Academic fraud: ASUU battles LASU VC over sacking of whistleblowers

Posted by News Express | 14 March 2020 | 1,204 times

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•LASU VC, Prof. Fagbohun


The National Executive Council of the Academic Staff Union of Universities has imposed heavy sanctions on lecturers at the Lagos State University, Ojo, saying no Nigerian university should relate with them.

The NEC also barred the lecturers from sabbatical, visitations, external assessments, conferences, workshops, and research collaborations.

The decisions were taken at the ASUU NEC meeting which held from March 7 to 8, 2020, at the Enugu State University of Technology.

A resolution of the NEC, obtained by our correspondent, showed that the decisions were taken after the council considered a report of the ad-hoc committee on LASU.

The Vice-Chancellor of the varsity, Prof. Olanrewaju Fagbohun, was also declared an enemy of the union in a bulletin signed by the ASUU LASU Secretary, Dr Tony Dansu, and the Assistant Secretary, Dr Adeolu Oyekan.

Oyekan, who confirmed the development in a telephone conversation with our correspondent, said the union headquarters took the decisions over several cases of victimisation perpetrated by the management.

He explained that those who exposed the alleged academic fraud, especially the union leaders were sacked.

“The NEC meeting held at Enugu and one of the issues raised was the report of the ad hoc committee that visited LASU. The NEC took note that the management of the university under Fagbohun had been victimising the union since 2017.

“It started with the dismissal of our chairman, Dr Isaac Oyewunmi, and vice-chairman, Adebowale Adeyemi-Suenu, in December 2017. The union came to the conclusion that there was a need to deal with the situation.

“So, effectively, the VC was declared an enemy of the union and sanctions were imposed on the university, which means that no lecturer from LASU can go to any other university for sabbatical and conferences and no lecturer from other universities can visit LASU without attracting sanctions from the union,” he said.

The union leader said ASUU believed that what was happening at the university was a witch-hunt being led by the vice-chancellor.

The PUNCH learnt that Oyekan and the union secretary, Dansu, were also dismissed in September 2019 for being in possession of documents allegedly exposing the VC’s illegal professorship.

“The governing council had said the VC’s promotion as a professor would take effect from May 7, 2014. The university published that decision in a bulletin. Some of us felt that the promotion was illegal because he was not in the system at that time.

“But the issue is that when the registrar at that time was going to write a letter to him, he changed the effective date from May 7, 2014, to October 1, 2008.

“So, some of us who were in possession of the original bulletin and had the decision extract of the governing council saw that a fraud had been committed.

“In 2019, we wrote a letter to the governing council to investigate the registrar, to find out from him where he got the authority to backdate a decision of 2014 to 2008.

“Instead of the governing council to investigate this fraud, the VC wrote a letter to me and Dr Dansu who signed the petition on behalf of ASUU to explain how we came about a copy of his promotion letter.

“That was how they sacked us from the university in September 2019; for being in possession of a letter of his promotion, which they called a confidential document,” he recalled.

He said ASUU had decided to go to court to challenge the sackings, adding that a total of five union officers had been dismissed on “frivolous charges”.

“That is what has been going on under Professor Fagbohun. He has a lot that he is trying to cover up and he believes ASUU is the only union that can stand in his way. Those were the reasons the national body imposed the sanctions on LASU,” Oyekan said.

An online news platform, Premium Times, which had been following the crisis, stated that the varsity management had already ordered the workers to take oaths of secrecy forbidding them from disclosing matters of the institution to the public.

The spokesperson for the university, Ademola Adekoya, said he had not seen the ASUU resolutions.

He said, “We have not been communicated officially. So, we have not seen it. If you are saying the VC should not go to other institutions, you need to communicate him. He is also their member. You need to communicate him officially inasmuch as he has not been communicated officially, that one cannot work. It is something flying up and down and we will react properly.” (The Punch)

Source: News Express

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