.As school mgt denies involvement
By Olasunkanmi Akoni
Human Rights Monitoring Agenda, HURMA, has called on members of the Lagos State House of Assembly to intervene and effect the immediate release of eight union leaders of the Lagos State Polytechnic, LASPOTECH, Ikorodu, allegedly arrested and detained over framed charges of attempted murder by the state police command.
Executive Director of HURMA, comrade Buna Isiak, made the demand yesterday when he led staff and aggrieved members of the institution on a peaceful protest to the state House of Assembly Complex, Alausa, Ikeja.
In a petition letter addressed and presented to the Speaker of the Assembly, Mudashiru Obasa, maintained that the detained union leaders were not known with any criminal records more so, they did not know any of such attack until they were arrested on Monday and confronted at the office of Commissioner of Police with the premeditated petition.
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The arrested union leaders, which included a one year old nursing mother are: Salami Olugbenga, Seye Ero-Philip, Muinat Ibrahim, Alawada Abimbola, Semiu Fasasi, Abiodun Awoyemi, Oremule, and Ayanda Rauf are members of the Non- Academic Staff Union, NASU, Senior Staff Association of Nigeria Polytechnic, SSANIP and Academic Staff Union of Polytechnic, ASUP.
According to Isiak, they were arrested on trumped up charges of alleged attack against a staff of the Joint Admission Matriculation Board, JAMB in the course of the ongoing strike by the three unions over disregard and owed allowances by the high handedness of authority.
“The latest framed up of the eight union leaders is just one of the series of acts of intimidation and brutality being perpetrated by authoritarian Rector against dissenting members of the unions.
“Recently, the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority, LASTMA, with armed taskforce stormed the premises of the institution and towed away all the staff union buses to their yard and deflated their tyres.
“We demand that the Lagos State Government has a responsibility to arrest the degenerating violent reign of terror in LASPOTECH before more staff and students becomee victims of framed up attacks.
“We, therefore, demand the immediate release. We believe holding them on framed up charges in order to keep them out of circulation and thereby undermine their struggle for justice on issues of their rights to collective bargaining and defense if collective agreement, will not stand.”
Meanwhile, LASPOTECH management said it was not in any way connected to the arrest and subsequent trial of eight union leaders.
In statement by Deputy Registrar, information and public Relations, Olanrewaju Kuye, said: “To the best of the knowledge of LASPOTECH Management, the affected staff members that are currently facing trial were invited by the Nigeria Police for interrogation and charged to court in line with the dictates of the law.
“The suspects were alleged to be involved in assaulting with petrol, two officials of Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB), and physically attacked and injured the Polytechnic’s Director of ICT on Friday, 29th March 2019 during the preparation for the JAMB CBT mock examination exercise in the Polytechnic
“The general public could also recall that, the Registrar of JAMB- Prof Ishaq Oloyede while reporting the readiness of his Board for the 2019 JAMB examination to the Honourable Minister of Education- Mallam Adamu Adamu, on Monday, 1st, April 2019 lamented the attempt to set some of his officials ablaze at LASPOTECH centre and vowed to ensure justice is done.
“Recall that, the affected officials reported the assault at the Shagamu road police station, and the Nigeria police had since taken over the case.
“The story making the rounds to smear the image of the Polytechnic’s Management is a calculated attempt to distract the general public from the heinous act.”
“The ongoing trial is strictly between the Nigeria Police and the suspects. It has nothing to do with the ongoing trade dispute that is already being attended to by the Lagos State Government.”