By Mumini Abdulkareem
The Federal Government has been petitioned over alleged system manipulation to support the tenure elongation of the rector of a Federal Polytechnic, Ile-Oluji, Ondo state.
A lecturer in the department of Business Administration and Management in the institution, Oloko Oladele raised the issue in a letter addressed to President Muhammadu Buhari who is also a visitor to the institution.
According to the petition, there are widespread maladministration, fraudulent practices and violation of the Federal Polytechnic Act, 2019, signed into law by the President.
“This includes unlawful tenure elongation by the Rector, Professor Emmanuel Fashakin, who was appointed on 1st April, 2015 and ought to have vacated the office by March, 2020 in line with the Federal Polytechnic Act, 2019 but who in connivance with some top management staff of the Federal Ministry of Education unlawfully extend his tenure for another two years”, the statement noted.
The petitioner also alleged breach of due processes in the appointment of the Registrar, Bursar and Polytechnic Librarian in March 2020.
“On 6th December, 2019, the management and governing council made a fraudulent internet advertisement for the position of the three principal officers. The Act that all principal officers appointments should be from the polytechnic section was violated by extending it to other tertiary institutions in the fraudulent internet advertisement it sponsored and also the laid down rules on methods and procedures of the appointment of principal officers were violated as “No joint council was formed in the process of selecting the three principal officers in March 2020.
The academic board was not involved in the selecting of the three principal officers on March 2020.
The statement also noted that the position of the three principal officers ought to have being published six months before the expiration of their tenure in March 2020 in at least two national newspapers in Nigeria but which was also violated.
He therefore urged the polytechnic visitor to set up a panel that will investigate the gross misconduct levelled against the governing council in line with the Federal Republic of Nigeria public service rule 2008 edition, officially Gazetted on 25 August 2009.
Similarly, the petition also accused the Fashakin led administration of embezzling the TETFUND released for infrastructure development and urged the presiding ministry to investigate and mete out appropriate sanctions.
But reacting to the issue in a telephone chat with this medium, the embattled rector demised the allegation adding that the petitioner was a dismissed staff who is fighting the institution.
“The Mr Oloko is no more a staff, he was dismissed and as a result, he’s trying to fight the institution, thinking some of us will not be here again so that he can stage a comeback.
Concerning the renewal of my tenure, I have a letter to that effect since 2018 signed by the school authority. I am not affected by the new edit signed into law in July 2019. My tenure will lapse in 2023. For the other principal officers, that is the Registrar, Bursar and the Librarian, the new law affected them and their appointment actually ended in March 2020. We normally place our adverts for positions 6months before expiration of their tenure which we did by advertising in two national newspapers and online to which people responded. We had interviews and there was a long list thereafter, we had a short list of persons looking for the posts.
“We have guidelines for the process, which we followed. Four members of the council, three from the congregation the other two who are supposed to be chief lecturers but we had no chief lecturers because the school is just 5years old so we had other senior lecturers instead as well as representatives from the Ministry. There was no hide and seek. Thereafter, those interviewed were recommended to the council who approved the recommendation of those qualified.
No other position is opened to persons from a university except directors, I can say I am the last set of people coming into a polytechnic from a university but the new law does not affect the principal officers. Concerning the TETFUND, TETFUND is a body funding us for capital projects. It releases money in tranches, three tranches and pay workers according to evaluation based on what they see on ground. Thank God, we have commissioned them and the TETFUND representatives were there. There were auditors, engineers etc so we have nothing to hide”, Fashakin submitted.
By Mumini Abdulkareem