The leader of the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities, University of Lagos, Prince Oriwaye Joseph Adefolalu, was on Thursday arrested by security operatives from the SCID, Ikeja, allegedly at the instance of the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe.
Adefolalu, who was the Chairman of the institution’s SSANU between 2003 and 2009, has been at the forefront and has been part of the negotiation team in the lingering conflict between the school authorities and the unions in the institution.
According to a family source, the security operatives, numbering over 12, came in three vehicles with special plate numbers.
They invaded his residence around midnight and held the members of his family hostage, until he was forced to open the door.
A family member said: “They came around midnight and surrounded the entire house.
“Initially, he did not want to open the door to them.
“We were all inside and some of the landlords in the environment came out.
“The security men, who came with guns and clutching their walkie-talkies, identified themselves to the landlords that they were from the State Criminal Investigation Department, Ikeja Division and acting on orders from above.”
Eventually when the threat became unbearable, and for the security of the members of his family, Adefolalu surrendered to them.
The invaders then dropped address with the family, whisked him away and took him to their Ikeja Office, where he also met another Union leader, Adekola Adetomiwa, who has also been arrested and detained.
As a result of the lingering union crisis, the institution on February 12 postponed indefinitely its convocation ceremony for the 2016/2017 academic session.
Earlier, in a Facebook post dated January 10, 2018, Adefolalu had alleged that there were threats to his life and the leaders of the other unions in the school over issues bordering on their welfare.
According to him, instead of the university authorities to honour the agreement reached with the UNILAG union’s congress during a recent meeting, the Vice-Chancellor has resorted to blackmail and threats, while handing the union leader’s telephone numbers to security operatives.
He stated in the Facebook post: “On 9th January, 2018, at about 14:29, I received a call from ‘08033919919’ inviting me for security meeting at Alpha Base, Sabo, Yaba, Lagos. I politely asked him that on what ground? The question the caller was unable to answer. The voice replied to call me back. Later in the day, another call was made that I should report to the Commissioner of Police Office at Ikeja, for another security meeting.
“This morning, when my phone was on, I saw another text message dated 9th January, 2018 at 21:01 stated therein that ‘You are invited to a security meeting with the Commissioner of Police, Lagos State. Time: 10am Venue: Conference Hall, Police Headquarters, Oba Akinjobi Way, Ikeja, Lagos’. No further details.
“I couldn’t bother to return the text, because I believe if the Commissioner of Police would invite me for security meeting, he shouldn’t be through a text message. I begin to sense a foul play.”
Adefolalu’s younger brother, Prince Adebusuyi Adefolalu, has demanded for the release of the SSANU leader, while calling on the school authorities to address the needs of the employees instead of resorting to jungle justice and strong arm tactics.