NEWS DIGEST – The National Association of Academic Technologists, NAAT, has dragged the Vice Chancellor of the Federal University of Technology, Akure, (FUTA), Prof Adeola Fuwape before an Akure National Industrial Court(NIC) over alleged illegal disbursement and misappropriation of Earned Allowances to undeserving staff without recourse to 2009 federal government/Unions Agreement.

The presiding Judge, Justice Abiola Adewemimo has therefore granted an exparte order, restraining the management of FUTA from spending or disbursing the third tranche of the earned allowance released by the federal government pending the determination of the case.

Lawyer to NAAT, FUTA branch, Iyiola Afolabi had prayed the court to grant the interim injunction to enable plaintiffs to put the University, Non Academic Staff Union(NASU) and Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities(SSANU) on notice over the litigation.

Speaking with reporters after court’s sitting, the Chairman of NAAT, FUTA Branch, Alex Omoraka, alleged that the management of the university had been breaching the Unions’ agreement with government on categories of staff entitled to benefit from the earned allowance.

Omoraka said, “It’s on record that Federal government has queried FUTA Management on illegal disbursement of N30 billion earlier released. FUTA is the first University to repeat this illegality in the recently released of N8 billion for the payment of Earned Allowances to deserving staff members”.

“The NAAT-FUTA Branch Chairman noted that earned allowances must be paid to only deserving staff based on 2009 FGN/Unions Agreements rather father Xmas gift the FUTA Vice Chancellor turned the government’s fund to”.

He further said University staff that received illegal payment should be made to refund the same with immediate effect as corruption in the name of Earned allowances must be stopped.

Omoraka said, “On forensic audit report on N30 billion Earned Allowances, NAAT commended the Federal Government for swiftly acting on the report by issuing queries to indicted Vice-Chancellors. However, government should go beyond the queries and sanction Vice-Chancellors found to be culpable appropriately”.

He noted that “also University Staff that received what was not due to them (wrongly paid) should be made to refund same. Vice-Chancellors of Federal Universities must not allow themselves to be intimidated or pressured into paying the money to undeserving staff”.

“NAAT stands by the templates derived from the respective agreements which the Unions signed with FGN in 2009 – as was tendered at the Joint Action Committee, JAC, and Unions meeting with NUC officials on December 20, 2018”,

The court subsequently adjourned hearing of the case till February 13 while all parties were to maintain status quo.