By Adegunle Olugbamila
Abuja (Sundiata Post) – Two of the five dismissed members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Lagos State University (LASU), on Thursday last week, have cleared themselves of the allegation of forgery and extortion put forward by management as reasons for their dismissal.
The pair, Secretary of ASUU- LASU Dr Tony Dansu and Treasurer Dr Oluwakemi Aboderin-Shonibare who were members of the ASUU-LASU executive, were fired on Thursday last week for allegedly violating the university’s law against unauthorised possession and use of official documents. However the duo have also accused the university’s management of deliberately framing them up on trump up charges as a means of victimising the remnants of the union.
Until their sack, Aboderin-Shonibare was an associate professor, Department of African Languages, Literature and Communication Arts, while Dansu, was a Senior Lecturer, Department of Human Kinetics, Sports and Health Education.
Three other lecturers sacked include: Adeolu Oyekan assistant secretary of ASUU-LASU and Lecturer 1, Department of Philosophy; Kehinde Coker, Lecturer 1, Department of Religions; and Olusegun Henry, lecturer 1, Department of Pediatrics and Child Health.
Reacting to the dismissal in a statement titled: ‘Chasing shadows: ‘LASU VC, farcical dismissals and the questions that won’t go away’ yesterday, Dansu noted that the union n needed to set the record straight in view of lots of misinformation being circulated by social media and certain ‘unscrupulous’ mainstream media, about the purported dismissal.
Dansu said the first allegation against him and Aboderin-Shonibare was granting an interview with a TV station and another prominent online blog on the dismissal of the chairman and Vice Chairman of the union Dr Isaac Akinloye Oyewunmi and Dr Adebowale Adeyemi-Suenu respectively in October 2007. Dansu said the second allegation was being in possession of a document considered ‘confidential’ by the management. On her part, Aboderin-Shonibare was accused of using her assessment report for promotion as evidence that she ought to have been an Associate Professor since 2011 instead of the 2015 date earlier communicated to her, Dansu further added.
On the former allegation, Dansu insisted the union owes the management no apology over its action, saying it is a matter of common knowledge that both Oyewumi and Adeyemi-Suenu were victimised out of the system because of their stance against management’s ‘un-academic’ style of governance.
Further clarifying the air on the second allegation, Dansu said the union suddenly stumbled on a letter purportedly written by the immediate past registrar of the institution Mr Akinwunmi Lewis which dubiously backdated the promotion of the status of the professorship of the vice chancellor Prof Lanre Fagbohun to 2008 as against the recommendations of the university’s Governing Council which upgraded Faghohun to same status in May 2014.
Dansu said the union then decided to challenge what it discovered by presenting a copy of the letter to back up their claims.
“Curiously, Mr Lewis wrote to Dr Fagbohun, saying he had been promoted to the rank of Professor with effect from October 1st 2008. There is no evidence anywhere that the Governing Council met to change the effective date of the promotion of Dr Fagbohun to 2008,” the statement started.
It continued: “Rather than investigate the allegation however, the university administration issued queries to us, wanting to know how we came about a copy of the promotion letter issued to Dr Fagbohun by Mr Lewis. They described it as a confidential document which we weren’t authorised to hold. The Governing Council which appointed Dr Fagbohun as vice chancellor knew that sanctioning Mr Lewis could raise the issue of whether any due diligence was done in the selection process. Yet, it accused the officers of the union who signed the petition of theft of confidential document, even with the knowledge that the FoI (Freedom of Information) law provides immunity for an employee to use public documents without the burden of disclosing his or her source.”
Dansu therefore described management’s latest action as lacking in the understanding of how a university should be run, and deficient in accommodating dissenting views.
Culled from The Nation