By Segun Ojo, Osogbo
Osun state Government has ordered the closure of Osun State Polytechnic, Iree Campus for two weeks following the return of suspended Rector, Dr. Tajudeen Odetayo.
The closure of the institution was contained in a statement signed by the commissioner for education, Hon. Dipo Eluwole and made available to journalists in Osogbo, Osun State capital.
The statement read, “This to inform the general public, particularly members of staff and students of Osun State Polytechnic, Iree to proceed on two (2) weeks break, with immediate effect.
“The immediate break is a necessary action in order to maintain peace in the Institution consequent upon the forceful return of the suspended Rector, Dr. T.A. Odetayo.
“The general public should also note that School accounts have been frozen with immediate effect and it is imperative that everyone cooperates fully and adheres to these directives”.
Recall that the state government had suspended Odetayo through a letter signed by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, Kehinde Jimoh, on July 24, 2023 for alleged gross misappropriation of funds and abuse of office.
The letter addressed to Odetayo had read, “You are hereby suspended as the Rector of the institution sequel to the strong allegations of financial recklessness, corruption, misappropriation of funds, abuse of office among others.
“You are to proceed on suspension immediately while investigations into the allegations levelled against you commence soon.
“This is to communicate the approval of the Executive Governor of Osun State, His Excellency, Senator Ademola Jackson Nurudeen Adeleke, to appoint Mr. Alabi Kehinde Adeyemi as the Acting Rector of the institution. Mr. Alabi Kehinde Adeyemi will take over from Dr. T.A. Odetayo who is being investigated over the allegations of financial recklessness, corruption and misappropriation of funds and abuse of office.
“The erstwhile Rector should step aside pending the time the allegations against him are properly investigated by relevant bodies. The appointment of the Acting Rector takes immediate effect.”
Dissatisfied, Odetayo approached the Lagos Division of the National Industrial Court of Nigeria recently with an ex parte motion challenging what he described as his “illegal suspension.”
In the motion, Odetayo had prayed for an order of interim injunction restraining the defendants/respondents (Governor Ademola Adeleke and others) from giving effect to the letter of suspension dated 11th July 2023 and letter of query dated 1st August 2023 given to him.
Delivering ruling on the motion, Justice Opeloye Ogunbowale granted an interim order restraining Governor Adeleke and 14 others from appointing a rector for the polytechnic.
Justice Ogunbowale also ordered Adeleke and other respondents to stay further action on the institution, pending hearing of the motion on notice slated for October 10, 2023.
The judge had directed that a hearing notice be issued to all respondents before the next adjourned date.
Apparently acting upon the court order, Odetayo resumed back to office amidst mixed feelings from workers.
While some workers jubilated upon sighting Odetayo who arrived the campus around 8:00 am, others were shocked to have two rector’s overseeing the school.
The sources said academic activities were disrupted owing to the development.
Meanwhile, the acting rector Mr Kehinde Alabi has appealed to members of the Polytechnic Community to remain calm.
Alabi charged Staff and students in the school not to submit themselves to any form of intimidation, but to maintain peace and order.
The Acting Rector in a Statement personally signed said “I urge you to remain calm and go about your normal duties without any protest.
He enthused that the government had taken normal process to ensure that normalcy returns to the Institution.
“The state government is looking into the situation and will get stay of execution in court”.
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