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Socialist Democracy Aug - Sept 2005



Authorities Must Obey Court Orders

By �Wale Eleto

After four years, legal victory came the way of the 49 lecturers of the University of Ilorin that were sacked in May 2001 by the UNILORIN authorities for their participation in the nationwide strike called by the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to demand for better funding of the university education among other demands.

The Federal High Court, Ilorin on Tuesday, 26th July, 2005, ruled in favour of the affected lecturers. Delivering its judgments on the two separate suits instituted by the affected lecturers against the UNILORIN authorities, the court ruled that the termination of the appointments of the lecturers on the account of their participation in the strike without a fair hearing is illegal and unconstitutional. Consequently, the court declared the termination of the appointments of the lecturers null and void and ordered their immediate reinstatement.

The court judgments had confirmed our position that there was no justifiable basis for the sack of the lecturers in May 2001 by the UNILORIN authorities under the leadership of the immediate past Vice-chancellor, Professor Shuaib Oba AbdulRaheem. It also confirmed the position of the "2001 FGN - ASUU Negotiating Team/Implementation Committee" under the chairmanship of Professor Ayo Banjo (now Chairman, UNILORIN Governing Council) who recommended that the lecturers should be reinstated because there was no basis for their sack in the first instance.

Already, the UNILORIN authorities have gone to appeal against the ruling of the Federal High Court. While we concede that the authorities have every right to appeal against the ruling, there is no moral justification for this. Instead of wasting the University's money on avoidable legal suits, such money will go a long way to improve the students and staff welfare on campus.

We therefore demand that this landmark judgment of the court be obeyed to the very letter, unmindful of whatever step the UNILORIN authorities intend to take. We call on the UNILORIN authorities to immediately recall the sacked lecturers to their duty posts with all their entitlements paid in obedience to the court orders. They have suffered more than enough for no just cause We equally call on the UNILORIN authorities to release the withheld final statement of results and certificates of the former student activists of the University namely; Lanre Akinola, Rasheedat Adesina and Tosin Akinrogunde.



Socialist Democracy Aug - Sept 2005