Dr. Etumudon Asien, a lecturer at the Federal University, Otuoke, country home of former President Goodluck Jonathan, has lamented the indefinite adjournment of a lawsuit instituted against the institution’s Vice Chancellor, Seth Jaja and two others over his alleged victimization.
The lawsuit brought before the National Industrial Court (NIC) sitting in Yenagoa, was again postponed indefinitely after it was earlier adjourned for Wednesday 9, October 2019.
Dr. Asien, had dragged the institution’s Vice Chancellor and two others to the National Industrial Court over alleged victimization and promotion fraud in the institution.
At the last proceeding, the presiding judge, Justice Bashar. A. Alkali, after listening to the argument of the two counsels had asked that they go for an out-of-court settlement.
The judge adjourned the hearing until October 9, adding that failure to settle the matter through alternative dispute will ensure commencement of hearing on the substantive suit.
But after attempts to settle out of court failed both parties were expected to appear in court on Wednesday, but the court failed to mention the case for hearing, a development which has prompted the lamentation.
Speaking, he said the postponement of the suit speaks volume as he was yet to know why the case was postponed or when it will hold.
The lecturer from the Faculty of Management Science alleged that he was removed as the head of the Banking and Finance department and denied mandatory promotion in line with the results of institution review exercise.
In the suit numbered NICN\YEN\32\2019, he also accused the Vice Chancellor of the institution of wrongful recruitment and promotion of two lecturers without due process and deliberately punishing him for his refusal to belong to the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
According to the claimant, by the virtue of the irregular appointments of the two lecturers, with alleged ‘questionable characters’, his professional growth have been negatively affected as they occupy positions he would have occupied.
He claimed that despite all actions and complaints, the defendants are still carrying out their acts of discrimination and illegality and if no remedial action is taken, they will continue to impede his growth in the service.
He asked the court to issue an order that he has a constitutionally guaranteed right to decide whether to become a member of ASUU or not and cannot suffer discrimination by the institution and the vice chancellor.
The claimant had prayed the court to issue a “declaration to the effect that the removal of the claimant as the head of department of Banking and Finance of the Faculty of the Management Sciences of the Institution on the ground that the claimant is not a member of the ASUU is a breach of claimant fundamental Human Right and is thus illegal, null and void”.