© 2019 - International Centre for Investigative Reporting
(ASUU) AKURE ZONE
FUOYE: THE BAD, THE WORSE AND THE UGLY
For some time now, and precisely over a year, the Academic Staff Union of Universities, Akure Zone has been calling on the Federal Government and the general public over the impunity and other heinous vices perpetrated by the Vice Chancellor of the Federal University Oye-Ekiti [FUOYE], Prof. Kayode Soremekun. We have serially addressed press conferences and issued press releases to bring the problems threatening the survival of the neonate University to the attention of the government and the millions of Nigerians whose taxes also constitute a substantial investment in the FUOYE project. Till date, the only intervention by the Federal Government was to issue the Vice Chancellor a query on the famous ‘State of FUOYE Document’ that opened up the ills of the Soremekun Administration without any further action to redress the infamy.
Rather than the administration to meekly admit the evidence-based faults raised by the zone, and struggle to correct them, Prof. Soremekun has continued to sweat it out on the pages of the Guardian Newspaper to mislead his employer and lie to Nigerians that all is well in FUOYE. The recent trend is a gimmick to employ some self-styled loyalists who front as his mouth piece in futile defence to the allegations levelled against him. We are thus moved yet again by our devotion to see our ivory towers running properly across the country to open up to the whole world, the state of FUOYE.
THE STATE OF FUOYE DOCUMENT
The Federal University, Oye-Ekiti was established by the Goodluck Jonathan regime in 2011 along with eleven other Federal Universities across the Country. Till date, the University has had three Vice Chancellors – Prof. Chinedu Nebo and Prof Isaac Azuzu. Prof. Kayode Soremekun was appointed by fiat on February 2016 by the Buhari regime. Since assumption of duty, the University Administration took a sharp turn from the expected norm with early issues being the uncouth intention of the Vice Chancellor to invest in the leadership of the Union by sponsoring certain members into executive positions in a bid to control the Union. The effort, though initially successful, suffered a setback when the branch had another election that brought in more vigilant and dedicated members to the objectives of the Union. The branch leadership took a holistic discourse of the University and its operations on the floor of Congress and resolved to set up a committee to investigate perceived ills and report same. Congress set up a committee of five members headed by Dr. Adeyemi Oluwagbemiga, whose initial report was adopted by Congress of 11th May 2018. At this Congress the committee was further mandated to compile a detailed report, the famous State of FUOYE-Matters Arising Document and same to be sent to Chairman, FUOYE Governing Council and copied to ASUU President and Zonal Coordinator, ASUU Akure Zone.
Earlier on, the branch had written to the Vice Chancellor in March to seek audience with him to discuss the issues identified by the branch needing attention. The response of the Vice Chancellor is attached as annexure 1, where he wished away the meeting until the zone came in to request for a meeting. He eventually granted the zone, not the branch, audience on Tuesday, 17th April, 2018 and all the issues were tabled along with the info we received then that the Administration was planning to suspend Dr. Gabriel Omonijo, the Branch Chairperson. The Vice Chancellor refuted the latter and loquaciously tended the raised issues, promising to resolve everything. Dr. Omonijo was much later suspended as we alleged! After two months without any response/action, we sought audience yet again and another meeting took place between the Vice Chancellor and the Zone at Delight Hotel, Ado-Ekiti on Monday, 30th July, 2018. The venue of the meeting was at the request of the Vice Chancellor since he could not access the campus due to students’ protest on bushy environment, poor infrastructure and extortion on the same day. These were also part of the issues raised with the Vice Chancellor and documented in the state of FUOYE document. The second meeting ended without any commitment on the part of Prof. Soremekun to attend to the issues as raised by the branch.
What matters were raised in the document?
- Poor Physical facilities
- Mismanagement of Ten Million naira commercial farm fund
- Poor road network on campus
- Poor power supply, lack of internet facilities and office equipment
- Non Statutory senate meetings
- Overpopulation of Students without corresponding facilities
- Illicit staff recruitment, appointment and promotion
- Admission racketeering and obnoxious change of course waivers
- Poor students’ welfare and exposure to extortion
- Poor staff welfare including non remittance of pension deductions.
*The full document is available on request
OTHER IMPUNITIES BY PROF KAYODE SOREMEKUN
Having failed to attend to all the issues raised and as listed above, the Vice Chancellor threw caution to the wind and licensed all manner of impunities that are alien to the statutes and practices of universities across the globe. We will itemize a few of these for Nigerians to note.
- The Case of Licentiousness
Prof. Adewole Atere had an illicit sexual relationship with a 16yr old female 100L student in his department. The escape led to the minor being impregnated by the Professor and the girl shamefully arranged an abortion in the university hostel to save face (?). We thank God the girl survived the ordeal and she has since resettled, however, the errant Professor rather than face disciplinary process wrote a letter of resignation which was hastily accepted by the University Administration thus avoiding the full wrath of the law. The issue still stands as a monumental cover up till date as the said Professor was a member of Soremekun’s kitchen cabinet, along with the pimp, Dr. Chinedu Abrifor, still roaming free on campus. Critics who did not do anything close to this knave have either been sacked or suspended by the same administration.
