…as University mgt replies pre-action notice from aggrieved workers’ legal counsel
From KEHINDE ADEWOLE
The last is yet to be heard of the crisis caused by mass disengagement of staff at the Ekiti State University as the affected staff members have demanded resignation from the Vice Chancellor of the institution, Prof. Edward Olanipekun.
The angry staff members also called on the Registrar of the school, Akinwunmi Arogundade to resign his appointment with immediate effect.
The call was made in response to the recent reply of the University authority to the pre-action legal notice served on them by legal counsel to the affected staff members threatening a legal battle should the Management fails to reinstate the affected staffers.
•The VC and wife
Legal counsel to the University, Dayo Akinlaja (SAN), had replied his colleague, Bayo Ayenakin, the aggreived party’s counsel, attributing the disengagement of the affected staffers to paucity of funds in the covers of the University.
But the aggreived staffers have faulted the University:s lawyer’s claims, stating that it negates the earlier grounds of irregular appointments as the cause of the sudden disengagement.
Alleging inconsistence, insincerity and insensitivity on the part of the Management, the angry staff members called for the VC’s resignation for :” peace o reign in the campus”.
Akinlaja in his reply, had stated reasons for the disengagement as : “….. “inability to pay workers”.”as a result of : “an inevitable upshot of the humongous, overwhelmingly and unsustainable monthly wage bill that the university could no longer cope with if it must survive as an institution…….”.
Reacting however, the aggreived staffers described the claims by Akinlaja as : “watery”, “unfounded” and “unsubstantiated lies” .
They said : ” the recent development according to the reply is a clear departure from the earlier allegations leveled against the innocent workers on December 5, 2019 that they were “irregularly employed”, now that the tone has changed to paucity of funds…Which one will the whole populace believe in?”
” According to the communiqué released by the governing council that 2016-2018 recruited staff be disengaged, Prof Edward Olanipekun disengaged 2016 recruited staff only in violation of
the orders of the governing council, an attempt to protect his selfish interest simply that the employment of his wife that falls in the categories of the 2017 staff, they said.
Also reacting to the Management’s claims on paucity of funds, the aggreived staffers said: ” …The much touted increments in wage bills was not problem, and should not be anchored on the employment done in 2016 at all because the reports of the visitation panel constituted by the visitor to the university to see to the affairs of the institution states clearly that new recruitments effect on the wage bill is 30% while promotions, regrading/upgrading, conversion and advancement exercise of the existing staff takes larger share of 70%, and the value of the financial implications of the newly recruited staff of 2016 alone was Thirty Eight Million Naira(N38m) whereas promotions, advancements, regrading/upgrading and conversions of the existing staff gulped a whooping sum of Seventy Nine Million Naira(N79m), now where comes the challenges?”
Reacting further, the embattled staff queried the rationale behind the University Management’s alleged conspiracy of silence over a certain N2 Billion Naira ( N2bn ) ICT frauds rocking the university and which in turn rendered the institution financially incapacitated for over two years now, they said the N2 Billion is ” an issue which remained unattended to by Prof Edward Olanipekun who decided to shield the actors, also chosen to handle the embezzlement issue with kit gloves by pampering the alleged fraudsters but ensured 2016 employed staff disengagements and stylishly exempted his wife who was employed in 2017.
” With this selfish and inhumane dispositions, the embattled staff hereby call on Prof. Edward Olanipekun to resign his appointment as Vice Chancellor of the noble University immediately to allow peace and fairness to reign, ” they said.
The enraged staffers also punctured the claim by the school lawyer that his client’s action was in line with the regulations governing the University, they said: ” ,Can the university avail the public the university’s law book which empowers EKSU authority to sack workers indiscriminately without recourse to the ethics of the institution’s disciplinary committee?
Is this not a height of insensitivity, a calculated attempt to squeeze life out of innocent citizens and a mere attempt to justify their act of sheer wickedness?”
They also countered the school Management’s claim that salaries of the excess staff members were paid from Cooperative deductions, saying: ” The management, in furtherance of their illegalities and selling of cheap lies to the public in order to paint the workers in a bad light through the purported press release of December 5,2019 said that “……these workers deliberately refused to join cooperatives and thrift societies…and that the deductions and benefits of the existing staff that joined the cooperative societies were used to pay the salaries of those that were newly recruited…..”
‘ This is far from the truth, the fact remains that most of the newly recruited staff are members of different cooperative societies namely EKSU Staff Multipurpose Society (EKSU SCMS), EKSU Progressives Multipurpose Society, EKSU Like Minds Cooperative Society, EKSU Senior Staff Cooperative Society among others.
The monthly savings of the affected 2016 staff now trapped in these cooperative societies after the disengagements as the president of these cooperatives are not ready to release the savings and benefits as requested by the affected workers (the payslips of each staff in this regard is always available as evidential backups to the claims). Whereas, a sum of One Hundred and Twenty Million Naira (N120m) were being used to pay deductions to these cooperative societies, as against the false declarations made by the school management that the university Cooperative deductions and check up dues were used to pay the newly recruited staff of 2016, where is the correlation between N120m (meant for deductions and check up dues) and N38m wage bill of the newly recruited staff that Prof Edward Olanipekun claimed to have been the source of problems to the university?
,” ,,,With this ugly developments in Ekiti State University, one needs no soothsayer to interpret the body language,actions and inactions of these power brokers that they don’t mean well for the best , the embattled staff are calling on vice Chancellor (Prof.Edward Olanipekun) and the university Registrar (Barr.Akinwumi Arogundade) to resign their appointment with immediate effect to allow peace to reign in this state owned university which all us should shared equal rights and privileges., They said
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