Gabriel Dike and Babatunde Sanni
Some concerned lectures of the Lagos State University (LASU) have advised the dismissed branch Secretary of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Dr. Tony Dansu and Treasurer, Associate Prof. Oluwakemi Aboderin-Shonibare not to heat up the polity in the institution.
The concerned lecturers claimed the two sacked staff and assistant secretary, Dr. Adeolu Oyekan, dismissed last week, have engaged in a campaign of calumny by circulating misconceptions in some newspapers and social media.
Dr. Dansu, Dr. Oyekan and Aboderin-Shonibare were dismissed by the Governing Council for being in possession of confidential documents of LASU.
Addressing newsmen at the Senate Chambers, the concerned lecturers said the dismissed ASUU executives have the right to challenge their sack through the council, the visitor (governor) or approach the court if they failed to get a positive response.
Head, Department of Theatre Arts and Music, Prof. Sola Fosudo, said since the sack of ASUU LASU chairman, Dr. Isaac Oyewunmi and his vice, Dr. Adebowale Adeyemi-Suenu in October 2007, the union has been treading a vindictive path.
He explained that efforts to make the union see that their sacked members committed certain infarctions fell on deaf ears.
“The secretary and his assistant suddenly became rude and were conducting themselves like area boys even to their seniors. They were desperately looking for documents to pull down anybody who does not agree with their stance.
“The fact that you are a union leader does not mean that you cannot face a panel if you are alleged of misconduct. But when you go to town singing the song of victimisation, then we began to wonder when facing a disciplinary panel becomes victimisation.”
Dean, Faculty of Management Studies, Prof. Babatunde Yussuf, said the dismissed scribe and the treasurer committed infractions.
Reacting to the claim of the sacked unionists relying on the Freedom of Information (FOI) law, Prof. Yussuf stressed that even though the law compels organisations to make available documents to an enquirer, it is subject to approval by same organisations before it could be in public domain.
The dean said the court the unionists approached following their earlier invitation to the panel, struck out the matter and reprimanded them for not exploring the internal disciplinary and dispute resolution mechanisms of the university’ before challenging their case in court.
In his reactions, the Director, General Nigerian Studies (GNS), Prof. Biodun Akinpelu, noted that he once appeared before a disciplinary committee on allegation of misconduct and was about to be dismissed and had to appeal to the governing council.
Not only was his dismissal halted, but his promotion was also backdated, but Akinpelu said.
Akinpelu observed that Dr. Dansu and Associate Prof. Aboderin-Shonibare were young and inexperience on issues of academic promotion.
Former ASUU chairman, Dr. Wumi Oluwatoki Jamiu, insisted that ASUU would remain in LASU and members would continue to live by the ideals of the union.
Dr. Oluwatoki confirmed that LASU has been peaceful under the current management and workers get their promotion as at when due.