Democratic Socialist Movement

For Struggle, Solidarity and Socialism in Nigeria

By - DSM



For An Independent Public Panel of Enquiry

By H.T. Soweto, National Cordinator, ERC

The Education Rights Campaign (ERC) demands the immediate and unconditional recall of Dr. Isaac Oyewumi and Dr. Adebowale Adeyemi-Suenu (respectively Chairman and Vice Chairman of ASUU LASU) by the authorities of the Lagos State University (LASU).

Dr. Oyewumi was dismissed for allegation of demanding N50, 000 bribe to process a student result while Dr. Adeyemi-Suenu was alleged to have unilaterally altered students’ results. While we do not condone criminality, we have every reason to believe that this dismissal is politically-motivated and the allegations contrived considering the manner the panel that tried them came about its conclusion in absolute disregard of the facts and evidence presented. For instance, not only were there issues with the audio recording which allegedly confirmed Dr. Oyewumi’s guilt, there were equally many unanswered questions about the complainant. Similarly in the case of Dr. Adeyemi-Suenu, the panel disregarded litany of witnesses that showed that the alleged alteration of results were done in accordance with resolutions of departmental meeting.

All of this gives an impression that the panel was working towards a premeditated conclusion which was to get rid of these two union leaders. We note that long before their ordeal, ASUU-LASU had become a thorn in the flesh of the authorities for opposing illegal appointments, brazen violation of university rules and impunity of the Prof. Fagbohun administration. The University authorities also have a history of slamming false criminal allegations on union leaders in order to paint them as criminals so as to get rid of them.

We therefore call for an independent panel of inquiry composed of competent Nigerians and representatives of the labour movement, professional groups, alumni association, parents and students to look into the whole crises including the allegations and the processes leading to the dismissal of two ASUU leaders as well as other cases of with-hunt and politically-motivated victimization ongoing in the University. If the Prof. Fagbohun-led administration feels confident that it really has genuine allegations against them, then the University should submit itself to public scrutiny. As far as we are concerned, LASU is a public institution funded by tax-payers money. Therefore when controversies like this break out, the public has a right to know the truth.