The Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics of the Federal Polytechnic Bida, Niger State, has written to the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, to demand the immediate reversal of the reappointment of Dr Abubakar Abdul Dzukogi as the Rector of the institution.
The union described the reappointment as “illegal”, stating that it violates the civil service rule in the country.
The union also said that the extension of the tenure of Dzukogi runs contrary to a 2011 court judgment that voids the reappointment of the Bursar of Federal University of Technology, Akure, Ondo State, because he will be retiring before the termination of the second tenure.
In the letter to the Minister of Education written by Femi Falana (SAN) on behalf of the union, the group expressed surprise that the minister ordered the extension of Dzukogi for another four years after all processes had been completed for him to be the Rector for two years when he will retire.
The union also held that Dzukogi should not have been reappointed as Rector because of his age.
The letter reads partly, “By a letter dated 4th March, 2019, you had conveyed the decision of President Muhammadu Buhari to reappoint Dr Abubakar Abdul Dzukogi as the Rector of the Federal Polytechnic, Bida, for an additional period of four years.
“But following complains from our client on the illegality of the said reappointment, the four-year period of reappointment was abridged to two years. The said reappointment letter indicated that Dr Dzukogi would vacate office as the Rector on the 15th February, 2021 upon attainment of his statutory retirement age of 65years.
“Surprisingly, however, while our client was expecting the Federal Government to declare that the office of the Rector, it discovered that another letter extending the reappointment of the Rector for an additional two years beyond his retirement age had been issued to him. The said letter was signed by one Mr Ojo J. S (Director Tertiary of Federal Ministry of Education).
“Since Dr Dzukogi was 63 years old in June 2019, he ought not to have been reappointed as the Rector of the Polytechnic, because he had only two years left in service.”
The union noted that Dzukogi was erroneously recommended to President Muhammadu Buhari for reappointment as the Rector, adding that the minister should recommend the immediate reversal of the extension of Dzukogi’s appointment as Rector of the institution.
It added, “In view of the fact that the law had not made provision for a two-year tenure for the Rector of any federal polytechnic in Nigeria, we request you to recommend to the President as the appointing authority to reverse the reappointment of Dr Abubakar Abdul Dzukogi as Rector of the Federal Polytechnic, Bida, Niger State, forthwith.
“In the light of the foregoing, we urge you to use your good offices to set the engine in motion for the appointment of a new Rector for the Federal Polytechnic, Bida, in strict compliance with the clear and unambiguous provisions of Section 8(1) and (6) of the Federal Polytechnic Act as soon as possible in the spirit of the rule of law subscribed to by the Muhammadu Buhari administration.