By Johnbosco Agbakwuru and Blessing Aina
IT was double tragedy for Mrs. Patience Edaire who lost her appointment as Admin Officer 1 with the Federal Polytechnic, Ilaro, Ogun State and her five months pregnancy as a result of the shock of the termination of her appointment.
The mother of two, from Ethiope East, Delta State, has taken her plight to the Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu; the Executive Secretary of the National Board for Technical Education, NBTE, and the Registrar of the polytechnic for intervention.
Edaire also petitioned the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, who reportedly intervened but the efforts of the minister was said to have failed to yield any result as the management of the polytechnic has allegedly rebuffed all entreaties to reconsider its action on the disengagement and even shunned all meetings called by the ministry to resolve the matter.
In a petition addressed to the Minister of Education, the Registrar of the Federal Polytechnic, Ilaro and the Executive Secretary, NBTE, through a law firm, Consolex Lega Practitioners, dated May 23, 2016 and signed by one E. Taiga, she said that she was offered a temporary employment in the polytechnic in 2009 as an Administrative Officer on Consolidated Tertiary Institution Salary Structure, CONTISS 07 Step 2.
The employment was, according to the petition, regularized by the Governing Council of the polytechnic and subject to the provisions of the staff manual and regulations approved by the Governing Council of the Federal Polytechnic, Ilaro, the public service rules as well as relevant circulars.
“Edaire was employed as an administrative staff but was directed to resume duties at the polytechnic staff college to teach students which she could not refuse due to existing civil service rules and was promoted from the position of Admin officer I to Admin officer II by a letter issued to her on 30th December 2013”, the petition said.
“The staff college of the Federal Polytechnic, Ilaro, was founded by the polytechnic in order to cater for the educational needs of employees’ children and raise funds for the polytechnic but same was however included by the polytechnic in its annual budget to the Federal Government for funding. It also re-designated and used some of its admin staff to work as teachers in the staff college.”
Alleging injustice against her by the management of the polytechnic, the petition went on, “In the last two years, three ladies (Mrs Lawal. Mrs Nnagu. Miss Taiwo), who were employed at the same time with her as administrative staff and but posted to the staff college to teach, were later re-deployed to work as Administrative Officers at the Federal Polytechnic Ilaro which was their original place to work but to the exclusion of Edaire who was consistently assured that she would in no time also be re-deployed to the Registry Department of the polytechnic as an admin staff.
“It, therefore, came as huge shock to Edaire when, instead of a letter of re-deployment to the Registry Department of the Federal Polytechnic from the staff college, she received a letter purportedly disengaging her from service dated 29th September 2015 but same was to take effect from December 31th 2015.”
Edaire stated that she was not guilty of any acts of misconduct, neither was there any panel set up to investigate any acts of misconduct purportedly committed by her or any query issued to her.
“Rather, like a bolt from the blues, she was issued with a purported letter of disengagement from service signed by the Rector of the polytechnic, Arch Olusegun Aluko”.
She told Sunday Vanguard: “I lost my five months old pregnancy due to the shock of the termination of my appointment by the polytechnic management”.
Efforts to get the polytechnic authorities to respond to the claims in the petition were unfruitful as the Rector of the institution was said to be unavailable when Sunday Vanguard called at the polytechnic.