Posted by News Express | 21 July 2017 | 2,168 times
Legal and rights icon, Mr. Femi Falana (SAN), has called on the Oyo and Osun state governments to ensure that the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH) is reopened without any further delay. The senior advocate made the call Thursday at the memorial symposium held in honour of Professor Funmi Adewunmi at the Osun State University, Ikire campus.
As a temporary measure, Mr. Falana asked both state governments to set aside part of the London/Paris club loan refund to provide funds for the immediate reopening of the university. He said it was “unacceptable that the university has been shut down for almost a year.”
The legal luminary advised the Osun State Government to relinquish any claim to the ownership of LAUTECH since it cannot afford to fund more than one state university, and hand it over to the Oyo State Government. He also urged the Oyo State Government to be prepared to take over the ownership of LAUTECH and provide the needed funds for it. To do that successfully, the senior advocate further urged the Oyo State Government to abolish the new University of Technology and transfer all its assets to LAUTECH, which, he said, should be turned into a centre of academic excellence.
Mr. Falana disclosed that Professor Funmi Adewunmi was not promptly attended to by the management of the University College Hospital Ibadan on June 13 when he was rushed there by his family after a brief illness. To prevent avoidable deaths in the country and equally stop “the shameful practice of flying Nigerian leaders abroad for medical treatment”, Mr. Falana suggested that the bulk of the huge funds being recovered from looters should be used to refurbish the country’s ill-equipped hospitals.
On happenings in Kogi State, where Governor Yahaya Bello recently announced the mass sack of academic staff of the state university and dissolution of the local branch of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Falana asked the Attorney-General of Kogi State to enlighten Governor Bello to appreciate that the fundamental right of Nigerian citizens to assemble and associate peacefully is constitutionally guaranteed and protected and that he lacks the legal competence to proscribe a registered trade union like ASUU. The human rights lawyer reminded the Kogi State Governor that even when the late maximum dictator, General Sani Abacha, purportedly banned ASUU via Decree No. 4 of 1996, the Federal High Court upheld his (Falana’s) submission and set aside the illegal ban. Mr. Falana therefore advised the ASUU leadership to ignore the proscription “so that Governor Bello can be made to realise the limit of his executive powers.”
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