ASUU asks Gov. Oshiomhole to stay away from UNIBEN property

It was gathered that the Academic Staff Union of Universities, Port Harcourt zone, has told the Edo State Governor, Mr. Adams Oshiomhole, to stay away from property belonging to the University of Benin.

ASUU, Port Harcourt Zone said shortly after a meeting of its members in the Rivers State capital, that it was wrong for the governor to continue in the demolition of structures owned by the university when the case was still on appeal.

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It will be recalled that the Edo State governor had early this year pulled down some buildings allegedly owned by UNIBEN in the GRA area of Benin.

The union said it was disheartening that the governor, who came to power through the mercy of the judiciary, was trampling on the same system that brought him to power.

The Zonal Coordinator, ASUU Port Harcourt, Professor Beke Sese, explained it was surprising and a rude shock to the leadership of the union that the governor was of recent becoming lawless in his actions.

Sese said the demolition of the remaining lecturers’ quarters belonging to the UNIBEN, which was a subject of litigation, was a display of less regard for the laws of the land by the governor.

He described the act as a show of executive rascality and should be condemned by well-meaning members of the society in its entirety.

According to him, “It is surprising and a rude shock to the leadership of the union and the University of Benin Community that Adams Oshiomhole has not only gone back on his promise, but has taken in lawlessness and disrespect for the laws of the land to a level of outright ignominy.

“Precisely on Thursday, February 11, 2016, he directed the complete demolition of the remaining structures that were the properties of University of Benin, a contemptuous confrontation of the Appeal Court in Benin, before which the case is pending.

“We therefore implore all well-meaning people to request the governor to observe restraint and show respect for the law of the land and bring himself and office under the power of the court.”

Sese also called on the governor to redeem his image by fulfilling his promise to the displaced lecturers of the institution, adding that men of honour keep to their promises.

He also vowed that the union would take further necessary legal actions against the governor if he did not fulfill those promises.

But the Edo State Government had in its response to ASUU on the matter said, “As much as one finds it irritating to respond to this category of turncoat academics, who, rather than intervene on this matter in a very dispassionate manner, have decided to invoke political sentiments.

“It is appropriate to set the records straight. On the property matter, judgment was entered in favour of Edo State Government in December, 2014.

The University of Benin filed for stay of execution of the judgment at the Court of Appeal, and judgment was also given in favour of Edo State Government.

“Barely few weeks ago, we heard that they have filed notice of Appeal at the Court of Appeal again. What is lawless about our action? Waiting for judgment to be given on their stay of execution thus far or what?

“Where is the lawlessness? As far as law is concerned, till date, following the respective judgments, those buildings remain the property of Edo State Government,” the State Commissioner for Information, Prince Kassim Afegbua, said.

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