- DEMANDS HALT TO ANY SINISTER PLOT TO VICTIMISE COMRADES TONY DANSU (PhD) AND ADEOLU OYEKAN (PhD) – BOTH RESPECTIVELY SECRETARY AND ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF ASUU LASU
The Education Rights Campaign (ERC) strongly condemns the plan of the Prof. Fagbohun-led management of the Lagos State University (LASU) to victimize to the Secretary and Assistant Secretary of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) LASU, comrades Tony Dansu (PhD) and Adeolu Oyekan (PhD) respectively, over a letter the union wrote to the Governing Council demanding investigation into activities of the former Registrar of the University, Akinwunmi Oladapo Lewis including the circumstances surrounding the illegal backdating of the promotion of then Dr. Olanrewaju Adigun Fagbohun to the position of Professor of Public Law.
The queries issued to the two union leaders purportedly accused the duo of illegitimately sourcing the document attached to the petition to the Governing Council. The ERC strongly rejects this allegation as frivolous and malicious attempt to divert attention from the allegation against the former Registrar, Akinwunmi Oladapo Lewis, for unilaterally backdating the promotion of then Dr. Olanrewaju Adigun Fagbohun which the Governing Council is yet to investigate despite the insistence and litany of evidence already provided by the union.
We demand the immediate withdrawal of the queries and a halt to any sinister plot to victimize comrades Tony Dansu and Adeolu Oyebode. We call for an immediate and comprehensive investigation into the allegation of unlawful backdating of the promotion of then Dr. Olanrewaju Fagbohun to the position of Professor of Public Law.
From the facts available to us, the Governing Council of the Lagos State University promoted the then Dr. Olanrewaju Adigun Fagbohun to professor with effect from 7th May 2014 but the former Registrar of the University, Akinwunmi Oladapo Lewis unilaterally backdated it to October 2008.
That rather than cause an investigation into this weighty allegation, the university management decided to go after the whistleblowers by querying both leaders of ASUU LASU on frivolous allegation of illegitimately sourcing documents is not only worrisome but a clear indication of the nascent dictatorship growing under the leadership of Prof. Fagbohun. The agenda is to slam a criminal allegation of theft on the duo in order to pave the way for their dismissal and prosecution and by so doing covering up the substantive allegation of illegal backdating of the promotion.
This is nothing but executive rascality by the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Olanrewaju Fagbohun whose promotion to Professor of Public Law is what is at stake here. The then Dr. Olanrewaju Adigun Fagbohun whose promotion was backdated is today’s Prof. Olanrewaju Adigun Fagbohun - the Vice chancellor of the Lagos State University (LASU). As a beneficiary of the fraud already established by ASUU in its petitions to the Governing Council, Prof. Fagbohun knows that a diligent investigation of the allegations could affect his vital interest and that is why he is going after the leadership of the union.
However, this crude attempt to cover up the allegations against the former Registrar by intimidating ASUU LASU and its leaders is not new. This has been the pattern of reaction of the Prof. Fagbohun-led administration each time ASUU LASU had petitioned against the several instances of fraud, malfeasance and impunity in the system. Another pattern that is once again established in the current development is the repeated use of false and contrived criminal charges against union leaders in order to dismiss them and also commit them to prison. The public can recall how the Chairman and Vice Chairman of ASUU LASU, Dr. Isaac Oyewumi and Dr. Adebowale Adeyemi-Suenu respectively, were similarly accused albeit falsely of bribe-taking and unilaterally upgrading students’ results. During that incident, the ERC argued strongly that not only were the allegations false but that the agenda was simply to criminalize these union leaders in order to send them out of the campus so that they cannot continue to oppose the illegal appointments, brazen violation of University rules and impunity of the Prof. Fagbohun-led University administration.
Now once again, the Prof. Fagbohun-led administration is planning to achieve the same result by criminalizing the duo of the Secretary and Assistant Secretary of ASUU LASU in order to dismiss them and bar them from the campus. This is because since the duo of the Chairman and Vice Chairman were dismissed, the Secretary and Assistant Secretary have continued to lead the union to oppose the bad policies of the management while diligently exposing malfeasance and impunity in the system to the chagrin of the University management.
This time around the agenda is that once the duo of the Secretary and Assistant Secretary are out of the way, the union can then be taken over by the cronies of Prof. Olanrewaju Fagbohun so that the administration’s anti-people policies can be implemented without any resistance. One of these anti-people policies which the Visitor to the University, Akinwunmi Ambode, the Executive Governor of Lagos State, still has in the offing is increment in the fees of the University. A strong ASUU is therefore a cog in the wheel they would rather get out of the way.
The ERC urge students, parents, alumni, the entire labour movement and members of the public to intervene as soon as possible in the development in LASU before it becomes a crisis. We shall continue to call on the public to intervene because as far as we are concerned, LASU is a public institution funded by tax payers’ money and therefore the public must have a say in its affairs.
Hassan Taiwo Soweto
National Coordinator (07033697259)