Alleged Fraud: Osun Govt shuts state-owned poly, as suspended rector resumes
The Osun State Government has directed staff and students of the State Polytechnic in Iree, to proceed on a two-week break, citing the resumption of the suspended Rector, Dr Tajudeen Odetayo, as the reason for its action.
Odetayo was suspended in July by the State Government on account of alleged financial recklessness and abuse of office and was subsequently replaced with Mr Kehinde Adeyemi in an Acting capacity, while a committee was constituted to investigate allegations against him.
Announcing the closure in a statement, the state Commissioner for Education, Dipo Eluwole, said, “This is to inform the general public, particularly members of staff and students of Osun State Polytechnic, Iree, to proceed on two weeks break with immediate effect.
“The immediate break is a necessary action to maintain peace in the institution following the forceful return of the suspended Rector, Dr 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.”
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) learned that his return followed the ruling of the Lagos Division of the National Industrial Court of Nigeria, which granted an interim order restraining Gov..Ademola Adeleke, and 14 others from appointing a rector for the institution.
Odetayo was led into the premises of the school by armed operatives of the Department of State Security (DSS) and was also accompanied to his office by some associates and staff of the polytechnic.
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While addressing those who received him, Odetayo expressed surprise that he was suspended without being queried.
He said he returned to the school having secured an order of a court that had restrained the governor from appointing another rector.
“I was really surprised when my suspension letter came in because, prior to that, I didn’t receive any query or call for any meeting.
“I am resuming back to office because the court has given an injunction on the matter and there is a stay of execution.
“I know our governor is a listening person and I want to appreciate him for allowing the rule of law to take its course.
“I am back to continue working towards moving the polytechnic forward,” Odetayo said
In reaction to the development, the acting rector, Adeyemi, in a statement called for calm, describing Odetayo’s return as a “forceful invasion”.
Adeyemi said, “Following the forceful invasion of the office of the Osun State Polytechnic Iree’s Rector, by the suspended Rector of the institution, as the Acting Rector of the Polytechnic, I appeal to members of the Polytechnic Community to remain calm.”
“I urge you to remain calm and go about your normal duties without any protest.”
“The government has taken steps to ensure that normalcy returns.”
Meanwhile, the state government has announced the immediate closure of the institution for two weeks.
NAN reports that the state government suspended Odetayo through a letter dated July 11, citing financial recklessness and abuse of office.
The government subsequently appointed Adeyemi as acting rector, while a committee was constituted to investigate allegations against the suspended Rector. (NAN)