From Kennis Bright
Things have fallen apart now, regarding the on-going process in search of the successor of the outgoing Vice-Chancellor (VC) of the Federal University Oye-Ekiti (FUOYE), Prof. Kayode Soremekun.And indeed, the centre no longer holds, as the political intrigues featuring in the historic process, have degenerated into a chaotic and confusing situation.
Against the background that some major stakeholders, i.e Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and some non-academic unions members in FUOYE had repeatedly raised the alarm that the out-going VC, Prof. Kayode Soremekun has been making frantic efforts to impose his anointed candidate, Prof. Abayomi Fasina as his successor; fresh investigation has also revealed that indeed, Prof. Soremekun is allegedly endorsing all the leading candidates in the race with a view to be seen to be fair to all.But this raises a puzzle as regards how the outgoing VC can be endorsing three or four candidates at the same time.When our correspondent pressed Professor Soremekun on this issue.He turned cryptic by asserting that: ” This is war, and in any war, truth is usually the first casualty.”
However, as further investigation revealed, it does appear that the several Professors being allegedly endorsed by the out-going VC, have all gotten skeletons in their cupboards in the form of several alleged ugly pasts being unearthed about them.
Even those who have applied from outside may also have their own skeletons in their cupboards too.But because they are yet to be well known to the internal system, such likely dirty linens of theirs are yet to be washed in public.
It also does appear that the resolution reached at resolving the same VCship race at the University of Lokoja, Kogi State, where an entirely ‘external’ personality was imposed on the institution recently, may eventually be adopted in finally resolving FUOYE’s situation leading to a context where both the external and internal candidates would lose out at the end!.
While it was gathered that some strong internal members of the University’s Council have been fighting very hard to ensure that Prof. Fasina emerged the next VC, in spite of the deluge of accusations hanging on his neck, other leading contenders, said to have been equally endorsed by out-going VC, are having issues about their alleged ugly pasts. More worrisome about Fasina is the fact that the Management of his former institution, EKSU, which had, in an earlier online report, exonerated him, seemed to have withdrawn such exoneration, saying that he would soon be invited to answer questions bordering on allegations of misconduct.
The foregoing development have revealed that the out-going VC no longer has, (if he ever had) the on-going process under his grip or control as it was speculated earlier.
Curious about the allegations and counter allegations that have trailed the development, particularly the much celebrated allegations of misconduct leveled against Prof. Fasina by some members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Akure zone, our media platform decided to embark on critical investigations of all the leading candidates in the race, our discovery was stunning and replete with interesting facts.
For the avoidance of doubt, leading candidates for the FUOYE VCship race are mainly internal candidates and they included Prof. Abayomi Fasina, current Deputy VIce-Chancellor, (DVC) Administration, Prof. Patrick Olajide Oladele, current Dean, Faculty of Management Sciences and Chairman, FUOYE Committee of deans, Prof. Olayide Lawal, current Dean, Facuity of Sciences, and Prof. Abiodun Adimula, a current Visiting Professor with FUOYE.
A recent petition by a concerned group, The Intergrity and Transparent Watch (ITW), signed by the Coordinator, Adegboyega Richard, and made available to our Correspondent, levelled several allegations of misconduct against three of the leading candidates, i.e Prof. Fasina, Prof. Lawal and Prof. Adimula.
On Prof. Fasina, the ITW refreshed the memory of would be readers on allegations of misconduct in his former Institution, EKSU, it said: “There are allegations that Prof. Abayomi Fasina received double salaries in two different organisations at the same time which is against the civil service rules and regulations of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. According to findings, Prof. Fasina was on Sabbatical appointment at the Federal University Oye-Ekiti, on 2nd January , 2015 to 22 September, 2016. Further investigation revealed that when a staff finished Sabbatical leave, such staff will return to his or her previous University and stop collecting full salary in two different organisations at the same time. Some documents obtained by our organisations confirmed the allegations that Prof. Fasina received full salary in two different organisations, FUOYE and EKSU at the same time in the month of October 2016 to February 2017 and September 2017, the allegations were published in various media platforms since 2019.”
