By JACOB ONJEWU DICKSON
The joint unions of Nigerian institute for Trypanosomiasis Research (NITR), in partnership with Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), in Kaduna, have said that the union will not accept any attempt to imposed on them, Dr. Felicia Enwezor as Director General.
NITR Staff expressed this during a press conference held in Kaduna on Tuesday, warning that any attempt to do that will be resisted at all costs.
The Chairman, Academic Staff Union (ASUU) of Research institutions, who also doubles as the Joint Union Chairman, Comrade Moijo Hussaini, alleged that the Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Senator Adeleke Mamora in an attempt to bring back Dr. Felicia Enwezor, wrote a petition to the inspector General of Police, claiming that the suspended overseeing DG was forcefully ejected.
It would be recalled that the Governing Council of NITR, Kaduna branch, suspended Dr. Felicia Enwezor, over an alleged gross misconduct in July, 2022.
According to them, the suspended DG failed to respect and implement the court order delivered of May 18, 2022, which reinstated the governing council.
They also added that Mrs. Felicia refused to take lawful orders as directed by the authorities to convene board meeting despite council’s instruction and for that directed the most Senior Director of Research, Dr. Joseph Ajakaiye, to oversee the affairs of the institute, pending outcome of the investigation.
Addressing journalists during the press conference, it was gathered that the suspended DG wants to resume duty to complete her five-year tenure, hence, she only spent three years before her removal, an attempt the governing board termed illegal.
Hussaini further stressed that the institution has been enjoying relative peace since the suspension of Mrs. Enwezor and as such, called on the minister to desist from any form of imposition.
He said, “we need to let Nigerians know that the minister in his aggrieved approach to bring back the suspended overseeing Director General, Dr. Felicia Enwezor, wrote a petition to the inspector General of Police, claiming that the suspended DG was forcefully ejected.
“As representatives of staff, we want to use this medium to inform the relevant authorities that Dr. Felicia Enwezor has been suspended by the governing council of NITR and since her suspension in July 2022, the institute is enjoying smooth running and relative peace.
“As law abiding citizens, we want the Honourable Minister of Science Technology and Innovation to desist from any further imposition of Dr. Felicia Enwezor as she was duly suspended by the council.” He said.
Speaking with journalists shortly after the event, the Head of legal services, NITR Barrister Abdulrazak Usman said it is illegal for the suspended DG to return, adding that their five years tenure has elapsed.
He said, “it’s only the president that can appoint a new board. Initially, their tenure was supposed to be five years. Then the Minister terminated their tenure at three years and constituted a new board.
“Now, the board whose tenure was terminated went to court and the court told them that their tenure was supposed to be five years and not three. So they brought them back to complete their tenure.
“By virtue of that, the earlier board that was appointed after their alledged termination doesn’t exist. Because in the judgement of the court, the court specifically stated that the appointment of that board was null and void. As am talking to you now, their five years tenure will expire today.
“So the Minister cannot come and say that the board which was appointed after the alledged termination of their tenure should come back again because they have used their five years tenure. It’s going to be a new board that will be reconstituted.” He explained.
The joint Unions includes: senior staff association NITR Branch, non Academic Staff Union, NITR Branch, Chairman of Civil Society Organization in Kaduna state, Secretaries of various Unions, Civil Society Organizations and executive members of the various unions.