The Nigeria University
Commission (NUC) has wielded its big stick on the Enugu State University of Science and Technology (ESUT), over the institution’s alleged unlawful sack of about 153 of its lecturers.
It was gathered that the affected lecturers were sacked by ESUT management shortly after using them to scale last accreditation exercise of some of its faculties and departments.
Confirming the withdrawal of the accreditation of faculties and departments earlier given to ESUT, the Director of Information and Public Relations of the NUC, Mallam Ibrahim Yakassai, said that the NUC under the Executive Secretary, Professor Julius Okojie, frowned at a situation where some universities hired and sacked lecturers immediately after using them (lecturers) to get accreditation from the commission.
Malam Yakassai, who disclosed this in Enugu yesterday, acknowledged that the commission received several petitions from the dismissed lecturers over their alleged wrongful dismissal from service.
“Following the series of petitions from the disengaged staff of the Enugu State University of Science and Technology, the NUC on February 12, 2016 withdrew accreditation of Mass Communication, Engineering, Psychology and some other departments.
“ The NUC cannot sit down and watch such ugly development “,the commission’s spokesman stated.
Meanwhile, in a Save Our Soul (SOS) letter sent to the NUC through their lawyer, Barrister B. N Ugwu, which was made available to newsmen in Enugu, the affected lecturers who cut across all departments in the institution had alleged they were intimidated, and unlawfully disengaged by the university authorities.
The petitioners recalled, “Sometime in May, 2015, the authorities of ESUT under the headship of Professor Cyprian Onyeji advertised and offered employment to about 153 eligible applicants who scaled through in the pre-employment interviews and screening to different departments and faculties of the university,”
According to them, “since our employment in May, 2015, none of us had been paid salaries notwithstanding that we played our roles in teaching, setting examinations, invigilating, marking papers,
supervision of projects, and submission of result which enabled ESUT to access, promote and graduate deserving students accordingly.”
“We can now realise that the essence of our employment was for the university to pass the 2015 NUC accreditation.
“It is sad that we have been dumped after being used for the accreditation exercise”, the sacked lecturers stated.
They further stated that the authorities of ESUT immediately after serving them with the purported letter of disengagement from service allegedly backdated it to October, 2015, before moving to advertise for their replacement.
“We cry wolf and shudder at this level of intimidation, indiscriminate and unlawful sack/disengagement aimed at short-changing our dreams and aspirations.
“We are law-abiding citizens of Nigerian, ESUT authorities are skimming presently to employ new staff/lecturers to fill our vacancies.
“ The ESUT authorities sooner or later will approach the NUC to demand for fresh accreditation visit to renew their respective department accreditation based on the purported new lecturers that the institution is plotting to recruit at our detriment”
“We are confident that the Commission’s whip is potent enough to caution, correct, guide and direct any erring university authority in the country.
“The change regime of President Muhammadu Buhari is a legacy, more importantly as the government frowns against corruption, un-patriotism, and their likes”, they noted.
When contacted, the ESUT Director of Communication, Ossy Ugwuoti, said he was not competent to comment on the matter until he gets clearance from his principal.
The Nigeria University