The Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) has asked the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, to without further delay, terminate the appointment of Rectors of five Federal Polytechnics who were sacked recently by the National Industrial Court sitting in Abuja.
The lecturers said the removal of the five Rectors would be in accordance with the court order sacking them because they were not statutorily qualified to hold such a position.
The union made this call in a letter written to the Minister and signed by its President, Anderson Ezeibe, a copy of which was obtained by NIGERIAN TRIBUNE at the weekend.
In the letter, dated March 16, the union listed the five rectors in question alongside their institutions to include Dr Terlumun Utser of Federal Polytechnic, Wannune, Benue State; Prof. Edwin Onyeneje of Federal Polytechnic, Ohodo, Enugu State; and Prof. Edward Ntue Okey of Federal Polytechnic, Ugep, Cross River State.
Others are Dr Zakari Mukailu Ya’u of Federal Polytechnic, Shendam, Plateau State and Prof Garba Mohammed Ngala (Federal Polytechnic Monguno, Borno State.
According to the union, its position that none of the five rectors is qualified to be appointed as rector has been affirmed by the court of competent jurisdiction.
The union explained that it instituted a court action against President Muhammadu Buhari and the Minister of Education following their purported appointment of the five rectors in 2021, praying court to reverse their appointment on the premise that they were not statutorily qualified for the position.
“And we have been on the case at the National Industrial Court in Abuja since 2021 until February 28, 2023, when the court ruled in our favour,” the union added.
NIGERIAN TRIBUNE, at the weekend, equally obtained a true certified copy of the ruling passed by Justice O.A. Obaseki-Osaghae and signed by the Registrar 1, Imokindo Simon Vershima, esq.
The court in summary not only set aside the purported appointment of the five affected rectors for their “failure to meet the minimum qualification of the persons, who may apply for the post of a rector who shall be a Chief Lecturer in the polytechnic sector with at least five years’ experience on that position among other criteria,” but also restrained them from parading themselves henceforth as rectors of those institutions or from reapplying to the same office.
ASUP said it is unfortunate that more than a month after the ruling, the five rectors are still in office, saying such development is not good for Nigeria’s education system and rule of law.
The union, therefore, asked the minister to direct the governing councils of the affected polytechnics to commence the process for the appointment of new rectors to replace them in accordance with the law.
ASUP also asked the minister to sack another two rectors, Prof Mohammed Mgaji and Dr Duke Okoro of the newly established Federal Polytechnic in Kano and Delta states, respectively.
The union said their purported appointment just like the initial five was also not in accordance with the statutory laws for the appointment of rectors of federal polytechnics in the country.
It said Nigeria would continue to lag behind among nations of the world if people particularly those in the corridors of power continue to disrespect the laws of the land.
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