Monday, 17 August 2015

CDHR demands reinstatement of sacked workers

The Committee for the Defence of Human Rights, Ogun State chapter, has given the Ogun State Government a seven-day ultimatum to furnish it with the specific Public Service Rules violated by the dismissed English Language teacher, Jolaolu Adegbenro, in order for it to know its next line of action on the sack.
The CDHR, which also pleaded for the other five officials of the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology affected by the sack, said as soon as Adegbenro’s matter was resolved the others affected would benefit from it.
Addressing journalists on Monday at the Nigeria Union of Journalists secretariat at Iwe Iroyin, Abeokuta, the state chairman, CDHR, Mr. Folarin Olayinka, described Adegbenro’s sacking as “unlawful.”
The CDHR boss noted that following the investigation the human rights body had conducted into the matter, it found out that the alleged offensive summary passage in the examination paper did not refer to any state government but rather to promote academic excellence among the pupils.
Olayinka thus called on the Ogun State Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, to intervene by reviewing the sack of the six civil servants and probe the ‘kangaro panel’ set up by the Head of Service which conducted the trial.
He said, “Upon intervention and investigation conducted by the CDHR Ogun State, it was found out that the misinterpreted indirect constructive criticism question does not aim at embarrassing the Ogun State government as no state of the federation was mentioned in the summary question, rather it was to promote academic excellence among the students.
“The Ogun State CDHR found the decision of the orchestrated but kangaroo panel that dismissed Mr. Adegbenro Emmanuel in bad taste, inordinate and regrettable precedent in the history of Ogun State. It is against democratic norms and negates the rebuilding mission of Governor Ibikunle Amosun.”
Adegbenro who was an examiner and five others in the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology were sacked last week by the state government over an alleged offensive comprehension passage in the 2014/2015 Unified Examination for the Senior Secondary School.
The alleged passage was said to be too critical of the education defects in the state.
Those sacked include two Grade Level 17 officers, Mrs. Folashade Oresegun, who was the Director, Education Support Services; and Mr. Rotimi Odunsi, who was the Director, Curriculum Development and Evaluation; and a Grade Level 16 officer, Mr. Majekodunmi Oluwole.
Others are a Grade Level 10 officer, Mr. E.O. Asegbe, and a Grade Level 8 officer, Taylor Damilola.
The sack of both Oresegun and Odunsi has been converted to compulsory retirement while the four others were summarily dismissed.
Olayinka who was flanked by his Secretary, Akiyode Okikiolu,said the body had sent letters of request to the Head of Service and the Chairman, Teaching Service Commission, which they must comply with within seven days in line with Sections 1, 2, and 3, of the Freedom of Information Act 2011, to furnish it with the grounds on which the sack were based.
He had asked among others, “What Section of the Public Service Rules has Mr. Adegbenro Emmanuel Jolaolu contravened that warrants dismissal?
“What Section of the General Order has he contravened that warrants dismissal?
“The response from them will determine our next line of action.”
He said Adegbenro had recorded academic laurels and had not been involved in any fraud to deserve dismissal from service, adding that those who “defrauded Ogun State to the tune of N1.2bn in the West African Examinations Council scam were not dismissed from service up till now.”
Olayinka hoped that the governor would intervene and reverse the dismissal order.

HENRY E. J Williams

Author & Editor

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