Abuja - The National Secretariat of Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) has suspended the association’s Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) branch for alleged gross misconduct, insubordination and indiscipline.
The suspension order was conveyed in a letter dated 15 August 2012 and signed by Mr. Promise Adewusi, the association’s National General Secretary.
The letter, a copy of which was made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Tuesday, was addressed to the OAU branch chairman, Mr. A.O. Oketunde.
It said the decision to suspend the branch was reached at the emergency meeting of SSANU’s National Administrative Committee (NAC).
The meeting was held at the association’s National Secretariat in Abuja on Aug. 15, 2012.
"After deliberating on the face-off between the OAUmanagement and the SSANU OAU branch, it was observed that the latter’s executive body has violated Article 23 sub (i) of our constitution.
"The article stipulates that, subject to any statutory law, members of the union shall not take part in any strike or in any way withhold their services from their employers without the express approval of National Executive Council (NEC) and members of the Union as determined by a majority of votes of the members in a secret ballot.
"The National Administrative Committee (NAC) of SSANU holds that holding a congress daily without the prior approval of NEC being sought was tantamount to the withholding of services.
"The Executive Committee of SSANU OAU branch exhibited a flagrant disobedience to the constituted authority of the National President, acting on behalf of NEC, when it refused to attend, on invitation, the briefing of a NAC Committee on 5 August.
"The briefing was preparatory to the latter's meeting with the Association of Vice Chancellors of Nigerian Universities (AVCNU) and refusal to discontinue all forms of industrial action pending the resolution of the dispute," the letter said.
SSANUsaid the response of the OAU branch of the association to the query "was a clear act of insubordination to the National President and, by necessary extension, the union."
The SSANU National Secretariat said the action of its OAU branch had contravened Appendix II, Article 2 Sub (i) and 3 sub (i-iii).
"NAC, therefore, sees the conduct of the Branch Executive Committee and Congress as an act of gross misconduct. It is clear that your executive body has failed to provide responsible leadership," it added.
SSANU said following the allegation of gross misconduct, all activities of its OAU branch were therefore suspended forthwith and till further notice.
It also directed that all properties of SSANU within and outside the university should be vested in the National Secretariat of the association.
It equally suspended the branch’s executive committee and asked it to hand over to the National Vice President (West) all the body’s properties in its possession.
The national secretariat said this should be within seven days from the date of the receipt of the letter, pending further action by NEC.
The suspension letter was equally copied to the institution’s Chief Security Officer, the Vice Chancellor, its OAU branch’s congress, as well as the association’s Branch and Zonal Treasurer respectively.
The association’s national secretariat said this was for information and compliance.
The association through the NAC went further in a letter to the Vice Chancellor, dated 18 August 2012, requesting him to use his good offices to withhold the branch’s check-off dues till further notice.
It also urged him to ensure the security of the SSANU branch secretariat and properties in the university within the period of suspension.
NAN recalls that SSANU OAU branch had embarked on a strike asking for payment parity with its ASUU counterpart.