A visitation committee set up by the National Executive Council of the Academic Staff Union of Universities has faulted the dissolution of the Governing Council of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife.
The committee also submitted that the Visitor, President Muhammadu Buhari, erred for approving the suspension of “an already concluded process for the appointment of a new Vice-Chancellor”.
The committee said this in its report presented at the ASUU NEC meeting held at Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma.
The committee, in the report obtained by our correspondent, said the actions of President Buhari contravened the Universities Autonomy Act.
The Autonomy Act was a product of the agreement reached between the ASUU and the Federal Government of Nigeria.
The document titled, ‘Report of ASUU visitation Committee to OAU, Ile-Ife’, read in part, “From our findings, the Governing Council followed due process of selection of the VC to its conclusion. The committee recommends that the action of the visitor in dissolving the council be condemned for violating the ASUU-FG agreement.”
The committee was headed by the national Vice President of ASUU, Prof. V. E. Osodeke, and it had eight members, including two zonal coordinators and three immediate past zonal coordinators.
The committee was set up in the wake of the crisis that rocked the OAU branch of the union and the university following the appointment of a new VC.
It will be recalled that the Non-Academic Staff of Universities and Senior Staff Association of Nigeria Universities and some academic staff of OAU had expressed displeasure with the process that produced Prof. Ayobami Salami as the 11th VC of the institution.
Subsequently, NASU and SSANU took the matter to the High Court at Osogbo, Osun State, and thereafter embarked on a strike, which led to the closure of the university for several weeks.
In a bid to resolve the matter, President Buhari on July 1 announced the dissolution of the Governing Council of the University.
He also ordered that the process for the appointment of a new VC to replace Prof. Bamitale Omole be suspended “pending the outcome of the subsisting court case”.
In August, following the instruction of the Visitor, the Senate of the varsity met and appointed Prof. Anthony Elujoba as VC in acting capacity.
Last Monday,the High Court at Osogbo struck out the case filed by NASU and SSANU challenging the appointment of Prof. Salami as the validly appointed VC of the university.
In his verdict, Justice M. A. Onyetenu stated that the court did not have jurisdiction to entertain the case. He asked the appellants to take the case to the Industrial Court at Ibadan, Oyo State.