Gabriel Omonijo, Chairman, Academic Staff Union of Universities, Federal University Oye-Ekiti, Ekiti State has dragged the institution’s management before the National Industrial Court in Akure, Ondo State over his indefinite suspension.
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 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 the investigative panel saddled with the responsibility to investigate 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 the university responded vide a letter dated March 15 and signed by the Acting Registrar, Olayinka Ajayi, stating that the issues raised in the said letter were receiving the attention of the university authorities.
The union leader said 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 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, Federal University, Oye-Ekiti branch.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Omonijo is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Water Resources at the university.