A National Industrial Court of Nigeria, sitting in Lagos, has ordered Osun State Governor, Sen. Ademola Adeleke and 14 others to stop any action on appointment of Rector for Osun State Polytechnic Iree.
Justice O. A Ogunbowale of the court gave the order following an Experte Motion filed the suspended Rector of the Polytechnic, Dr. Tajudeen Odetayo.
Odetayo is challenging his suspension on the ground that it is unjust and based on frivolous allegations calculated to tarnish his image and bring him to disrepute.
In the Motion Experte moved by his lawyer, Mr. Rasheed Oluwofobi, Odetayo prayed the court for an order of interim injunction restraining Adeleke and other relevant authorities from giving effect to the letter of suspension dated July 11, 2023 and the query dated August 1, 2023 given to him pending the hearing and determination of motion on notice for interlocutory injunction before the court.
The Motion Experte was brought pursuant to Section 256C (a), (d) and Section 36 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Order 17, Rule 1 & 2 of the National Industrial Court (Civil Procedure Rule 2017) and under the inherent jurisdiction of the court.
While arguing the application dated August 21, 2023 and filed same date, Oluwofobi submitted that Odetayo deposed to an affidavit in which he held that common law and equity has not been followed in the purported suspension planned in collaboration and conspiracy of the 1, 2 to 15 respondents.
Aside Adeleke, other respondents in the suit marked no NICN/OS/37/2023 includes: the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice of the State, , Governing Council of Osun State Polytechnic Iree, the Acting Rector of the polytechnic, Mr. Kehinde Alabi, the Chief of Staff to the Governor, Alhaji Kazeem Akinleye, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education Mr Murtala Jimoh who is also the Chairman of Investigation Panel on the matter.
When the court asked why it should grant the application during vacation and the urgency in the case, Oluwofobi responded that “The Acting Rector is not in any way qualified to act as rector of the institution. Our concern is that if someone who does not have capacity to act is allow to remain in the office, that will be injurious to the interest of justice and public interest.
“The reason upon which we premix our submission is that, the person will be issuing contract that will bound on the institution, likewise engaging in other activities which may later result in various suit before the court. We urged the court to order to maintain a status quo pending hearing and determination of our motion on notice.”
However, Justice Ogunbowale who is a vacation judge, Lagos Division, in her ruling held that is in evident that the respondents have been served with Motion on Notice.
Subsequently, the judge held that: “The hearing notice is hereby order to be served on all respondents in the suit, an order of interim injunction restraining the defendants/respondents from taking any further action on the matter or anything relating thereto until the determination of the Motion On Notice is hereby granted.”Yi
The judge subsequently adjourned the case to October 10, 2023 for hearing.