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Indefinite strike: ASUU chairman sues FUOYE over suspension

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Gabriel Omonijo, Chairman of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Federal University Oye-Ekiti (FUOYE), has dragged the institution’s management before the National Industrial Court in Akure over his indefinite suspension.

NAN reports that Omonijo in a suit filed on April 29 by Funmi Falana and Taiwo Olawanle from Falana and Falana’s Chambers, averred that his indefinite suspension without pay by the university was illegal and violated the provisions of the Trade Union Act.

He argued that his suspension did not follow due process as stipulated in the university’s Conditions of Service which was an embodiment of the Acts that established the institution.

The union leader said the investigative panel that recommended his suspension to the university was biased based on its prejudiced composition.

Omonijo said that his suspension without pay by the university was “wrong and unjust’’, claiming that he was only invited in respect of the allegations made in the petition by ASUU to the Minister of Education.

He stated further that the investigative panel saddled with the responsibility of investigating the allegations made in the petition to the minister turned round to place him on suspension without pay due to his position as the Chairman of ASUU in the institution.

The claimant, however, engaged the services of Falana and Falana’s Chambers, which wrote the university vide a letter dated March 11, 2019, informing it of the illegality of the constitution of the investigative panel, among others.

He said that the university responded vide a letter dated March 15, and signed by the Acting Registrar, Mrs Olayinka Ajayi, stating that the issues raised in the said letter were receiving attention of the university authorities.

The union leader said that the university was yet to recall him from the suspension since February 14, 2019, despite several efforts made to resolve the issues that led to his “hasty suspension.’’

Omonijo, however, sought the declaration of the court that his suspension without pay by the university authorities in letters dated February 14 and February 15, 2019, as null and void.

He urged the court to order/direct the university authorities to reinstate him to his status as Senior Lecturer and to pay his “salaries, allowances and entitlements from February 2019 till judgment is given in this suit.’’

He also sought an order restraining the university from further interfering with his rights, privileges and performance of his duties as the Chairman of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Federal University Oye-Ekiti branches

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Education

Nigerian Lecturer Sacked By Ghana Varsity Recounts Ordeal, Vows Never To Go Back To Ghana

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The professor of English noted that the meeting in the video was supposed to be a private discussion and not a lecture as the Ghanaian media claimed, adding that it was not meant to condemn the people of Ghana.

Austin Nwagbara, the Nigerian Professor sacked by a Ghanaian university over unsavoury comments about Ghana, has recounted his ordeal, vowing not to go back to Ghana because of the humiliation.

He spoke on Thursday in Abuja at a meeting with the Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of Nigerian Citizens in Diaspora Commission, Abike Dabiri-Erewa.

Nwagbara noted that the police further complicated the matter when he voluntarily reported at the police station alongside the Nigeria High Commissioner. He claimed the police twisted the story that he was arrested and handcuffed.

The Professor of English noted that the meeting in the video was supposed to be a private discussion and not a lecture as Ghanaian media claimed, adding that it was not meant to condemn the people of Ghana.






He said the Ghanaian media deliberately skewed the story as part of their anti-Nigeria agenda with the view to cast aspersion on Nigerians living in their country.

He added that the entire story was orchestrated to run Nigeria down.

He said, “It was a gathering of Nigerians who came out to see how the unfriendly relationship between Ghanaians and Nigerians could be resolved. For a large part of that meeting, Nigerians were taking the blame but the person who edited the video has his agenda.

“I know that nobody likes to be condemned and the intention was not to talk bad about Ghanaians. I have a great Ghanaian friend. I taught many Ghanaian students and we have been in good relationships. There are great Ghanaian scholars but the media projected it in a strange way, saying, “who is this Nigerian to come and question our system.”

“You cannot plan a coup in an open place, you cannot do it in an open restaurant and what will I be planning a coup for? That is an absolute lack of knowledge to say a Nigerian with thirty others were planning to take over the government of Ghana.”






The professor also said he was not given enough time to defend himself before the panel of enquiry set up by the university to investigate the matter. .

The University of Education, Winneba, Ghana, had sacked Nwagbara, a visiting Nigerian lecturer, over comments he made in a video that has since gone viral.

He was accused of making unsavoury, unethical and damning comments about Ghana, its history as well as its educational system.

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Education

Anambra State To Sack Teachers Without Qualification

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Anambra State government has given December 31 this year as the deadline for teachers without the requisite qualification to either acquire it or be given the boot.

The state Ministry of Basic Education in a statement by its Public Relations Officer, Mr. Nnaemeka Egwuonwu, for the Commissioner for Basic Education, Prof. Kate Omenugha, gave the warning on Wednesday.

Omenugha said it was in line with an earlier directive of the Minister of Education to disengage teachers without the right qualification by December.

It added that a reminder had earlier been addressed to the chairman of the Post Primary Schools Service Commission (PPSSC), Anambra State Universal Basic Education (ASUBEB) and Education Secretaries.

The state also referred to the Teachers’ Registration Council of Nigeria’s (TRCN) letter of April 24, regarding the minister’s directive.

The reminder urged teachers to be registered and licensed by TRCN in line with section 17, Sub-Section 2 of the enabling law establishing the council.

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Senate speaks on SSANU, NASU strike

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The Senate, on Tuesday, passed a resolution to avert impending strike by the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) and Non-Academic Staff Union of Nigerian Universities (NASU).

This followed a motion by Sen. Barau Jibril (APC-Kano), on the urgent need to avert the impending strike by SSANU and NASU.

Barau, who brought the motion, cited order 42 and 52 of the Senate rule, saying both unions had issued a strike warning to the Federal Government.

He said the unions had indicated their planned strike was based on the inability of government to grant their request, NAN reports.

According to Barau, the unions said their members were excluded from participating in the new pension administration approved for university lecturers.

He explained that the unions said the payment of 20 per cent earned allowance to their members as against the payment of 80 per cent to the Academic Staff Union of University (ASSU), was not acceptable.

Barau said the planned strike, if allowed to go on would not be in the interest of the nation’s tertiary institutions.

He maintained that the senate owned it a duty to intervene in the proposed strike.

Contributing, Sen. Adamu Aliero (APC-Kebbi), who seconded the motion, said it was important for Senate to intervene to avoid another crisis in higher institutions.

In his contribution, Sen. Chimaroke Nnamani,(PDP-Enugu), said the senate must urgently intervene to advert the looming strike by the unions.

Sen. Ibrahim Oloriebe (APC- Kwara), said the effect of strike would put several students on the streets.

Other senators, who supported the motion stressed the need for a stable calendar in the educational system, given the importance of manpower to the development of any nation.
Some of the senators also called for adequate funding of tertiary institutions and payment of lecturers.

The senate thereafter, resolved to invite the leadership of SSANU, NASU and ASSU to resolve the issue.

It also resolved to invite officials of Ministry of Labour and Productivity and Ministry of Education to address issues raised by the unions.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), reports that the unions had begun a three- day protest on Monday to press home their demands from the federal government.

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