The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) last Tuesday condemned the sack of council chairmen in Nigerian public universities by the federal government, describing it as illegal and a flagrant abuse on the autonomy of universities.
The academic union said the sack of chairmen of Governing Councils was done in bad faith and against the hallowed tradition and sanctity of the principle of University Autonomy/Academic Freedom and agreement reached with the union to respect same.
The ASUU chairman, University of Ibadan branch, Professor Segun Ajiboye, in a statement, called on the federal government to rescind its pronouncement and recall the chairman of Council, General Adeyinka Adebayo (rtd), if only to absolve itself from the tag of brazenly flouting the rule of law towards the end of its tenure.
“The Universities (Miscellaneous Provisions) (Amendment) Act 1993 as amended by the Universities (Miscellaneous Provisions) (Amendment) Act 2003, 2007, Act No 1 Section 2A clearly states the tenure of Council.
“The Council so constituted shall have a tenure of four years from the date of its inauguration, provided that where a Council is found to be incompetent and corrupt, it shall be dissolved by the Visitor and a new Council shall be immediately constituted for the effective functioning of the university,” he said.
Ajiboye declared that the entire council is a creation of a statute and, to that extent, cannot be tampered with except in the event of a proven case of maladministration, physical impairment or recorded case of loss of life.
He said the only condition upon which the chairman could be removed is incompetence and corruption which had not been alleged or established in this case, adding that even in such cases, there are procedures and channels to follow.