As court stops management
By Adesina Wahab
The Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP), Federal Polytechnic Bida chapter, has faulted the plan by the management of the institution to sack three leaders of the union, despite a court order stopping such an action.
The union has been at loggerheads with the Rector, Dr Abubakar Dzukogi, over the running of the school and alleged maladministration.
ASUP also made a passionate appeal to the Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, to stop the planned sack of the union leaders for allegedly exposing the rot in the polytechnic.
In a save-our-souls message by the ASUP Bida Poly Chairman, Abubakar Ndasabe, Vice Chairman, Owoeye Olaniyi and Assistant Secretary, Ibrahim Abubakar, they called on the Minister to use his good offices to intervene in the matter.
The trio, who alleged that Dzukogi had pencilled down their names for sack, said that was coming despite an order by the National Industrial Court of Nigeria restraining the Dzukogi-led management from sacking them from their duty posts
They added that the planned sack might not be unconnected with ASUP’s continuous push for the probe of the five years administration of Dr. Dzukogi.
They noted that their call for the probe was in line with the policy of probity and accountability of the present government.
Recall that the union had petitioned Adamu in which it alleged mismanagement and maladministration in the polytechnic in the last five years under the leadership of Dr. Dzukogi. The union also invited the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to investigate alleged corrupt practices of the current poly management such as the TETFund grants and misappropriation of the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR).
The National Industrial Court of Nigeria (NICN), Abuja Division had declared as unconstitutional, null and void, the reconstituted Senior Staff Disciplinary Committee (SSDC) of the Federal Polytechnic, Bida conveyed via an internal memo dated August 11, 2020 as ultra-vires, null and void.
The NICN also stated that only a duly constituted Governing Council of the polytechnic is empowered under the Federal Polytechnic Act, 2019 to constitute the SSDC.
The court further declared as void any disciplinary action taken against the three ASUP executives and restrained the council, rector and registrar from receiving, acting on or implementing any recommendations from the committee.
The restraining order was issued on September 26, 2020. The court observed that the rector usurped the powers of the governing council and caused the registrar to reconstitute the SSDC.
In another petition to the Minister of Education, ASUP Bida Poly accused Dr. Dzukogi of disrespecting court order. The letter dated October 6 and titled: “A case of witch-hunt and disrespect to court order”, the union informed the education minister that the rector had concluded plans to sack the three men.
Meanwhile, the union in its submission to the senior staff disciplinary committee dated September 8, said it identified some members of the SSDC that were partial and would not give them fair hearing and justice.
ASUP urged the identified partial members of SSDC to recuse themselves from the sitting and also step down from participating in further proceedings of the committee.
“We only appeared before this committee out of respect for the constituted authority and to intimate the SSDC of the fact that there is already a court injunction restraining the retired Rector from taking any punitive measure against any member of the union. A breach of which may be liable to imprisonment, “ Ndasabe stated.
Rector of Bida Poly, Dr. Dzukogi confirmed that some union leaders who ran foul of the poly laws were to face a panel but went to court for protection.
Dzukogi insisted that due process was followed in setting up the SSDC and wondered why the union leaders who have issues are complaining.