Justice O. A Ogunbowale of a National Industrial Court of Nigeria sitting in Lagos has ordered restraining the Governor of Osun State, Ademola Adeleke and 14 others to stop any action on appointment of Rector for Osun State Polytechnic Iree.
The judge made an order following an experte motion filed before the court by the purported suspended Rector of Osun State Polytechnic, Dr Tajudeen Odetayo over alleged illegal suspension as the Rector of Osun State Polytechnic, Iree (OSPOLY), Osun State.
Justice Ogunbowale who is sitting as vacation judge in Lagos Division ordered that governor Adeleke and 14 others respondents to stay further action on the institution pending hearing of the Motion On Notice.
The court order was sequel to a motion experte moved by the claimant/applicant counsel, Mr. Rasheed Adeniyi Oluwofobi who urged the court grant the applications in the interest of justice and public interest.
The motion experte was brought pursuant to Section 256C (a), (d) and Section 36 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (As amended), Order 17 Rule 1 & 2 of the National Industrial Court (Civil Procedure Rule 2017 and under the inherent jurisdiction of the court.
The counsel prayed the court for an order of interim injunction restraining the defendants/respondents, their servants, privies, employees or howsoever described from giving effects to the letter of suspension dated 11th July, 2023 and letter of querry dated 1st August, 2023 given to the claimant/applicant herein or in any way interfering with the claimant/applicant’s position as the Rector of Osun State Polytechnic, pending the hearing and determination of motion on notice for interlocutory injunction before this court.
While arguing the application dated August 21, 2023 and filed same date, he submitted that the claimant deposed to an affidavit 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, Osun State, Ministry of Education, Osun State Polytechnic Iree, the Governing Council, OSPOLY.
The Chief of Staff to Osun State Governor, Alhaji Kazeem Akinleye, Mr Alabi Kehinde Adeyemi, Mr M.A.K. Jimoh Permanent Secretary, Osun State Ministry of Education & Chairman, Investigative Panel of Enquiry into allegation of Corrupt Practices against the Rector, OSPOLY, Odetayo.
Others are A. A. Bello, Dr F. M. Olaoye, Mrs O. Abioye, Acting Bursar OSPOLY and member of Investigative Panel, S. A. Afolabi, acting Registrar, OSPOLY and Secretary of the panel, Abiodun Oloyede and Mrs T. A. Sameul as first to the 15 respondents respectively.
However Olufowobi said, “My lord, NICN Rule 2017 stated that common law and equity must be observe. The fact that the claimant was issued a purported suspension letter dated July 11,2023 and on August 1, 2023 issued a querry, almost a month interval. Suspension before query to the applicants my lord.”
When the court asked why it should grant the application during vacation and the urgency in the case, he responded that,” 7, 8 the acting Rector and 15 respondents is not in any way qualify 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 in her ruling held that is in evidence that the respondents has been served with the motion on notice, as the prove of service was filed by a Court Bailiff, Hamed Saheed.
“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.”
The judge subsequently adjourned the case to October 10, 2023 for hearing.