War Looms as LASU withdraws ASUU Chairman's PhD certificate

Chairman of the LASU chapter of ASUU, Dr. Adekunle Idris, and other may lose his PhDcertificate after the institution VC, Obafunwa, declared it 'unapproved'. ASUU claims it is victimisation but the VC claims due process is being followed.

The management of the Lagos State University (LASU) has withdrawn the PhD certificate of the Chairman of the LASU chapter of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Dr. Adekunle Idris, a move the union calls 'victimisation'.

Speaking on Sunday at a press briefing held at LASU's Sociology Department lecture hall, ASUU Lagos Zonal Coordinator, Dr. Sola Nasir, said Idri's certificate was withdrawn alongside 13 other local ASUU members, Daily Times.

Present at the briefing were ASUU chairman from University of Lagos (UNILAG), Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU), University of Agriculture Abeokuta UNAAB) and Tai Solarin University of Education (TASUED).

Nasir said the LASU management requested that Dr. idris and the other affected persons return their  PhD to enable them effect certain 'errors'.

"The ASUU-LASU chairman, Dr Idris is not alone, there are 14 other lecturers with the Accounting Department having the highest with five," Nasir said.

"For LASU Senate to have made those errors, it places question mark on the persons that make up the Senate.

It Is Victimisation —  ASUU

The Zonal Coordinator alleged that the LASU management, led by the Vice Chancellor, Prof. John Obafunwa, is deliberately victimising ASUU members who participated in the last strike and vowed that the union will 'fight him'.

"We can rule that the purpose was to victim some of our members."

"What we experiencing in LASU is a fall out of the last ASUU-LASU strike. ASUU Lagos zone and national are behind ASUU-LASU. We will fight him (VC) until he is out of the office," he said.

The ASUU Chairman also believes he is being victimised.

"I fulfilled all the conditions before being issued the PhD certificate. It is because of the last ASUU strike, it is a backlash.

"They are withdrawing the certificate, if I were working abroad what will happen?

"The Senate that took the decision ended their meeting after 8pm without lunch or dinner for the Professors and others", Idris said.

The LASU management however claims that some of the PhD certificates were wrongly awarded.

Programmes 'Not Approved' —  Obafunwa

Obafunwa has however dismissed the claims of victimisation in This Day .

He said the decision to review the certificates was taken by the Senate which found that some of the certificates awarded to the lecturers were not approved.

“The senate only approved M.Phil./Ph.D. Business Administration, M.Phil. / Ph.D. Management, M.Phil. / Ph.D. International Business. We have people being given Ph.D. Business Administration (Management).

“The Senate asked them to bring the letters offering them admission into these programmes. It asked them to bring the documents showing how they transited from M.Phil. to Ph.D. status. It asked them to bring their thesis for the programmes. Because in the thesis, the title of the thesis and the degree awarded would written there."

The VC however stated that "there was nothing like Ph.D. programme in Marketing approved by the senate" and some certificates will be totally withdrawn.

"Those that do not exist at all will be withdrawn completely. Let people do what they need to do to earn their degrees.

"So, it was not a case of victimisation of any particular group.”

What this means is that Dr Idris, who was awarded a PhD in the Business Admin (Marketing), will likely lose his certificate.

It will be recalled that leaders of the National Association of Nigerian Students, NANS, South West chapter, in August accused Obafunwa of victimising students who participated in the tuition fee protests against the increase in tuition fees at the University of Lagos.

Obafunwa was at the time accused of withholding the students call up-letters, effectively preventing them from being mobilized for the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC).

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