- The Case of illegal Appointment and Promotion
There are quite a number of cases under this misdemeanour but that of Dr. Opoola, Tajudeen Bolanle will be cited here for now. He was employed and promoted without due process as contained in the Conditions of Service of the University. Dr. Opoola’s appointment letter as a Senior Lecturer was dated 29th September, 2017 contrary to the Dean’s recommendation for the position of Lecturer Grade I. He was promoted to the position of Associate Professor (within one week) without the mandatory required length of service of three years in the University, and without prior, mandatory Departmental/ Faculty’s A & PC’s assessment’s report. His ludicrous Readership was backdated to 1st October, 2017 without due regard to the Conditions of Service. It is important to mention that Dr. Opoola engaged the service of a Lawyer in a letter dated 14th August, 2018 when the congress of ASUU-FUOYE of 17th July, 2018 constituted a 5-man Committee of Prof. S. A. Adebitan – Convener, Prof. J. Shola Omotola – Member, Dr. Andrew Agbon – Member, Dr. (Mrs) M. Orunmuyi – Member and Dr. Segun Oyedeji – Member to look at the issues surrounding his appointment in the University. Dr. Opoola’s appointment till date was not revisited because he is one of the Vice Chancellor’s stooges.
- The Case of Aiding and Abetting (Academic Fraud)
In 2015, an allegation of international academic fraud involving Dr. Enoch Opeyemi, a staff of the University in the department of Mathematics was brought to the public domain and reported in the Daily Trust online newspaper of 27th November, 2015 by Dr. Farooq Kperogi. In the report, the latter echoed the claim of Dr Opeyemi to have solved the 156-year-old Riemann Hypothesis. In 2017, this allegation was re-echoed by the same Dr. Farooq Kperogi and reported by Daily Trust online newspaper of 25th November, 2017 that “Two years ago, a certain Dr. Enoch Opeyemi who teaches mathematics at the Federal University in Oye-Ekiti suckered the Nigerian and British media into believing that he had solved the 156-year-old Riemann Hypothesis and would earn the $1 million prize for this feat from the US-based Clay Mathematics Institute”. It is important to inform the general public that the Clay Mathematics Institute’s website has not changed the status of the problem from unsolved to solved since 2015 when Dr. Enoch claimed that he had solved the problem. That is, nothing has changed till now, said, Kperogi. This false claim by Dr. Enoch Opeyemi drew negative comments about the image of the University at both national and international levels. Despite the Union’s call on the University senate to investigate this serious academic fraud allegedly committed by Dr. Enoch Opeyemi, nothing was done.
- The Case of Violation of University Statute
Prof. Soremekun brazenly created an office alien to the statute of the University which by operation was above the position of the Registrar. He created the office of Director of Administration and Special Duties when he assumed office in 2016. The office is currently occupied by Mr. Olatubosun Odusanya. In the Registry, Registrar towers above all cadres which cascades down Deputy Registrar to Administrative Officer. The statute of the University does not provide for this alien office and same was declared illegal by a Council fact finding committee in 2017, but the office is yet to be scrapped.
- The Case of Patronage and Hooliganism
Prof. Soremekun’s stock in trade is recruiting foot soldiers that will do his bidding. These recruits (sycophants) are favoured with illegal promotions and passages for as long as they attack the leadership of the Union in the branch. One of such Dramatis Personae, Mr Banji Olaleye, an Assistant Lecturer in the Faculty of Management Sciences, openly threatened the Financial Secretary of the branch, Dr. Abayomi Fagbuagun along a major road in Ado Ekiti to desist from criticising the Vice Chancellor. The matter was reported to the police and presently Mr Olaleye is billed to be arraigned in court but the Vice Chancellor awarded him a scholarship from TETFUND grant and paved his way to travel out of the country to avoid litigation.
