By Adesina Wahab
A group of senior lecturers at the Lagos State University, LASU, Ojoo, Lagos has said the sack of some academic and non-academic staff by the Governing Council does not mean the institution is engulfed in any internal crisis.
The lecturers, who spoke to newsmen yesterday, also said the LASU chapter of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, is as intact as ever.
Among those who spoke for the group were Prof. Anetekhai Martin, the Chairman of the Conflict Resolution Committee of the school, Prof. Abiodun Akinpelu, Director, Centre for General Studies, Prof. Sola Fosudo, the Head of Department of Theatre Arts and Music, Prof. Babatunde Yusuf, Dean, Faculty of Management Sciences and a former Chairman of ASUU in the school, Dr Jamiu Oluwatoki among others.
Anetekhai, who stated that his committee would not take sides on the matter, pleaded that the system should not be heated needlessly.
He said the affected staff members could still appeal to the Council, or the Visitor to the school or go to court.
Fosudo opined that what the Freedom of Information Act spells “is somebody officially asking for a document by writing. If the organisation concerns does not release such, then it can be taken to court and penalised appropriately, but that was not the case in this circumstance.”
He also debunked allegation that some senior lecturers wanted to take over the running of the union
Yusuf, who once served as the vice chairman of ASUU in the school, also opined that being an ASUU member or union leader could not be taken as a license to be involved in criminal acts.
“Being a member of ASUU executive does not exonerate one if one commits an offence. Unlawful possession of documents in Lagos State University attracts dismissal from service. The issue of backdating of promotion of staff members is not a new thing in the university.
“The backdating of promotions emanated from the crisis we had in 2009 and 2010 when the school was shut down for about a year. When the school resumed 2011 January, many staff members due for promotion called for their dues and many were given promotion, though backdated. The current Vice Chancellor was among those who ought to benefit then, so when he came back to LASU, his case was among those treated and approved in 2014,” he said.
Dr Oluwatoki, a former ASUU chairman, said those sacked were not axed for being ASUU leaders or activists, but for official misconduct.
He said that the union would not die, as there were processes of handling such issues and filling vacancies in its leadership.
Recall that among those sacked last Thursday were Dr Tony Dansu, ASUU scribe, Dr Oluwakemi Aboderin-Shonibare, the Treasurer and Dr Adeolu Oyekan, the Assistant Secretary.
They were accused of stealing some documents from the official file of the VC, Prof. Olanrewaju Fagbohun in the Faculty of Law.
Dansu, the arrowhead of the sacked lecturers, alleged that the management of the school was only victimising them for trying to expose some illegal acts being perpetrated.