Suspended Osun college provost files lawsuit against governing council, others

Professor Jimoh Afolabi, suspended Provost of the Osun State College of Education in Ila-Orangun, Osun State, filed a lawsuit against the institution’s Chairman of the Governing Council, Mr Peter Babalola, members of the council, and three others before the National Industrial Court (NIS) in Ibadan, the capital of Oyo State.

Senator Ademola Adeleke, the governor of Osun State, suspended Afolabi on January 26, 2024, according to a statement released by his spokesperson, Olawale Rasheed.

However, Afolabi, who filed the lawsuit before being suspended as the college’s provost, was challenging the governing council’s decision to form an investigation panel to examine him while in office.

Co-defendants in the suit include the Osun State government, the Osun State College of Education, the state Ministry of Education, and eight members of the institution’s governing council.

Adesola Adebisi, counsel for Afolabi, argued during the suit’s hearing before Justice Hasan Yakubu that the defendants did not file any process with the court and were simply represented.

However, counsel for the defendants, Messrs Muyiwa Ogunleye and Adewale Ishola, apologised to the court for failing to file their processes.

Ogunleye, representing the state government, and Ishola, representing Babalola, promised the court that they will present their processes at the next postponed date.

Also speaking, Adebisi averred: “The suit was filed consequent upon the invitation of my client (Afolabi) before an investigative panel set up by the chairman, Governing Council of the institution. My client should not be seen as being removed from office as the matter had been instituted before his purported suspension and subsequent removal from office.

“In the face of the law, Afolabi remains the Provost of the Osun State College of Education, Ila-Orangun. Our resolve on this matter is that part of our prayers before the court is to challenge the purported suspension of my client,” he submitted.

The presiding judge, Justice Hassan Yakubu subsequently adjourned the case till April 17, 2024 for further hearing.