A pragmatic examination of the first three years of Dr John Taiwo Adekolawole’s tenure (2017 to 2020) as the Rector of The Federal Polytechnic, Ede, Osun State, by concerned stakeholders has revealed an avalanche of administrative cum financial improprieties. These have been pointed out straight from the shoulders by the critical stakeholders especially the staff unions but the Rector has been persistent in perpetrating and perpetuating myriads of anomalous deeds. The institution, therefore, has been recording incessant strike actions, students’ protests, postponement of academic activities, labour-related court actions and continuous writing of petitions especially by aggrieved staff members among others. Some of the unprecedented anomalies directly linked to the Rector which have been affecting the institution negatively, hindering its smooth running and seriously portraying it in bad light that informed the decision to pass a vote of no confidence on the Rector by the critical stakeholders so as to prevent a total collapse of the institution are enumerated below:x Flagrant dereliction of duty by absconding from office for about twenty-five (25) working days in October/November 2020 which is a serious act of misconduct according to Chapter 3 Section 4 (e) of the Public Service Rules (2008 Edition) as this was done by the Rector without an official imprimatur by the Ministry of Education approving or authorising such a French leave and without duly informing the Management Committee (MC), the Academic Board (AB) and the entire Polytechnic Community, especially at a critical period of students demonstration, however, even a ruler or leader is not permitted to violate a law/government regulation based on the legal maxim Lex Non A Rege Est Violanda. Desecration of the highly respected office of the Rector with the creation of a bedroom furnished with a special bed bought with the institution’s money to be sleeping at work contrary to Chapter 2 Section 3 (j) of the Public Service Rules (2008 Edition), and his vehement refusal to remove the bed from his office after he had been rightly advised against doing such a thing by well-meaning stakeholders including members of the Management. Advertent concealment of vital information relating to his official indictment and punishment for an established case of sexual harassment of an innocent married woman when he was the HOD of SLT and Director of School of Applied Sciences when he applied for the post of the Rector of the institution about three (3) years ago knowing full well that such an official indictment would automatically disqualify him as an applicant as expressly stated in one of the qualification criteria of the advertisement placed and this was successfully done with the aid of some of the custodians of official information as if they have forgotten that Fraus Est Celare Frauden, that is, it is a fraud to conceal a fraud and that suppression of records is prohibited in Chapter 3 Section 4 (b) of the Public Service Rules (2018 Edition). Nepotic employment cum improper placement of the Rector’s immediate family members viz his wife, son, daughter, extended family members and other relations which is a serious act of misconduct that contravenes Chapter 3 Section 4 (b) of the Public Service Rules, and without following the laid down procedures that give equal opportunity to every interested person/party since equality is equity, which has been criticized by the Unions and condemned by the Executive Secretary of the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) who directed that the Rector’s improperly placed relation(s) should be properly placed to prevent the persistent agitations in the institution but which has not been done by the Rector and such a refusal to carry out a lawful instruction of a superior officer is expressly prohibited in Chapter 2 Section 3 (m) of the Public Service Rules (2008 Edition). Inconsiderate purchase of an exotic car (Toyota Prado) of about N42 million naira as the Rector’s official vehicle which was not done pro bono publico as it was not freely done in the public interest but with the intention of riding the best of cars that will eventually be taken away, which was a departure from what previous cost-conscious Rectors did, and which was done even with the institution’s numerous financial challenges, inability meet fundamental needs of staff and students and indebtedness of the institution to various individuals and organizations leading to serious financial embarrassment identified as a serious misconduct in Chapter 2 Section 4 (h) of the Public Service Rules (2008 Edition). Improvident purchase of an equally exotic car of about N22 million naira for the erstwhile Chairman of the Governing Council of the institution which was rarely brought to the institution as the Chairman usually came by air to and fro Ede throughout his three-year tenure and which the Rector has personally released to the former Governing Council Chairman as parting gift as if a Public Officer has the power to unilaterally give out government’s property and based on the fact that one cannot give what one does not have/possess or what does not belong to him/her in line with the legal maxim Nemo Dat Quod Habet hence, such an unbecoming act is also a serious misconduct according to Chapter 2 Section 4 (w) of the Public Service Rules (2008 Edition). Misapplication of about N120 million naira collected from students over the last three years as transport fees without purchasing a single vehicle for that purpose to justify the collection of the money and to make inter-campus movements to attend various lectures pretty easy for the students, as a result of which students still pay transport fares for their inter-campus movements which is economically sapping and equally dangerous as many who opt for commercial motorcycles often sustain injuries due to the recklessness of some intemperate motorcycle riders, in a similar vein, there is nothing to show for about N350 million naira collected over the last three years as medical/TISHIP, entrepreneurship and students’ handbook fees among others. Profligating the scarce resource of the institution by embarking on spending aimed at achieving personal aggrandizements like the reconstruction of the front part of the Rector’s private residence just immediately after his appointment and the purchases of horses on the Rector’s own volition with the institution’s money, with the horses being fed and their trainers/handlers paid by the institution, and the horses roam freely and defecate all over the campus posing a lot of threats to staff and students, however, while the horses exeplify the Rector’s private needs, public necessity should have priority over private needs in line with legal maxim Necessitas