Few hours after the Court to Appeal sitting in Ado Ekiti, the Ekiti State capital ordered the immediate reinstatement of the sacked Non-Academic Staff of the Ekiti State University, Ado Ekiti (EKSU), the University Vice Chancellor, Prof Eddy Olanipekun, is now singing different tunes, blaming sack of the workers on agents of the Governor Kayode Fayemi led government.
Sources within the University told our reporter that Prof Olanipekun held a meeting with some of the disengaged 32 technologists who were among the over 1,000 staff of EKSU, whose appointments were terminated by the institution on December 5, 2019.
“The Vice Chancellor met with some of the sacked technologists alongside 15 members of the University Management, including the Registrar, Mr. Joseph Ife Oluwole,” a source confirmed.
Another source said the Vice Chancellor said he advised the University Governing Council against sacking the workers, but “because he was just an errand boy, the council didn’t listen to him.”
Immediate past Secretary to the Government of Ekiti State, Mr Biodun Oyebanji was a member of the EKSU Governing Council that sacked the workers. He was Governor Fayemi’s eyes in the Council.
Oyebanji is now Fayemi’s anointed governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ekiti State.
“Congratulations to you guys. It’s the council that brought us to this point. Some of us advice (sic) against it but they didn’t listen. I’m just there (sic) errand boy. You are all welcome to your offices.
“You will receive your salaries and benefits with others as we pay along.
“Kindly understand with us,” Prof Eddy Olanipekun was quoted to have said.
The Vice Chancellor was further quoted to have explained that the cause of the disengagement was because the school did not have fund and the fund is still not available.
“So please let’s plan a payment plan in few days and reach back to you while you stay your actions.
“We will surely pay all. If we have the funds, I would have paid today, but the payment plan will help us all,” another source quoted Prof Olanipekun to have said.
Another source said that the Vice Chancellor said technologist should resume work with immediate effect, promising that payment plans will be released in few days.
“Registrar refused to talk. Only Eddy (Vice Chancellor) talked for almost 1 hour, explaining what can’t be explained,” the source said.
It would be recalled that the university had on December 5, 2019, illegally sacked the workers, claiming irregularities in their appointments.
The Court of Appeal had ordered the immediate reinstatement of the sacked workers, upholding the 2020 ruling of the Industrial Court in Akure, Ondo State on the matter, which described the termination of the appointment of the concerned workers as “unlawful, null and void.”
The Appeal Court also awarded the sum of N50,000 fine against the Ekiti State University to be paid to each claimant.
The Presiding Judge, Justice Abdul-Azeez Waziri, also ordered immediate payment of their salary from when they were sacked to date.