Mr. Kelani Ajadi, a lecturer at The Polytechnic Ibadan (TPI) whose appointment was recently terminated has fired back at the school management, saying he was only a victim of mere campus politics.
Disagreeing and describing as unfounded the allegations of misconduct levelled against him by the management, Ajadi said he only fell for witch-hunting and victimisation.
Giving his own side of the story since the news of his sack hit the airwaves, Ajadi said his travail started when he contested for the leadership of Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) of the institution in 2014 against the anointed candidate of the then Management led by Professor Olatunde Fawole.
According to him, the situation worsened when he refused to support what he described as “seemingly corruption and embezzlement” going on in the campus then, which led to a series of events that got him dismissed from employment in October 2017 before he was reinstated having taken the matter to the court of law and won.
He said in his course of doing his job as the ASUP chairman of the institution he was asked to compromise and since he refused, it became an issue for the management who wants him out of the system at all cost.
He said, “A number of allegations have been levied up against me since I made my stand known to the then Management; from alleged presentation of fake ND certificate, mismanagement of union’s funds to the latest trump up utmost sexual misconduct with an unidentified person, tagged a former student”.
“I have been set up and drugged by one of my students in 2017, who also transferred money from my account to another person and also deleted the exhibits attached to the Preliminary Objection I deposed to on the case against the foot soldiers of the Management.
“But the police later arrested her in April 2019 at Apete after she had already completed her study in 2017, because all along she was shielded by those who sent her on the mission she did.
“I contested again in another election of the union in 2016 and won but the management kicked against my re-election and was annulled. I was charged to court again together with National ASUP in 2017 for mismanagement of the union’s fund and ineligibility to re-contest an election.
“But we won the case also at the National Industrial Court of Nigeria. I was represented in the case by Barrister Femi Aborisade.
“My travail continues and this led to the theft of my cell phone, which I duly reported at the Police station and sworn affidavit for.
“Only for me to receive a letter dated the 5th February 2019, to appear before a panel of inquiry on the 12th February 2019. I only learnt about what that was when I got to the venue of the panel.
“I was asked to identify a recorded voice and then I was alleged of sexual misconduct (inappropriate relationship) with a former student. And that the recording was aired on a radio station on the 7th February 2019”. It is rather ridiculous for anybody else including a radio presenter to have linked me with a case of the sex scandal.
“But the recording was not aired until a day after I was served with a letter to appear before the panel. I told them that the voice is not mine and I asked for the complainant, the said woman in the recording and any petition from any law enforcement agencies concerning the criminal act against me.
“There was neither a petition nor a report from anybody or any law enforcement agent of any crime against me up until today.
“I later found out that there was no face nor a name to the person said to have been raped or harassed sexually but it was being masterminded to serve as a reprimand by some people who wanted me out of the system by all means possible.”
Ajadi said in consultation with his lawyer, he honoured all the invitations to appear before panels and a Senior Staff Disciplinary Committee (SSDC) set up to inquire about the matter.
He noted that even one of the SSDC recommended that he would only be demoted provided he (Ajadi) would be ready to withdraw the case already in the court of law against the lady that drugged him.
“I faulted the Dr. Ayelari’s committee and I refused to answer their enquiries until it was reconstituted because the composition of its members included three people who would not give me a fair hearing and let justice prevail.
“In its recommendations the committee said I should be compulsorily retired without following due process, fair hearing and diligence to unravel the issue.
“Another committee, Dr. J. A. Adebisi, was set up in April, 2019, which did justice to the whole issue and established that there was no lady that reported any case of sexual harassment, rape or embarrassment neither was I the one that was the offender in the whole matter of tarnishing the name and the image of the institution. The committee exonerated me from all allegations”, Ajadi narrated.
He said he was surprised to have received a letter of Termination of Appointment on the 17th of Sept, 2020 in a matter where he has been cleared of all allegations.
Ajadi alleged that the present institution’s management also wants him out of the system because he knows so much already and could be a threat to them having a good knowledge of various mismanagement going on in the institution.
“The School Management was apparently desperate to terminate my appointment hence their final decision was contrary to all findings and recommendations of legitimate panels and Committees engaged to investigate the matter in question.
“In other words, all the allegations against me are not grounds on which the institution can terminate my appointment because they are not stated as amounting to misconduct according to the Edict and Staff Handbook of The Polytechnic, Ibadan,” he said.
Recall that the management of TPI had announced the sack of Ajadi over alleged sexual misconduct with a former student, saying that the offence embarrassed and tarnished the image of the institution.
A release dated October 19 and signed by the Registrar, Mrs. Modupe Fawale said the termination letter dated September 15, 2020 reads in part “You will recall that you were engaged in inappropriate behaviour and poorly managed relationship with your former student. This act embarrassed and tarnished the image of your employer, The Polytechnic Ibadan (TPI).
“You will also recall your responses and appearance before the Investigative Panel and Senior Staff Disciplinary Committee that looked into the above matter. After careful consideration of the above issue, the Governing Council found you guilty as your actions and activities amount to misconduct.
“The Governing Council, therefore, approved the immediate termination of your appointment with effect from Friday, Sept. 11, 2020.”