THE race of who becomes the next Vice-Chancellor of the 9-year old Federal University Oye Ekiti (FUOYE), is getting uglier by the day as various labour unions within and without the institution have continued to kick against the shoddy manner the selection process is being handled by both Kayode Soremekun, the institution’s outgoing VC and Lawan Muhammadu Yahuza, Chairman FUOYE Governing Council.
More recent is the call by the Integrity and Transparent Watch (ITW), a civil society organisation in Ekiti state.
The ITW in a petition written by Adegboyega Richard, its Coordinator, to the institution’s Council Chairman on the 21 December, 2020, wants Abayomi Sunday Fasina, the current Deputy Vice-Chancellor, who The ICIR learnt has been pegged to likely take over from the outgoing VC, be excluded from the race for breaching the nation’s civil service rules.
Fasina is being alleged to have collected double salaries from both FUOYE and Ekiti State University despite the expiration of his sabbatical leave between October 2016 and February 2017.
“The above-mentioned action of Prof. Fasina is a gross violation of Civil service rules of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,” ITW said, citing the case Aminu Ahmed Rufal, a former professor of the Department of Human Anatomy, College of Medical Sciences, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi, that got dismissed by the University in 2018 because of the same infraction like Fasina.
Fasina had earlier told The ICIR in November, 2020 that all the allegations against him had been investigated and that he had been cleared from them.
“Those allegations have been investigated a long time ago and I have been cleared. It has been cleared,” said Fasina.
He added that the management of FUOYE has also responded to the allegations and confirmed the allegations are untrue.
However, when The ICIR tried to reach him on Sunday night for further comments, he indicated from his mobile phone that he was busy.
Other candidates the group wants to be excluded are Abiodun Adimula and Olayide Lawal, a professor of Industrial Chemistry, who currently serves as the Dean of Faculty of Science for their various misconducts.
ITW wants Adimula to be excluded from the race because he held a position as the Director of Information and Communication Technology while he was on sabbatical leave from the University of Ilorin between 2016-2017 to the Physics department in FUOYE to which the ITW said is a violation of civil service rules.
He was also accused of violating academics ethics when he led the accreditation team of the National Universities Commission (NUC) to the accredit FUOYE Physics department during the period his sabbatical leave elapsed.
“It is forbidden for someone who is on full time appointment in one organization to take a position meant for a full time staff in another organization (e.g. Director, e.t.c.). It was equally learnt that Prof. Adimula accepted and led National Universities Commission (NUC) accreditation team to the Department of Physics, Federal University Oye-Ekiti in the year 2017 to do accreditation of the Department. This implies that Prof Adimula came to accredit himself being a staff of this Department at the time of the accreditation exercise. The action of Prof Adimula is a gross violation of academics ethics and act of conflict of interest which is a serious offence. It was the height of dishonesty and academic fraud anybody could have committed and by this, he is not fit to become a Vice-Chancellor of University.”
In his response, Adimula told The ICIR that the Nigerian University laws permit that a visiting lecturer can take up any role from the institution he or she is visiting.
“The University laws permit it. It permits that a visiting lecturer can take up roles,” he said.
On whether he led an accreditation panel to FUOYE for accreditation, he said he had already left FUOYE in September 2017 before he was called upon in December same year for the assignment.
Olayide Lawal on the other hand is accused of being indicted of sexual harassment during his employment as a lecturer at Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye, Ogun State before coming to FUOYE.
The group accused FUOYE management under the leadership the outgoing VC of providing a cover-up for him.
“Our investigation on this matter revealed that Prof. Lawal was investigated at the Olabisi Onabanjo University and when he heard that he will be dismissed for the offence, he ran to the outgoing Vice-Chancellor of FUOYE, Prof. Kayode Soremekun for assistance. We were told that after his discussion with Prof. Kayode Soremekun, he quickly withdrew his service from the Olabisi Onabanjo University and move to the Federal University Oye-Ekiti so that he can escape judgment. Sir, it is unthinkable that Prof. Olayide Lawal is vying to occupy the position of a Vice-Chancellor of a University with his questionable background,” it said.
Olajide could not be reached for comments as at the time of filing this report as his phone has remained switched off since this reporter tried to contact him through calls and text messages.
Council Chairman avoids questions
Every attempt to reach out to Yahuza, Chairman FUOYE Governing Council, were unsuccessful. He said he was in a meeting and asked this reporter to call him back in an hour time when this reporter called him around 11:41 am on Sunday. He refused to pick up subsequent calls put across to his phone around 1:55 pm.
He also did not reply to a text message sent to his phone around 2:23 pm.