AS the controversy over the ownership of Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH), Ogbomoso deepens, former Commissioner for Justice in Osun State, Barrister Niyi Owolade, on Friday, said the reported statement by ex-Governor Adebayo Alao-Akala that the institution belongs to Oyo is wrong and baseless.
He argued that the sacrosanct fact that LAUTECH belongs to both Osun and Oyo States cannot be controverted, saying it was wrong for Akala to claim that the university belongs to only Oyo State.
Owolade, who was the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice during the tenure of former Governor Olagunsoye Oyinlola in Osun emphasised that “former governor of Oyo State, Chief Adebayo Alao Akala was absolutely wrong in claiming that LAUTECH belong to Oyo.
“LAUTECH still belongs to Oyo and Osun states. I am sure that Akala himself knows that the university belongs to the two states”.
While maintaining that Akala’s statement maybe politically inclined to curry favour of people in Ogbomoso and Oke Ogun axis of Oyo, he said “the truth of the matter is that in 2009, Akala tried every means to unilaterally take over LAUTECH, but we stood our ground. They went to the extent of dealing with staff of Osun State origin in the institution”.
According to Owolade, “they suspended some of them and I can still recall that the then registrar, Venerable Ojo, was suspended. However, we approached the Supreme Court over the matter. The decision of the Supreme Court was to the effect that LAUTECH belongs to Osun and Oyo States. And that no one state can unilaterally take over without the consent and concurrence of the other. To the best of my knowledge, that has not happened.”
He continued, “even from the MoU signed by the two states, the issues canvassed by both Oyo and Osun are to the effect that LAUTECH belong to the two states. Perhaps, Akala was referring to a law passed by the Oyo State House of Assembly but, Oyo’s legislative law cannot overrule the judgment of the Supreme Court”.