The National Industrial Court of Nigeria has ordered authorities of the Federal University, Oye Ekiti, to refrain from taking further steps to sack its embattled Registrar, Olatunbosun Odunsanya.
Odunsanya had approached the court with an ex-parte request, urging it to make an interim order restraining the University; its Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Abayomi Fashina, and the National Universities Commission, who were listed as defendants in the suit, from sacking him.
The lawyer to the plaintiff, Kenechukwu Azie, had made â€œan order of interim injunction restraining the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th defendants their agents, privies, assigns, servants however so-called from appointing a new Registrar for Federal University, Oye-Ekiti, pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice.â€
Alternatively, the claimant asked the court to direct all parties in the case to â€œmaintain status quo antebellum,â€ pending the hearing and final determination of the substantive suit.
After listening to Odunsanyaâ€™s ex-parte request, Justice E.N. Agbakoba, ordered parties in the matter to â€œmaintain status quo antebellum pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice.â€
A copy of the ex parte order was obtained by journalists in Abuja on Tuesday evening.
The judge held that the interest of justice would best be served by the grant of an order of accelerated hearing.
While adjourning the case till February 17, Agbakoba, ordered parties to â€œrefrain from conduct that would lead to breakdown of law and order.â€
Other defendants in the matter were the Chairman, Governing Council of FUOYE, Muhammad Yahuza; Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Administration), Prof. Jeremiah Omotola and Deputy Vice-Chancellor, (Academics), Prof. Shola Ojo.
The FUOYE management and the Bursar have been locked in a power tussle since last April.
The dispute got to a head when the Governing Council of FUOYE suspended Odusanya from office over alleged misconduct.
But barely 24 hours after his sacking by the Governing Council, Odusanya faulted his removal, saying they had not communicated it to him.
Odusanya told The PUNCH that he learnt of his sacking through privileged information and the media.