The Coordinator, Forum of Concerned Academic Staff Federal University, Oye in Ekiti State, Dr Babatunde Erogbogbo while speaking to journalists described as false claim by the university management that two of its members were sacked for allegedly misappropriating TETFUND grant for research.
Penpushing reports that, the university had in a letter titled: “Termination of Appointment, dated 31st October, 2018 and signed by the Acting Registrar, Mrs Oyeyimika Koyejo-Fasakin, said that the university management at its meeting held on Wednesday,31st October, 2018 considered the report of the Staff Disciplinary Committee on TETFund Intervention Grant and decided that your services are no longer required by the University.”
However, in his defence of his colleagues, Erogbogbo said, “For the avoidance of doubts, Dr. Adeyemi joined the services of the University in April, 2014 and since then, he has only led a singular TETFUND’s Research entitled “Gender Inequality, Birth Spacing and Maternal Health Challenges in Nigeria “, whose report was submitted five months ago.
He added,” also, a manuscript grant awarded him has been developed into a book titled: Gender and Population Dynamics and published by the Obafemi Awolowo Universitys Press.In the same vein, Dr. Akingbe joined the services of FUOYE on December, 2013 and so far, and has also led a singular TETFunds research entitled: Re-Inventing Oral Narratives for Moral Regeneration in Contemporary Nigeria”
“The report was also submitted five months ago. Let me also tell you that going by the TETFUNDS’ regulations, only a lead Researcher can be held accountable for a non-submission of a research report’.
“It is therefore necessary to note that, the earlier FUOYEs fact-denying press release on this issue, is nothing, but an orchestrated campaign of calumny designed to malign and wreck our colleagues collective integrity, “he said.
The Forum Coordinator also described the sack as a clampdown on the vocal Academic Staff Union of Universities(ASUU) members in the university, stressing that, “the publication is a further pursuit of a clampdown on the vocal ASUU’s stalwarts at FUOYE, who have recently launched a decisive criticism on the administrative lapses of the Vice Chancellor, Professor Kayode Soremekun’.
“For the avoidance of doubts, it is important to state clearly that, no money was shared amongst Drs. Adeyemi, Akingbe and Abrifor as alleged, rather, the TETFUND’s research being led by Dr. Chiedu Abrifor (in which Dr. Adeyemi, Dr. Akingbe and Mr Akintoye are team members) have completed data collections and its report is about being submitted to the FUOYE’s TETFUNDs’ committee before the purported sack’.
“In fact, there is no university where a management has the empowerment to sack any tenured academic staff. Only the University’s Governing Council, after due process, has such authority to hire and fire any erring academic staff after a committee mandated by the Council must have exhausted its oversight functions’.
The sack is petty and lacks merit. It is a handiwork of an administration desperate to hurt and harm our colleagues’ hard earned reputations. It is an overreaction to the ASUU’s over arching demands for probity and transparent running of the affairs of FUOYE, before the University becomes a laughing stock among its peers’.
“At this juncture, it is pertinent to ask the following salient questions: going by its statutory regulations, are academic staff sacked for misuse of research funds by the TETFUND? If vendetta is not being relentlessly pursued in this matter, shouldn’t the FUOYEs TETFUNDs Committee issued letter to lead researchers involving the duo to either submit the reports of the researches for which the grants were awarded or made to pay back the awarded research grants?
“Does sacking of these academic staff recover the funds? Shouldn’t an unbiased investigative committee have determined the extent of the work done thus far in the aforementioned research(es) and how much the University should recover from the researchers if truly they have defaulted? Obviously, the purported sack of the duo is designed to silence ASUUs vocal stalwarts who are being perceived as critical of Prof. Kayode Soremekuns administration’,he emphasised.