- The Case of Prof. Abayomi Sunday Fasina
He was appointed Professor (on Sabbatical) in the Department of Crop Science and Horticulture, Faculty of Agriculture of the University for a period of one (1) year with effect from 1st January, 2015. His Sabbatical appointment was extended for another period of one (1) year with effect from 1st January, 2016 to 31st December, 2016. A letter of offer of temporary appointment as Professor dated 20th April, 2016 was issued to him while he was still on the extension of his Sabbatical appointment as Professor in the University. The appointment of Professor A. S. Fasina in FUOYE was irregular as contained in the decision extract of the Faculty of Agriculture Appointments and Promotions Committee (FAAGA&PC) dated 23rd March, 2017. The Committee recommended that (i) Applicant (Prof. Fasina) must re-prepare his CV to include list of Publishers against his publications in a chronological order; (ii) The application of the candidate should not have been submitted as an internal memorandum. He ought to apply from Ekiti State University where he is a confirmed Professor. Finally, the Faculty Appointments and Promotions Committee finds the applicant (Prof. Fasina) appointable subject to interview to clarify issues related to his publications vis a viz FUOYE Guidelines for Appointments and Promotions. It will be of interest to the general public that the University Administration did not ask Prof. A.S. Fasina to comply with the observations and recommendations of the FAAG A & PC before he was appointed as Professor and Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the University. Similarly, Prof. Abayomi Sunday Fasina collected double salaries simultaneously in Ekiti State University, Ado-Ekiti and Federal University Oye-Ekiti from October 2016 to February 2017 under false pretence. This fraudulent action was denied by Prof. Fasina in “Premium Times” online media. However, in the Daily Independent newspaper of Wednesday, July 10, 2019, Prof. Fasina explained that FUOYE’s bursary office didn’t correct the change in his salary from sabbatical to visiting. He went further to state that the bursary later discovered that they made a mistake and they started deducting from March 2017 to cover what they might have paid in error. It is an embarrassment that a Deputy Vice-Chancellor of a University could utter the above contradictory statements. It is highly ridiculous that FUOYE’s Administration reacted to the allegation of salary fraud against Deputy Vice-Chancellor as mere insinuations yet commenced deductions as claimed. In other climes, someone in his position would have resigned or be told to resign having been caught in the act but believe it or not, we hear the fraudster has a Vice Chancellorship ambition in the same University to succeed the embattled Soremekun. Can this be true?
- The Infamous Intervention by Profs. Okolo and Afejuku
The zone also read with consternation the labyrinths of Professors Okolo and Afejuku on the matters raised by the zone against the FOUYE Administration. Much as we were not too surprised, our dream that Professors should be handy and ready in our resolve to overhaul our ivory towers seem to have met a brick wall in these individuals. The position of Prof Okolo in his full page advertorial is not commendable! We wonder why he wasted a month plus salary (if he did pay) on an article that failed to engage the issues we have been raising consistently in the media. Painting Soremekun as a victim is a lame position and it becomes ugly when he eventually calls the Union he initially accused, to rescue him. There is no need for the Professor to beg the Union at all rather, he should tell his patron to do the needful to correct all the impunities as identified in FUOYE. We are not unfamiliar with the style of the Vice Chancellor, the manner in which he recruits Professors and how such who were initially junior academics from their previous Universities get elevated overnight. The fact that we are yet to release the full complement does not mean we will not do so in the nearest future. He should be called to order!
We are convinced that Prof. Afejuku has very limited knowledge about the running of ASUU. For the purpose of his education, the Prof should know that ASUU does not engage in trivialities nor do we respond to being called to arms as his conclusion portends. Ours has always been and will be issue based responses according to our objects, principles and practices. We are also relieved that he described his friend thus: He was a true ASUU academic who even now can never disavow ASUU’s principles…..
The description of Prof. Soremekun as ASUU academic is in the past tense but he later and correctly so defined him as a Vice Chancellor in the present tense. From our experience, it is safer and better for the system to treat a Vice Chancellor as a Vice Chancellor and not as a patron or deity as we ridiculously see in some of our colleagues who pay obeisance to them. We know that Prof Afejuku was recently in FUOYE to deliver a convocation lecture and he was probably swept away by his hospitality and sweet mouth. Whatever salvo he expects Soremekun to deafen us with is immaterial for as long as he does not respond to the issues in introspect. We will not be deterred in our interrogation of the state of FUOYE, no matter whose ox is gored!
We shall return the favour that Soremekun sheepishly tried to espouse about certain members hustling for contracts. This is not the first time we are listening to this cacophony without symphony, from a non-responsive accuser hiding behind a finger. If he has his facts and figures, let him name names and stop this cheap blackmail. Either way, he still must answer the questions raised and we plead that he should be advised to respond ASAP.
Dear Nigerians, in our earlier submissions about the FUOYE interrogation we had requested for a visitation panel to be set up for the University but up till now, nothing has been done. We thus believe there may be powers in higher places aiding the embattled Kayode Soremekun. We are thus bringing this to the public court, governmental anti corruption agencies, NGOs, and Public Complaints Commission. As we write, three of our members have been unjustly sacked and or suspended for being loyal Union members. The excuses given for their penalties are currently been determined in competent courts of law in the country. What is more, if this attitude is not checked it might go right out of hand. FUOYE is a University and not a banana republic. Arise o Nigerians and ask questions about the future of your children.
Prof. Olufayo Olu Olu
Coordinator, ASUU Akure Zone
Dr. Olayinka Awopetu
Dr. Kayode Arogundade
Dr. Adeola Egbedokun
Dr. G. Akinyemi Omonijo