BY DEMOLA AKINYEMI
The reinstated 49 lectureers of the University of Ilorin, have dragged both the Vice Chancellor and the Federal Government to court over non-compliance with the Supreme Court orders on payment of their entitlements.
The return to court by the lecturers followed alleged refusal by the defendants to implement fully, the directives of the apex court in connection with payment of the plaintiffs’ outstanding allowances.
The university was alleged to have met with the lecturers through their lawyer, Mr. J.O. Baiyeshea, SAN, but the talks reportedly broke down due to alleged belligerence by both parties.
Baiyeshea had in a letter in May 2011 to the University stated that only a full implementation of the orders of the court would be acceptable.
Thereafter, he handed the matter to a new lawyer, Mr. Toyin Oladipo, who now went back to court for the enforcement of the full orders of the Supreme Court.
Already, there are indications at the Federal High Court Ilorin that Toyin Oladipo and Yusuf Ali, SAN, have filed a fresh suits before the court presided over by Justice Faji over the matter.
Vanguard reliably gathered that the lecturers have adopted a two-pronged approach towards the enforcement of Supreme Court order in their case.
They filed garnishee process to retrieve monetary aspects of the order and another seeking punishment against both the Federal Government and the university for alleged contempt of court
In his interim ruling in a garnishee process, Justice Faji, ordered that the University should deposit the disputed sum of about N302 million into the court’s account, while the two parties come forward with their relevant arguments and adjourned the case till today.
The orders of the Supreme Court were for the unconditional reinstatement of the lecturers, payment of their salaries and allowances from February 2001 to Dec 2009, as well as restoration of all
other rights, entitlements and perquisites they missed during the period of their non- reinstatement.
However, it was gathered that, apart from their reinstatement and full payment of monthly salaries to some of them, the defendants had not been paid their arrears of leave grants, the University was yet to accord the lecturers their other rights like leaves, sabbaticals and promotions.
In addition, although the Federal Government had made funds available
in full for the lecturers arrears for the entire period, the University had allegedly deducted huge sums of money from those who secured one form of employment or the other during the period of the termination of their appointment.
The lecturers have also claimed in their court affidavits that the University was bent on continuing to victimize them, citing deprivation of other entitlements such as leaves and promotions.
According to them, it is not reasonable for the university to expect that someone who was an Assistant Lecturer in 2001 should remain in same position in 2011— about 10 years afterwards.
The University acknowledged making such deductions in its court processes filed, but stated that this was in furtherance of a certain rule that civil servants should not collect two salaries at the same time, even as the affected lecturers have countered that non-payment of their salaries for a prolonged period led to their period of service being broken in the University, contrary to the order of the Supreme Court.
They also said that they had also been deprived of pensions and tax payments, among others, for the period. Their contention is that they should be paid as ordered, while they sort out whatever whatever was needed to be sorted out with those who employed them during the period of their sack in accordance with the terms of their employment and the dictates of the law.