LAUTECH solely belongs to Oyo —Alao-Akala

·Says joint ownership with Osun terminated in 2010

FORMER governor of Oyo State, Chief Adebayo Alao-Akala, has stated that the state government is legally recognised as the sole owner of the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH), Ogbomoso, and that its joint ownership with Osun State government had been revoked since December 31, 2010.

Alao-Akala spoke against the backdrop of the motion by the Oyo House of Assembly demanding the sole ownership of LAUTECH by the state government.

Alao-Akala maintained that attempts overtime aimed at circumventing the enforcement of the amended law establishing the university but not at repealing the law signed by the Attorney generals of both states, Niyi Owolade and Aare Abdulsalam in 2010.

Speaking with the Nigerian Tribune, the former governor noted that the Osun State government only got a Supreme Court declaration to the effect that the two states maintain a working relationship in the management of the institution, but that Osun State government lacked enough funds to abide by the declaration.

“LAUTECH solely belongs to Oyo State; it does not belong to Osun. Osun knows this and that is why it has ceased funding the institution. There was a law enacted that states that LAUTECH solely belongs to Oyo State government and that there is no joint ownership with Osun anymore. The 2010 law amended, as regards the establishment of LAUTECH, is captioned under the title, ‘Amending Ladoke Akintola University of Technology’. Paragraph 3 of the law states that, “Any rules, conventions or practices, in existence, in respect of joint ownership of Ladoke Akintola University of Technology is hereby revoked. And it shall be caused to have validity or force of law with effect from 31st December, 2010. The university is deemed to be solely owned by Oyo State as from 31st of December, 2010.

“The law has not been enforced because there have been efforts to circumvent it but it has again been brought to the open by the House of Assembly. It is unfortunate that during my tenure, I had to confront my brother and friend, former governor Olagunsoye Oyinlola because I knew that this would be brought up once again.

“What Osun went to the Supreme Court for was a declaration to circumvent the existing law by stating that the two states agreed to work together. And, the Supreme Court sanctioned the working together of the two states but the 2010 law was not repealed. We have continued to run away from the existing law. Governor Rauf Aregbesola is not running away from that Supreme Court’s declaration but the state does not have enough money to abide by that declaration,” Alao-Akala argued.

Displaying the transition committee report on the legal framework for the sharing of assets and liabilities between the owner states, headed by Professor Chiedu Mafiana, dated October 23, 2010, Alao-Akala said the modus operandi for sharing properties of the university had also been spelt out.

“We not only enacted that law, but also shared our properties. A transition committee headed by one Professor Chiedu Mafiana saw to the sharing of properties. Osun State has some of the movable properties that we jointly owned. They don’t have any unmovable properties that we jointly own. We have shared them. I also offered Osun State some percentage of studentship yearly to make sure that Osun remains our catchment area for students.”

Meanwhile, following a motion moved by the member representing Ogbomoso North State Constituency in the Oyo State House of Assembly, Honourable Wumi Oladeji, for the disengagement of Osun State from the joint ownership of LAUTECH, the institution’s alumni association has berated the Assembly for what it described as an attempt to ‘jeopardise’ the glowing future of the undergraduates.

A statement personally signed by its national president, Jide Bewaji, said that the Assembly should have lent its voice to that of those calling for the resolution of the crisis engulfing the once-upon-a-time best state university of technology.

It will be recalled that the Soun of Ogbomoso, Oba Jimoh Oyewumi, had written a letter for the disengagement, followed by a protest by a socio-cultural group under the aegis of Ogbomoso Parapo.

For 23 months, he said, the students and staff of the university have been at home owing to the failure of both owner states, Oyo and Osun, to fulfil their statutory obligations to the university in the last 23 months.