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FUNAAB crisis deepens as SSANU shuts VC’s lodge, Senate building

The crisis rocking the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Ogun State assumed a new dimension on Wednesday as the school’s chapter of the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities locked the residential lodge of the institution’s Vice Chancellor, Prof. Olusola Oyewole, and asked him to vacate office.

The union also put the Senate Building of the university under lock and key, vowing to embark on industrial action.

Rising from an emergency congress held at the university campus, SSANU called on President Muhammadu Buhari to urgently remove the Vice Chancellor and dissolve the institution’s Governing Council.

The development was fallout of the investigation of the Vice Chancellor and the institution’s Bursar, Moses Ilesanmi, by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission over allegations of unbridled corruption and betrayal of public trust.

A group, Concerned Stakeholders of FUNAAB, had detailed several cases of sleaze and funds mismanagement in the university‎, prompting the anti-graft agency to quiz Oyewole and Ilesanmi last week.

As a result, the VC suspended three ‎members of SSANU, including Comrade Salaam Sobur (National Publicity Secretary), Comrade Emmanuel Bankole (National Deputy President) and Comrade Lasun Somoye (former Public Relations Officer of FUNAAB), for alleged “meddlesomeness and confirmatory evidence in the act prejudicial to the smooth running and governance of the university”.

The university, whose Governing Council is headed by a former Minister of Works, Senator Adeseye Ogunlewe, was also rocked by a students’ riot last week.‎

The SSANU branch of FUNAAB under the chairmanship of Comrade Rotimi Fasunwon called the emergency congress to take a stance on the suspended members on Wednesday.

The union wondered why Oyewole suspended the three staff when he himself was undergoing criminal investigation.
SSANU maintained that the VC erred in suspending the trio, especially when they were neither queried nor made to sit before any disciplinary committee constituted by the university.

The union claimed that the VC contravened section 5.10.1 (Interdiction) of the FUNAAB’s Senior Staff Rules and Regulations.

Fasunwon declared that the union would mobilise its members to shut down the university from Thursday (today).

At the congress, one of the union members, Comrade Jiboku Ayodeji, moved the motion for the suspension of the VC and dissolution of the Governing Council‎.

Ayodeji argued that it was abnormal for a university Vice Chancellor to take such a unilateral decision when still under criminal investigation.

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