As the Senate Committee on Ethics and Public Petitions meets tomorrow Tuesday May 18, 2021 and on Wednesday, May 19, 2021, one of the petitions to be considered is the one from immediate past Registrar of Federal University Oye-Ekiti, Mr Olatunbosun Odusanya. Several questions are agitating the minds of keen watchers of events in the university, a University that is arguably Africa’s fastest growing university.
For instance, what exactly are the complaints of Mr Odusanya? Was the Governing Council his employer when he was the Registrar of the school? If so, does the same Governing Council who had power to employ him has power to fire him? If not, is the position of a Registrar superior to the Governing Council? If we concede that the employer can hire and fire, what has FUOYE Governing Council done outside its mandate and powers ? Should a Governing Council explain to his employee why he was employed or fired? And in this instance, even from media reports, isn’t what Council said about the findings of the Committee suffice?
Given that losing a job is not a tea party and employees are naturally bitter when such happens, is there provisions in our books for aggrieved staff to complain? What is that provision? Has the Ex- Registrar explored this provision? Could it be that he is ignorant of such provisions?
Is writing a petition against superior authorities not an act of insubordination? Is that not one of the spotted errors Mr Odusanya is being accused of when it was discovered that he employed some staff without approval of the then Vice-Chancellor ?
How about the Senate? Granted that the Senate Committeee on Ethics and Public Petitions have the right to look into petitions of Nigerians, can it enforce its opinion on the Governing Council? If not, is it then a window to arm twist the Governing Council? If so, will it be a good precedent? Or is it one law for the geese and another for the gander? Are we running a society based on rules or a society of cash and carry? If the Senate needs to remain upright, a second look at its intervention may be necessary. Senate should not and must not do anything to suggest it is promoting insubordination by any guise.
Besides, the Senate of Nigeria is a hallow chamber peopled by Nigeria’s finest patriots. So many National issues require attention. The insecurity is there engaging the attention of all and sundry. Ditto comatose economy that is defying all logic. If their intervention won’t have force, and or is not intended to obstruct or influence the opinion of the courts who may be called in future to adjudicate on this matter, then Senate and its Committee should hands off this matter.
Lets look at precedence, has a Registrar in the same FUOYE ever been found guilty of some offences and suspended prior to this case? If not, how did the first Registrar, Mr Adeyemo left Office? If so, what was the role of Senate in that saga? When does a case become frivous and unworthy of precious time?
The more one thinks of this, the more questions arise. How will dramatis personae answer these and many more remain to be seen. Suffice it to say that FUOYE has moved on. The campus is at peace and well meaning Nigerians should be seen to help sustain that.
Already universities globally are playing catch up with the academic calendars. The disruption from COVID 19 locked down and its after effects are still there. Let FUOYE be