The Lagos State University (LASU) has re-issued the withdrawn PhD certificates of Dr Adekunle Idris, Chairman, Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), LASU chapter and Dr Mufutau Yusuf.
Idris said made the disclosure at a news conference at the university’s Ojo campus on Monday in Lagos.
The re-issued certificates were sequel to a directive by the Governing Council of LASU.
He said that the certificates were re-issued on December 3, after a thorough investigation by an ad-hoc committee of the council, headed by the Pro-Chancellor, Prof. Adebayo Ninalowo.
“The re-issued certificates read: PhD Business Administration while the withdrawn Certificates read: Business Administration (Marketing).
“What was done was simply removing the marketing in bracket, rather than withdrawing the certificate as was implemented by the administration of the former Vice-Chancellor, Prof. John Obafunwa’s adminstration.
“The decision of the council vindicates our Dr Idris and Dr Mufutau.
“It also vindicated the position of ASUU on this unnecessary crisis created by the unjust, draconian, clueless and repressive administration of Obafunwa and his cronies,’’ he said.
Idris said that he graduated in 2012 and the PhD certificate was signed by Prof. Obafunwa but was apparently withdrawn to distract the union’s leadership following a crisis with the union.
He said the re-issued certificate was, however, signed by the Acting Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Fidelis Njokanma.
According to Idris, the PhD thesis was supervised by Prof. Ade Oyedijo, LASU, Dean, Business Administration and the then Coordinator of the PhD programme.
He said Prof. Ben Oghojafor, former Dean, Business Administration, University of Lagos, was the external assessor of the thesis.
“The university through the School of Postgraduate Studies had directed Oyedijo to investigate the certificate and write a report.
“Oyedijo had written a one man report which did not go through the department or faculty, stating that the certificates had error.
“He recommended that it should be withdrawn, without specifying that it should be corrected and re-issued, while the Post-Graduate (PG) School in recipient recommended that it should be corrected and re-issued.
“The Senate 17 members out of 87, decided and approved the recommendation of Oyedijo without considering that of the PG school,’’ he said.
According to Idris, the university had also re-instated the Temporary Appointee, Mr Tijani Akapo and others who were wrongly disengaged since 2013 by Obafunwa.
“The truth is constant though it tarries, it will always prevail in the long run.
“We remain focused and daunted in the struggle for the emancipation of the Nigerian masses and interest of all our members,’’ he said.
The chairman charged the council to bring to book all those involved in creating the embarrassment to his person and the university, to deter others in the future.
Idris said that as a person, his lawyer was studying the decision of the university on the re-issuance of the certificate and would take appropriate legal action at the right time.
Idris hailed the courage of the 10th Governing Council headed by Prof. Ninalowo, to speedily resolve the issue.
“The commitment shown thus far by the members of the Governing Council was unprecedented.
“The union is appreciative of the zeal thus far shown by the Governing Council to tackle the myriad of problems on ground,’’ he said.
LASU Senate under the former Vice-Chancellor, Prof. John Obafunwa, had withdrawn 19 PhD certificates over what the management termed error in the title of the certificates issued.
The 19 certificate included that of Idris, the ASUU-LASU chairman and one Dr Adeoye Yusuf.
Seventeen of the 19 certificate withdrawn were later re-issued to the affected persons after clarification, while that of Idris and Yusuf were withheld.
The ASUU, Lagos Zone, however, accused the LASU management of using the withdrawal of the certificates to witch hunt some of its members.
The newly inaugurated governing council, led by Prof .Adebayo Ninalowo, however, set up a six ad-hoc committee to look into the issues confronting the institution, including the certificates withdrawal.
The Committee on Withdrawal of Certificate is to investigate and make recommendations on the alleged withdrawal of certificates by the ASUU-LASU chairman against the university authorities.
The committee recommended that the withdrawn PhD certificate of Idris and Yusuf be re-issued which was adopted by the council.