Lecturers in University of Ilorin, Kwara State, are now up in arms with the institution’s authority over the promotion of the Vice-Chancellor’s wife, Taiwo Ambali, to a Senior Lecturer.
The lecturer, Taiwo Ambali, was among 112 academic staff whose promotion was recently announced by the university with effect from October 1, last year.
Mrs. Ambali was promoted from the position of Lecturer 1 to Senior Lecturer. But some of her colleagues protested that the promotion was in breach of the regulations guiding staff promotion at the university.
Describing the promotion as improper, the protesting lecturers said under the regulations of the institution, a staff cannot be promoted to Senior Lecturer until after three years of service as Lecturer 1.
Mrs. Ambali was a lecturer at the University of Maduguri when the University of Ilorin where her husband is the Vice-Chancellor offered her appointment as Lecturer 1 through a letter of May 30, 2015.
Following the release of the list of the 112 newly promoted academic staff, Kayode Afolayan and Solomon Oyelekan, in their capacities as the Chairman and Secretary respectively of a faction of the local chapter of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, wrote a letter of protest on February 6 to the vice-chancellor in which they accused him of nepotism over the inclusion of his wife in the list.
ASUU has two factions in the university, dating back to the crisis of 2001 when the university expelled 49 lecturers. The lecturers were reinstated in 2009 on the order of the Supreme Court.
In their letter of protest, Messrs. Afolayan and Oyelekan insisted that Mrs. Ambali’s initial appointment by the university should have been to the position of Lecturer 2 instead of Lecturer 1, and that she was not in any event due for promotion until after three years of her previous appointment or promotion.
In a prompt response to the letter in which the lecturers had raised other issues, the university management on the same February 6 issued queries to Messrs. Afolayan and Oyelekan, accusing them of “malicious allegations and publications”.
The university directed the officials to explain within 48 hours why disciplinary actions should not be taken against them for the alleged infractions.
A day later on February 7, the university followed up with letters to the two officials suspending them from their duties as lecturers.
Reacting to the development, the Zonal Coordinator of the Ibadan Zone of ASUU, Ade Adejumo, condemned the suspension of the officials as an “act of illegality and cowardice”.
“This latest act of illegality and cowardice by the Vice Chancellor of University of Ilorin is a classic case of corruption fighting back when you fight corruption”, Mr. Adejumo said in a statement.
ASUU accused the Vice-Chancellor of indecency in the appointment of his wife, Mrs. Ambali, as a senior lecturer in the university.