, refused to speak on the matter.

Meanwhile, the Speaker of the State House Of Assembly, Honorable Najeem Salaam, said the House had decided to take up the matter and ensure amicable resolution to hasten the reopening of the institution.

 

UNICAL Sacks Academic Staff For Dishonesty

In its bid to curb academic dishonesty, the Governing Council of the University of Calabar has formally announced the dismissal of 5 academic Staff and the demotion of 10 others.

In a statement issued by the Secretary to Council and Registrar of the Institution, Dr (Mrs.) Julia Omang, it was disclosed that four of the dismissed academic staff were involved in plagiarism while one was a case of financial fraud.

Also, the 10 academic Staff that were demoted chose to publish their works in fake or cloned journals and proceeded to submit same and obtained promotion in the process.

The Academic Staff that have been dismissed for outright plagiarism include, Dr. Azubuike Iloeje and Dr. Maurice Bisong of the Department of English and Literary Studies, Mr. Oden Ubi (Department of Marketing) and Dr. Paulinus Noah of the Department of Linguistics and Communication Studies.

Dr. Damian Agom was dismissed for salary overpayment enriching himself over a period of 11 months to the tune of N7, 268,044. 95.

The 10 Academic Staff demoted for publishing in fake or cloned journals include Professor Udoayang, Dr. Asuquo Akabom, Dr. Sunday Effiong and Dr. C. O. Udoka, all of Accounting Department, Professor Molinta Enendu Department of Theatre and Media Studies and Dr. E.S.Akpan of Banking and Finance.

Others include Dr. A.I. Afangideh and Dr. Francis Okpiliya of the Department of Geography and Environment Science and Dr. K.B.C Ashipu of the Department of English and Literary Studies.

Professors Udoayang and Enendu, Dr. Okpiliya, Dr. Afangideh and Dr. Ashipu were demoted to the rank of Senior Lecturer, others were stepped  down to lecturer 1.

Besides their demotion, they are to refund all monies earned from their unmerited promotion and barred from promotion for the next 6 years.

UniAbuja Students Disrupt Examinations

Examinations at the University of Abuja have been disrupted following protests by students against non-accreditation of some courses at the university.

The school consequently announced postponement of examinations till Monday, the 18th of February.

But the students who were dispersed by security operatives threatened to continue if the issue is not resolved.

Hundreds of students were at the gates of the University of Abuja main campus.

The students embarked on a protest to disrupt examinations fixed by the school.

They vowed to prevent examinations until all pending issues of non-accreditation of courses are immediately resolved.

In April 2012, the Federal Government had approved N2 billion for the school to resolve all issues of non-accreditation but the Vice-Chancellor said he only accessed the money last month. The students are however angry over the seemingly unending promises.

The students proceeded to the mini-campus were there was heavy security presence to prevent any violence but in spite of this, they made desperate attempt to seal up the premises to drive home their grievance.

Some lecturers in solidarity with the students revealed that the vice-chancellor has done more harm than good with the failed assurances to the students. They ask the Federal Government not to keep silent over the white paper report submitted to it.

In the meantime the students have vowed to continue disrupting examinations fixed by the school until there is a concrete solution to resolve their plight.