The Lagos Division of the National Industrial Court of Nigeria (NICN) on Friday granted an interim order restraining Osun Governor Ademola Adeleke and 14 others from appointing a Rector for the Osun State Polytechnic, Iree.
Justice Opeloye Ogunbowale made the order while granting an ex parte motion filed by the suspended Rector of the institution, Dr. Tajudeen Odetayo challenging what he described as his “illegal suspension.”
Justice Ogunbowale also ordered Governor Adeleke and other respondents to stay further action on the institution, pending hearing of the motion on notice.
He directed that a hearing notice be issued to all respondents before the next adjourned date.
The orders were sequel to a motion ex parte moved by the claimant/applicant’s counsel, Rasheed Adeniyi Oluwofobi, who prayed the court grant the applications in the interest of justice and public interest.
In the motion, Dr. Odetayo prayed for an order of interim injunction restraining the defendants/respondents from giving effect to the letter of suspension dated 11th July 2023 and letter of query dated 1st August 2023 given to him.
Aside from Adeleke, other respondents in the suit marked NICN/OS/37/2023 include the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Osun State, Ministry of Education, Osun State Polytechnic Iree, the Governing Council, OSPOLY.
They also include the Chief of Staff to Osun State Governor Alhaji Kazeem Akinleye, Alabi Kehinde Adeyemi, 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. Samuel as first to the 15 respondents respectively.
“My lord, NICN Rule 2017 stated that common law and equity must be observed. The fact is that the claimant was issued a purported suspension letter dated July 11, 2023, and on August 1, 2023, issued a query, almost a month interval, suspension before query to the applicants my lord,” Olufowobi said.
Granting the application, Justice Ogunbowale held: “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 case resumes on October 10, 2023, for hearing.