ASUP writes minister, seeks removal of rectors sacked by court
The Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics has written to the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, over the sack of five rectors in federal polytechnics by the National Industrial Court Holden in Abuja, The PUNCH has learnt.
The PUNCH had earlier reported how the NICN ordered the sack of five rectors appointed by the federal government.
The judge, Justice Obaseki Osaghae ruled that the appointment of the five rectors namely Dr Terlumun Utser of the Federal Polytechnic, Wannune; Prof Edwin Onyeneje of the Federal Polytechnic, Ohodo; Prof Edward Okey of the Federal Polytechnic, Ugep; Dr Zakari Ya’u of the Federal Polytechnic, Shendam; and Prof Garba Ngala of the Federal Polytechnic, Mungonu were not made in accordance with the law.
The federal polytechnics Amendment Act 2019 stipulates that to be qualified for appointment as a rector in any of the polytechnics in Nigeria, such a person shall be a Chief Lecturer and must have not less than five years of experience in any Nigerian polytechnic.
In the letter to Adamu dated March 24, 2023, ASUP’s national president, Anderson Ezeibe said, “The suit was instituted by our Union at the National Industrial Court of Nigeria, Abuja Judicial Division before Her Lordship, Hon.Justice. A. OBASEKI-OSAGHAE following their purported appointment in 2021 as Rectors of the respective Federal Polytechnics contrary to the clear provisions of the Federal Polytechnics Act (2019 Amendment).
“Judgment has been delivered in the suit in agreement with our Union’s contention that the persons so appointed do not have the requisite qualification captured in the law to be so appointed amongst other declarations of the court. This judgment is viewed by our
Union is one with immense benefits for the Nigeria Polytechnic System.
“In view of the foregoing, and in respect of an earlier consent judgment delivered in another suit NICN/ABJ/12/2020 (Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics vs Attorney General of the Federation and 6 Ors) where the Federal Ministry of Education undertook to ensure compliance to the provisions of the Federal Polytechnics Act by operators in the sector”.
Listing the demands of the union in line with the court judgement, ASUP said, “We hereby request the following: Immediate derecognition of the affected persons as Rectors of the affected
Polytechnics; a directive to the Governing Councils of the affected Polytechnics to commence the process for the appointment of new Rectors for the affected Polytechnics in accordance to the law”.
The minister could not be immediately reached for comments. However, findings by our correspondent revealed that the National Board for Technical Education, the regulatory body for polytechnics in the country acknowledged receipt of the letter.