THE Akure Division of the National Industrial Court presided over by His Lordship, the Honourable Justice K. D. Damulak has commenced hearing in the case of contempt against the Vice-Chancellor of Federal University Oye-Ekiti (FUOYE), Prof. Abayomi Sunday Fasina, and the institution’s Acting Registrar, Mr. Mufutau Ibrahim.
Court documents obtained by National Record on Monday indicate that the case of contempt was filed was filed against Prof Fasina and Mr Ibrahim by the Chairman of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), FUOYE branch, Dr Gabriel Akinyemi Omonijo, in suit No. NICN/AK/21/2019 on March 10, 2022.
At the commencement of hearing last Thursday, June 16, 2022, the claimant, Dr Omonijo, was in the court while Dr Dayo Sobowale, Special Adviser to the Vice Chancellor of FUOYE represented the first and second defendants (the VC and Registrar respectively).
Mr. Taiwo Omidoyin Esq. from Falana & Falana Chambers appeared for the Claimant while Mr. T. S. Adegboyega Esq. from the Chambers of T. S. Adegboyega & Company appeared for the respondents.
Counsel to the claimant told the court that in the attempt to comply with the consent judgement of on 29th July, 2021; the authorities of FUOYE introduced into the letter of reinstatement of appointment written to the claimant elements that were strange to the terms of agreement in the consent judgement.
According to the Omidoyin, these strange elements include; one, that the claimant was only suspended without pay from the university in February 2019 contrary to the dismissal mentioned in the letter of reinstatement of appointment written by the University; two, that the claimant should sign an undertaking to be of good behaviour henceforth; and three, that a letter of advice was served on the claimant to desist from any act of misconduct that could disrupt the current peace and tranquillity that is being enjoyed in the university.
Justice Damulak, following the claimant’s counsel testimony, asked the counsel to the defendants to read out to the court both the consent judgment of the Court and the letter of reinstatement of appointment written by the FUOYE to Dr Omonijo.
According to Justice Damulak, this was to enable the court to know if the letter of reinstatement of appointment sent to the claimant complied with the consent judgment.
After the two documents were read out to the hearing of the court, Justice Damulak again asked the counsel to the defendants, Mr Adegboyega, to tell the court if as a lawyer and minister in the temple of justice, the letter of reinstatement of appointment written to Dr Omonijo by FUOYE complied with the consent judgment of the court.
When the Mr Adegboyega did not respond, Justice Damulak asked him to advise his clients to do the needful regarding the letter of reinstatement of appointment of Dr Omonijo in line with the consent judgment.
Justice Damulak thereafter adjourned the case to 13th October, 2022 for further hearing.
National Record had reported that Omonijo had sometime in 2019 taken FUOYE to the Akure Division of the NIC when he was sent on indefinite suspension without pay over issues related to his role as Chairperson of FUOYE branch of ASUU.
On 29th July, 2021, the NIC had given a consent judgement based on a negotiated agreement between FUOYE and Omonijo to resolve the differences. However, FUOYE allegedly failed to comply with the terms of the judgement by introducing what Omonijo and his lawyers see as strange conditions that were contrary to the consent judgement.
They rejected these conditions and had, after fruitless efforts to convince FUOYE to do the needful, file contempt proceedings against the VC and Registrar.