An Osogbo Magistrate’s Court in Osun State, has discharged and acquitted the remaining six workers of the Osun State University, accused of staging a peaceful protest against the university management.
Union leaders and members of the institution had, in 2018, protested alleged unpaid entitlements and financial impropriety against the university’s Vice Chancellor, Prof Labo Popoola.
The defendants had, through their counsel, Amole Joseph, entered a ‘no case submission’ after the Prosecutor, Moses Faremi, of the State Ministry of Justice had established his case.
Delivering his ruling on the no case submission on August 14, Magistrate Opeyemi Badmus had declared that the prosecution failed to establish a prima facie case against 19 of the 25 workers. Badmus said the 19 workers had no case to answer and therefore, freed them.
Badmus had said that six other union members, whose vehicles were allegedly used to block the road during the peaceful protest should enter their defence, since the prosecutor had established a prima facie case against them.
The six defendants include Adiat Kadir, Odeniyi Olakunle, Adewuyi Saheed, Abiodun Olalekan, Ajulo Adetunji and Kayode Adesoye.
On Wednesday 7th October 2018 when the case was called for the Defendants Counsel to open its case, the complainant (Osun State University) and the Prosecution Counsel were absent in court.
The Defence counsel informed the court that the complainant had shunned the court for two consecutive times and also said that the absence of the Prosecution Counsel at the sitting was a ploy to delay the process.
Joseph prayed the court to dismiss their case for lack of diligence prosecution.
In his ruling, Magistrate Badmus dismissed the case and discharged & acquitted the six defendants.
In his reaction, Com Adiat Kadir, the JAC said “the victory has vindicated us and established the fact that the prosecuted members of JAC were being victimized by the Authorities of Osun State University.”
He called on the university management to recall the discharged and acquitted staff in pursuant to Section 4.5.1(d)(vi) of the Conditions of Service of Osun State University without further delay.
The JAC chairman appreciated God for His support while the struggle lasteda and also commended the Magistrate for delivering his ruling without fear or favour.
He appreciated the Authorities of the University and Government of the state for allowing law to take its course.
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