THE SENIOR Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) has threatened to take legal action against the management of the Bamidele Olumiluwa University of Science and Technology, (BOUESTI), Ikare, Ekiti, Ekiti State, should it fail to reverse its decision to proscribe the union on the campus.
The association made this known in a letter obtained by PREMIUM TIMES in the early hours of Friday.
In the letter sent through its lawyers, Jiworoblaw Solicitors, the association said the university has no powers to proscribe any trade union.
SSANU’s lawyers said the institution’s proscription of SSANU and other trade unions on the campus is unlawful, void, and without any legal effect.
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It, therefore, asked the university to withdraw the proscription and allow the trade union to operate on the campus without hindrance.
The letter reads in part; “…pursuant to extant labour laws, only the Federal Government, acting through the President may proscribe certain trade unions and direct the Registrar of Trade Unions to withdraw certificates of registration of trade unions on deserving grounds proscribed by law. Moreso, only the Registrar of Trade Unions may even deregister an already registered trade union pursuant to the Trade Unions Act.”
The university had in a circular in August last year announced that it proscribed the campus’s three staff trade unions.
The circular listed the proscribed trade unions to include SSANU, the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and the Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions (NASU).
The university said its decision was based on the unions’ alleged disruption of peace on the campus.
The circular reads in part; “I write at the instance of the University Management to refer to a reported case of uncouth behaviours of some leaders of the three (3) Trade Unions against the constituted authorities of the University on Wednesday, 3 August 2022 which resulted in the disruption of peace on campus and forestalled the matriculation ceremony earlier scheduled to hold on Thursday, 4 August.”
In the letter, the association noted that the management’s alleged directive that properties belonging to the union be surrendered to the university is without lawful justification.
“We humbly advise the University to surrender to good reason by withdrawing the proscription order and refrain from further interference in our client’s properties and affairs in the University.”
When contacted for comments, the university vice-chancellor, Victor Adeoluwa, a professor, declined comments, insisting he wouldn’t grant the interview without “proper requests.”
“I am sorry, I would not do this interview if you don’t make a proper request,” he said on the telephone.
Mr Adeoluwa insisted that the reporter must meet him physically before he would speak on the matter.