There was confusion at the Osun State Polytechnic, Iree today when the suspended rector of the institution, Dr Tajudeen Odetayo returned to take charge of the school’s administration.
His return is consequent upon the order of an industrial court which forbidden the appointment of another Rector pending the determination of the substantive suit.
Upon sighting the suspended Rector, who reportedly arrived the school at about 8 o’clock in the morning, wild jubilation erupted in parts of the Campus, while others members of the community were shocked with the development.
Some students of the Institution told Radio Nigeria that the development brought tension and confusion as two persons paraded themselves as Rector on the Campus, the same day.
The suspended Rector could not be located for comments, but in a statement, the new Rector Mr Kehinde Alabi appealed to members of the Polytechnic Community to remain calm.
Mr Alabi charged Staff and students in the school not to submit themselves to any form of intimidation, but to maintain peace and order, staying “The state government is looking into the situation and will get stay of execution in court”.
Recall that the state government had suspended Dr Odetayo through a letter signed by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, Kehinde Jimoh, on July 24, 2023 for alleged gross misappropriation of funds and abuse of office, while it appointed Mr Kehinde Alabi to act in his stead.
It was later gathered that the panel of investigation did not invite the suspended Rector to defend himself.
Dissatisfied with his suspension, Dr Odetayo approached the Lagos Division of the National Industrial Court of Nigeria with an ex parte motion challenging what he described as his “illegal suspension.”
In the motion, Dr Odetayo prayed for an order of interim injunction restraining the defendants/respondents (Governor Ademola Adeleke and others) from giving effect to the letter of suspension dated 11th July 2023 and letter of query dated 1st August 2023 given to him.
Delivering ruling on the motion, Justice Opeloye Ogunbowale granted an interim order restraining Governor Adeleke and 14 others from appointing a rector for the polytechnic.
Justice Ogunbowale also ordered Adeleke and other respondents to stay further action on the institution, pending hearing of the motion on notice slated for October 10, 2023.
The judge had directed that a hearing notice be issued to all respondents before the next adjourned date.