Based on the foregoing allegations, the group therefore joined some ASUU members to discredit Prof.Fasina before the Governing Council. But Prof. Fasina has since denied the allegations, adding that the appropriate agencies of government have investigated him on the allegations and given him a clean bill of health.
A reliable source which contacted our platform also raised serious issues against a second top contender in the FUOYE VCship race, Prof. Patrick Olajide Oladele. Oladele was accused of extorting the students while he was a lecturer in EKSU. He was alleged to have been selling handouts to the students and allegedly collecting money from them. He was also alleged to have influenced the members of a Committee that was set up to probe him and succeeded in buying them over. Prof. Oladele was also accused of causing some upheavals in the system in FUOYE by allegedly sponsoring students on unnecessary protests and unrest on campus. While several calls made to Prof. Oladele did not got through and did not reply a text message sent to him at the weekend to react to the allegations, a very close colleague of his who did not want his name in print denied the allegations by ITW, saying: ” Prof. Oladele is a good man who is incapable of extorting students. What was written in that petition is the work of his enemies.”
Prof. Olayide Lawal was the second top contender discredited by the ITW in its petition. The allegation against Lawal is that first of all, the out-going VC had committed an error by appointing him. Hear what the ITW said about Prof. Lawal: “The Management under the leadership of Prof. Kayode Soremekun allegedly committed another error in Prof Olajide Lawal . The VC allegedly assisted Prof. Lawal to cover up a case of alleged sexual harassment that involved him when he was a lecturer at Olabisi Onabanjo University Ago-Iwoye, (OOU) Ogun State.
Continuing, ITW said: “It was leant that when Prof. Lawal learnt that he was going to be dismissed from the Management of OOU, he quickly ran to Prof. Soremekun for assistance. He quickly withdrew his service from OOU after his discussion with Prof Soremekun and moved to FUOYE so that he could escape justice.”
Reacting to the allegations on phone, Prof. Lawal denied all and declined further comments. He was however sent a text message containing all the allegations but he is yet to reply to the message at the time of filing this report. Also, a member of his faculty, who also pleaded anonymity, countered the allegations by ITW. He said: ” Prof. Lawal did not have any sexual harrassment case in OOU. Those spreading such falsehood just wanted to rubbish his image before the public because he is in the VCship race in FUOYE’. Prof. Lawal remains a kind hearted, get the and God fearing academic and a father figure to all.”
Also faulting Prof. Abiodun Adimula’s candidacy for the VCship position, the ITW, said: “Prof Abiodun Adimula is of the Department of Physics, University of llorin and came to the Department of Physics, FUOYE, as a Sabbatical staff in the year 2016 and he changed to a Visiting Professor in the year 2017 in the same department in FUOYE. He was the Director of lnformation and Communication (ICT) in FUOYE which is a violation of the Civil service regulations. It is forbidden for someone who is on full time appointment in one organization to take a position meant for a full staff in another organization. It was also learnt that Prof. Adimula accepted and led NUC the National University Commission (NUC) accreditation team to the Department in FUOYE in the year 2017 . This implies that Prof. Adimula came to accredit himself being a Visiting Professor of this department at the same time of this accreditation excercise. This action is a gross violation of academic ethics and an act of conflict of interest which is a serious offence,” the ITW argued.
While reacting on phone to the allegations, Prof. Adimula simply said”: No! No!! No!!!!” , and hung up.
The current situation is indeed confusing, given the fact that Prof. Fasina was initially the target of critics, who vehemently alleged that the Management was imposing him on the stakeholders as the next VC. At another time, the rumour also went round the town that an external candidate, a certain Prof. Sokefun was being fetched from the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) by the same Management to succeed Soremekun.
Prof Oladele was the third target of critics, who also decried that Oladele’s popularity among ASUU local chapter of FUOYE, has made Management to start rooting for him.At the moment however, it is Prof. Adimula that is being orchestrated as the annointed candidate of the same Management. The whole situation appears hopeless and unnecessarily heated up.
When contacted to react to allegations against the contenders, spokesmen of the accused Professors, i.e Oladele, Aeimula
Therefore, FUOYE Management and particularly, the University Governing Council is strongly advised to kill selfish interests and allow due process to prevail so that he who the heavens favour, gets the crown at the end.