• No looting under my watch, VC insists
Victor Ogunje in Ado Ekiti
The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Akure Zone, has called on the federal government to set up an investigative panel of inquiry to probe what it called alleged illegal recruitments of staff and other corrupt acts at the Federal University, Oye Ekiti, Ekiti State.
The academic body specifically accused the Vice Chancellor of the university, Prof Kayode Soremekun of appointing people into the rank of professors without acquiring Doctor of Philosophy(PhD) certificates
It maintained that beneficiaries of this illegal appointments were allegedly paid outrageous salaries, describing the action as a flagrant violation of the statute establishing Nigerian universities.
Other allegations levelled against Soremekun include: irregular Senate meeting, poor staff welfare, corrupt practices in the management of the university’s farm, non-remittance of pension deductions to staff, poor infrastructure in the face of over-bloating students’ population and refusal to set up a budget monitoring committee, in line with the FG’s directive.
But the VC, who dispelled the accusations, described the allegations as baseless, saying he could not have been held responsible for dearth of infrastructure in the institution, since this has become a national issue bedeviling the citadels of learning in the country.
Soremekun added that the university was not responsible for the deduction of pensions, saying it was being done from source at the office of the Accountant General of the Federation in Abuja .
On the upgrading of a non-PhD holder academic staff to the professorial cadre, Soremekun said: “This is not the first time such would happen. Professors Yemi Osinbajo, Wole Soyinka , J.P. Clark, and the late Chinua Achebe got their professors without PhDs. Becoming a professor depends on what you can offer and not about this certificate mediocrity of a thing.”
At a press conference jointly addressed on yesterday by the chairmen
of the four universities that constitute the zone, ASUU’s Zonal Coordinator , Prof Olu-Olu Olufayo, demanded the composition of a visitation panel, to be able to establish and unveil how the university was being allegedly mismanaged by the management.
Olufayo, who is also the chairman of ASUU at the Ekiti State University, Ado Ekiti, urged the Minister of Education, Mallam damu Adamu to conduct staff verification , to be able to unravel those that were allegedly parading fake degrees among the academic staff.
“Typical examples of academic frauds in FUOYE include appointing as Senior Lecturer, an individual recommended for the position of Lecturer 1 and that person was promoted to the position of Associate Professor barely two weeks he was appointed by the management.
“Even in recent time, the university has approved appointment of a professor without PhD . Again, the Bursar and Registrar have served in their acting capacities for more than two years, which run afoul of the law that stipulated just six months. These are some of the infractions in the university.”
Olufayo demanded that; “The VC must be asked to slow down the expansion policy of creating additional courses in the university without commensurate infrastructural development. We even learnt the VC was planning to admit 10,000 students for 2018/2019 session”.
Speaking further, Soremekun added that “As we speak, the intra campus roads are being tarred and the power has got a boost with intervention we got from the ministry of works, power and housing.
“This university started operation eight years ago , we understand that it will be impossible to have everything, even if University of Ibadan that is 70 could be complaining about dearth of facilities.
“The National Universities Commission regulates all activities of the universities and the governing council is in charge of recruitments and there is no way they can allow us to circumvent the laws.
“We have paid hazard allowance to all staff and this happened for the first time in the history of this university. But the non-payment of relocation allowance should not be blamed on us, it stated from the time of my predecessors but we are taking time to address it as soon as possible,” he stated.