…as affected staff members lament their plight
From Kehinde Adewole
An Industrial Court sitting in Akure, Ondo State, has again, ordered the immediate resinstatement of another batch of staff members of the Ekiti State University (EKSU) who were found to be illegally disengaged by the Management of the University since December 5, 2019. This time, the ruling given by presiding Jugde of the industrial Court, Honourable Justice K.D Damulak, ordered that 86 non-teaching senior and junior staff members of the Institution be reinstated immediately and their salaries to be paid from date of disengaged till date.
It will be recalled that a similar judgment was delivered in the same court on December, 8, 2020, which ruled in favour of 32 disengaged Technologists of the institution where the court also held that their disengagement was also unlawful,null and void.
Justice K D Damulak ruled that since the employment of the affected staff members enjoy statutory flavour as entrenched in the University’s regulations, the disengagement was unlawful and hereby declared null and void.
Tragedy had struck two years ago, when an announcement from the school Management on December 5, 2019, said 1,137 staff members of the University have been disengaged.
The unwholesome development has caused serious setbacks and huge losses for both the affected staff members, their families and the students of the institution, particularly the final year students whose results’ collation process were either stalled or distorted owing to the ugly development.
A statement from the affected staff
which paints the pathetic picture of the consequences of the disengagement, reads in part:….” especially the way and manner this dastardly act affects the lives of many final year students which are unable to graduate due to unjust disengagement of both teaching and non teaching staff in charge of the conducting, marking of examination papers, compilation and computation of students results.
“Consequent upon this, the inhumane act( the purported disengagement) has destabilized many homes, sent many into their early graves and so on.”
Explaining the ruling further, the statement says: “The recently pronounced judgement by Honourable Justice D K Damulak of Akure Industrial Court has again affirmed the disengagement was a deliberate attempt to witch hunt the affected staff, the judge ordered the institution to reinstate the unlawfully sacked workers with their full benefits and entitlements. According to the rulings by the court, between the claimants; in the senior non teaching categories, 86 ( 42 non teaching senior and 44 junior categories) the claimants and the Governing Council of the institution, Ekiti State University (the 1st and 2nd defendants.”
The Court Order, which was contained in ruling given by Justice Damulak on January 28, 2021, among things include: That the employment of the claimants with the defendants (Ekiti State University) enjoy statutory flavour,
That the employment of the claimants with the defendants is regulated by the defendants statue, That the defendants did not comply with the provision of the regulations in disengaging the claimants, That the disengagement of the claimants in the manner it was done was unlawful, null and void, and That the claimants are hereby reinstated to their erstwhile positions in the 1st defendant’s etc.
According to the statement, the recent judgment has again affirmed that the disengagement of the innocent workers was unjust and unfair to all concerned.