The Committee for the Defence of Human Rights, CDHR, Osun State chapter has called on the state government to give the suspended Rector of the Osun State Polytechnic, Iree, Dr Tajudeen Odetayo a fair hearing and chance to defend himself of allegations levelled against him.
CDHR also asked the government to pause its actions and set up relevant committees to investigate the allegations against the ousted Rector.
DAILY POST recalls that Dr Odetayo was suspended by the Osun State Government on Monday, July 24, 2023, over allegations of corruption and abuse of office, among others.
The state government had immediately, appointed Alabi Kehinde Adeyemi as an Acting Rector.
But the government’s decision did not seat well with the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics, ASUP, OsunPoly, who called for a congress the next day Tuesday, July 25, 2023 and suspended all academic activities in protest.
Osun CDHR in a letter by its Chairman, Emmanuel Olowu called the attention of the Ministry of Education to the implications of the action of both the Osun State Government and the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnic ASUP in Iree, following the suspension and appointment of a new Rector for the institution.
The statement read, “Firstly, the agitation leading to the closing of the school gate will affect the school’s academic calendar, a reflection of that is the sudden discontinuation of the ongoing examination on the campus, this alone is enough for all the stakeholders involved in the matter to shift ground and give peace a space.
“We therefore want the state to know that students are still within the campus community as they are looking forward to the calling off of the industrial action for the commencement of their examination and other academic activities, and since the industrial action persisted the student are open to immoral act which will have a gross negative effect not just on Osun State but Nigeria as a nation
“Secondly, we will like your Ministry, The Ministry of Education to submit to the Ministry of Justice the edict that Establish Osun State Polytechnic Iree, for proper legal advice as that will serve as a means for proper guidance on the matter.
“We studied the edict and are acquinted with the Academic Qualification and Qualities of a Rector, *which are centered on the following: level of degree acquired, years in service, Age of Birth, years as a chief Lecturer, mental status, etc.*
“Thirdly, we would like the Ministry of Education to seek a clear process of investigating the allegation of financial misappropriations against Dr. Tajudeen Odetayo as due process matters in a democratic setting
“Fourthly, the Ministry should look at the election organized by the Board Of Study (B.O.S) of Osun State Polytechnic Iree, in which the newly appointed Rector, Mr Alabi Kehinde Adeyemi is a Contestant for the position of Deputy Rector in an election held on the 22nd of June 2023, where he came fourth with nine (9) votes out of Eighty-Six (86) votes cast.
CDHR also asked the Osun Ministry of Education not to allow itself be used to resolve political issues in a union because it is an agency of government which symbolises light, courage, honesty, and dignity.
It also called on the Osun government to “see it as a moral burden upon itself to examine the participation of the newly appointed Rector in the just concluded deputy rector election and the acceptability of the academic community of Mr. Alabi Kehinde Adeyemi.
“We look forward to the constitutional-driven decisions as they remain the criteria for peace in the citadel of learning.”