Principal officers of the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH), Ogbomoso, who were on July 29 suspended by Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State have appealed against the Federal High Court, Osogbo ruling on which the Oyo State government based its action.
Professor Moshood Lanrewaju Nassar, former vice chancellor of the instituion; Mr. Niyi Fehintola (registrar); Mr. Abiodun Alagbe (bursar) and Mr. Gboyega Adio (librarian) were all suspended by Ajimobi while Professor Niyi Gbadegesin was appointed as the acting vice chancellor.
Justice Babs Kuewumi of the Federal High Court, Osogbo, had on July 7, in the case marked CA/IB 35/2011, ruled in favour of Community Building and Development (CBDI), Osun State, Mr. Waheed Lawal, Mrs. Titi Okunola, the governors of Oyo and Osun States as applicants.
They had approached the court, kicking against the increment in the school fees of the LAUTECH students.
While appealing the ruling, the principal officers argued that the trial judge, Justice Kuewumi erred in law by granting the orders of interlocutory injunction against them despite the non-service of the originating processes and the Motion on Notice for interlocutory injunction against them.
The particulars of error in law filed on behalf of the appellants by their counsel, Mr. Roland Otaru (SAN) said, “the learned trial judge erred in law in granting an order of interlocutory injunction against the appellant (the university), thereby denying the appellants the right to fair hearing under Section 36(1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended).”
The officers further stated that the trial judge erred in law by granting the interlocutory injunction against the university when the plaintiffs had locus standi to institute the suit against the appellant, saying, “the plaintiffs (1-3) appellants herein, have no nexus with the appellant and none of the decisions of the appellant relating to the administration of the affairs of the appellant concerns the plaintiffs.”
They averred that the decision of the trial judge led to a grave miscarriage of justice, while noting that the trial judge erred in law in holding as follows: While asking the Appeal Court to set aside the ruling of the Osogbo Federal High Court, the suspended officers urged the Court of Appeal sitting at Iyaganku, Ibadan, “to grant an order allowing the appeal of the appellant herein and a fortiori setting aside the ruling of the lower court dated the 7th of July, 2011.”
The Oyo State High Court, Oyo Division, under Justice Eni Esan, which is hearing the application has fixed Tuesday, October 19 for the hearing of the application. They have asked for several declaratory orders including the fact that the Osun applicants had no locus standi and the court “had no power, vires of jurisdiction to usurp or take over the duties and functions of a competent court of law.”
The LAUTECH officers believed that since the increment of the school fees of the students had the approval of the Oyo State government, they should not be victimised unjustly.
Their suspension, according to them, was unfair as they were employees of the council and there was no interdiction before the order.