Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
The National Industrial Court sitting in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, has ordered the reinstatement of seven demoted lecturers of the Federal University Otuoke in Ogbia Local Government Area of the state.
The court presided over by Justice Bashir Alkali also awarded to the lecturers the sum of N20 million as damages against the Institution.
The University Governing Council at its 10th meeting demoted the affected lecturers citing lacking requisite scholarship materials for the present grade.
The affected lecturers are Leonard Shilgba, Department of Mathematics and Statistics, Prof Steve Nwabuzor, Department of Civil, Electrical and Electronics Engineering, and Dr Sepribo Lawson-Jack, Department of Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering.
Others include Dr Obalade Falade, Department of Banking and Finance, Dr Marcellina Offoha, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Dr Evans Eze, Department of Sociology and Anthropology and Dr Felina Nwadike, Department of English and Communication Studies.
The affected lecturers had dragged the Vice-Chancellor of the Institution, Professor Seth Accra Jaja, and the Institution management to the Industrial Court seeking a declaration that its action was unconstitutional null and void and an order for their reinstatement.
Justice Bashiru Alkali in his judgment ruled that claimants be reinstated to their full status, privileges and entitlements by the institution.
He also ruled that the University pay each claimant 5 million naira for defamation and two hundred thousand naira each for cost of litigation.