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UNILORIN 49: LET VARSITY COMPLY WITH COURT RULING

By NBF News

It is sad that one year after the Supreme Court ordered the reinstatement and payment of the salaries of 49 lecturers of the University of Ilorin who were wrongfully relieved of their appointments in 2001, the authorities of the university have not fully complied with the ruling.

There are indications that despair is gradually eclipsing the early joy and enthusiasm that greeted the apex court's landmark ruling of June 12, 2009. The beneficiaries are now apprehensive about the university's apparent disregard of the order to pay them.

The matter cropped up recently during the first anniversary of the judgment. At the occasion, tagged UNILORIN 49+, the chairman of the local branch of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Dr. Taiwo Oloruntoba-Oju, enjoined the university not to allow the matter to drag endlessly.

The ASUU boss appealed for immediate compliance with the Supreme Court decision on the matter. It will be recalled that the matter dragged for eight years before the sacked lecturers could obtain justice via the apex court.

The court had, in the lead judgement delivered by Justice John Afolabi Fabiyi, ordered the authorities of the university to pay the living 41 lecturers all their salaries and entitlements from February 2001 till date. And, for the three plaintiffs who died during the protracted litigation and who were deemed to have died in active service, the court ruled that their salaries and allowances should cease on their respective dates of death. The court also overturned the decision of the Ilorin Division of the Court of Appeal, which had earlier upheld the dismissal of the lecturers by the university.

The judgement of the court on the matter is clear and unambiguous. The University of Ilorin has no reason whatsoever to prevaricate on a judgment that is explicit, and by which the institution had earlier agreed to abide.

Since the university has accepted to comply with the apex court's verdict on the matter, there is no need to unduly delay the full implementation of the orders of the court.

To do so will amount to disobedience of the court's judgement. It is also a travesty of justice. The university's action is not in consonance with the principles of the rule of law and social justice. It puts a question mark on the administration of justice in the country.

We urge the university to urgently comply fully with the apex court's ruling and pay the affected lecturers their emoluments and entitlements. The lecturers should not beg or prostrate before the court orders are obeyed.

The university should let the acrimony generated by the protracted industrial dispute be consigned to the ash heap of history.

But, if the university cannot immediately fully meet all the financial obligations involved in the matter, due to lack of funds, the best it can do is to explain the situation to the affected lecturers and possibly plead for their understanding. Let the institution give the lecturers a time-frame within which it will be able to fully fulfill its part of the judgement. The university should demonstrate goodwill, understanding and openness in the matter by engaging the lecturers in dialogue.

The lecturers must be carried along in whatever the university is doing on the matter. No party to the dispute should be left in the dark on what the other is doing. Using delay tactics to prolong the matter unduly will amount to punishing the lecturers, which is controversy to the ruling of the Supreme Court.cease on their respective dates of death. The court also overturned the decision of the Ilorin Division of the Court of Appeal, which had earlier upheld the dismissal of the lecturers by the university.

The judgement of the court on the matter is clear and unambiguous. The University of Ilorin has no reason whatsoever to prevaricate on a judgment that is explicit, and by which the institution had earlier agreed to abide.

Since the university has accepted to comply with the apex court's verdict on the matter, there is no need to unduly delay the full implementation of the orders of the court. To do so will amount to disobedience of the court judgement. It is also a travesty of justice.

The university's action is not in consonance with the principles of the rule of law and social justice. It puts a question mark on the administration of justice in the country. We urge the university to urgently comply fully with the apex court's ruling and pay the affected lecturers their emoluments and entitlements. The lecturers should not beg or prostrate before the court orders are obeyed.

The university should let the acrimony generated by the protracted industrial dispute be consigned to the ash heap of history and remain perpetually in the past. But, if the university cannot immediately fully meet all the financial obligations involved in the matter, due to lack of funds, the best it can do is to explain the situation to the affected lecturers and possibly plead for their understanding. Let the institution give the lecturers a time-frame within which it will be able to fully fulfill its part of the judgement. The university should demonstrate goodwill, understanding and openness in the matter by engaging the lecturers in dialogue.

The lecturers must be carried along in whatever the university is doing on the matter. No party to the dispute should be left in the dark on what the other is doing. Using delay tactics to prolong the matter unduly will amount to punishing the lecturers, which is contrary to the ruling of the Supreme Court.