The Federal Ministry of Education has been petitioned over breaches by management of the Federal Polytechnic, Ile-Oluji, Ondo state.
The breaches, which were contained in a petition to the President, who is also Visitor of the school, was communicated by a chief lecturer in the school, Mr Oladele Oloko, who is also claiming unlawful dismissal from the school.
Oloko, a former lecturer in the department of Business Administration and Management, in the petition signed and cited by our reporter, alleged maladministration, fraudulent practices and violation of the Federal Polytechnic Act, 2019, signed into law by the President, which includes unlawful tenure elongation by the Rector, Professor Emmanuel Fashakin, who was appointed as rector on 1st April, 2015 and should 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 extended his tenure for another two years, in obvious violation of the subsisting Federal Polytechnic Act 2019.
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.
“Due process was not followed under the following categories; it was well stated in the Federal Polytechnic Act 2019 that all principal officers appointments should be from the polytechnic section BUT the fraudulent internet advertisement published by the Federal Polytechnic Ile-Oluji, Ondo State extended it to other tertiary institutions.
“The laid down rules on methods and procedures of the appointment of principal officers were violated under the following categories;
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 representatives of congregation were not involved in the selection process of the three principal officers in March 2020.”
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 fund and urged the presiding ministry to investigate and mete out appropriate sanction.
Oloko is also asking for reinstatement as a chief lecturer of the school.
Reacting, the school’s Director of Information and Publicity, Mr John Sanmi Enigbonkan said, “the petitioner under reference was dismissed from the services of the polytechnic less than 6months into his appointment for gross misconduct in 2018. He was a Lecturer 1 and not Chief Lecturer when he was dismissed.
Also reacting, the Rector, Professor Fashakin however denied all the allegations, stressing that the petitioner was not a staff of the institution as alleged because his appointment was still under probation.
Fashakin said “The petitioner under reference was a Lecturer 1 and not Chief Lecturer when he was dismissed.
“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 6 months 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.
“So 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”.
On the allegations of embezzlement of TETFUND grants he said ”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.
“There were auditors, engineers etc so we have nothing to hide” he added.
Fashakin however was silence on the matter of falsification of age raised by the petitioner.
When asked on the claim to threat to life raised by the petitioner, Fashakin also denied knowledge of “anything like that”.