Publica Major Est Quam Privata. Over bloating the students population with the ultimate goal of making a lot of money from the fees to be paid by the students without considering the class capacity guideline stipulated by the NBTE/available facilities and without express consent of the Academic Board that has the final say on all academic matters as a result of which the classes allocated to courses cannot contain the students as they outnumber the available seats making some students to squat, lap others or stay outside the classes while peeping/listening through the windows of such classes, however, the institution is yet to feel the pecuniary benefit of the thousands of students admitted as it is still highly indebted to staff members, cooperative societies and other organizations. Improper improvisation of a dual-award (ND plus NCE) programme in collaboration with a consultant, M8 Global, and misinforming the Academic Board about the authenticity of the opaquely run dual-award programme, until the Executive Secretary of the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) eventually declared it unapproved and illegal on 16th September, 2020, however, the institution has not been paid anything from the several millions of naira made from the programme as promised by the Rector, and the Rector jettisoned the decision of the Academic Board to put the programme on hold so that a committee set up could critically examine the programme and related lingering issues and which informed the vote of no confidence passed on the Rector by the Academic Board on Friday,11th December 2020 for disregarding crucial Academic Board decisons. Consistent display of high-level skullduggery by the Rector especially on administrative cum financial matters requiring high-level transparency in line with government policy and best practices evident in the construction of a toilet at an unfathomable and precarious rate of about N30 million which amounts to dishonesty and corruption both prohibited in Chapter 2 Section 3 (g) and Chapter 3 Section 4 (k) of the Public Service Rules respectively, secret employment of staff members, wrong placement and improper upgrading/regarding of favourite workers, waiving of promotion requirements for close associate and giving special consideration to beloved cronies in respect of training programmes as a result of which the staff members discriminated against have been clamouring for justice and nobody should be denied justice based on the legal maxim Justitia Nemini Neganda Est. Emasculation of the two fundamental decision making organs of the institution viz the Management Committee (MC) and Academic Board (AB) which by the Federal Polytechnics (Amendment) Act, 2019 are empowered and saddled with the responsibility of taking decisions on general management or administration of the institution and taking decisions on academic matters respectively, hence, the Rector has singlehandedly been taking crucial and far reaching decisions like stopping the monthly responsibility allowances of office holders for about ten (10) months which has never happened, sharing of palliative items on behalf of the Management during Covid 19 lockdown without the knowledge of other Management members which needs to be investigated and postponing academic activities from an unknown destination without recourse to Academic Board while stating flimsy Ratio Decidendi as rationale for such a postponement, thereby trampling on the doctrine of separation of powers which informed the creation of the Management Committee and the Academic Board as decision making organs. Usurpation of the roles of the Bursar/Bursary and the Registrar/Registry by taking over some of their fundamental responsibilities especially in respect of matters in which he has vested interest as result of which a lot of financial and administrative anomalies have been recorded, for example, the Rector’s office has become another Registry as hundreds of unsolicited applications are submitted there just because he wants to be the sole determiner of those to be employed and whose cadres and salaries will be decided by him since they are mainly his candidates, hence, the recent October/November crisis which made the staff unions to down tool and the students union to lock the gates of the institution for about ten (10) days was because the Rector surreptitiously engaged some workers without following the due process and at time he was finding it difficult to pay a lot of outstanding allowances of existing staff members. Jeopardizing the interest of subordinate staff and principal officers who obediently or forcefully comply with deviant and unlawful directives/instructions frequently given them by the Rector to protect his self interest especially on administrative and financial matters, which usually diametrically negate laid down government regulations as expressly spelt out in extant rules as a result of which some of the affected staff members have been summoned, interrogated, sanctioned or warned by appropriate government/supervisory agencies like FME, NBTE, EFCC, ICPC, DSS and the Nigeria Police, however, the Rector always tries to be absorbed by claiming to be a scientist/physicist and not an administrator or a financial expert when his unlawful directives boomerang thereby trying to implicate or indict the misdirected officers who acted on his instruction and on his behalf, whereas he who acts through another is deemed to have acted himself based of the legal maxim Qui Facit Per Alium Facit Parse. The Rector’s idiosyncratic vindictiveness and display of schadenfreude when he vengefully gets those he believes are his critics or perceived opponents or when negative things happen to them, hence, he has been using his office as the Rector of the institution to settle scores which informed his removal of many of the Heads of Departments, Deans of Schools and Directors he met when he came on board without established offences or following due process as required by relevant regulations thereby truncating the tenure of the affected officers in a punitive manner and denting their records of service simply because they are not in his good book, just as some other staff members are given punitive posting without offices and are made to roam about for months, while some are victimized by being subjected to the investigation of the Staff Disciplinary Committee and placed on half salaries for exposing and condemning sharp practices that they believe may be inimical to the welfare/health of the staff and students. Utilising an exclusionary and non-inclusive administrative approach that is characteristic of autocratic and undemocratic leadership which prevents the participation of other highly cerebral polytechnic functionaries especially in crucial decision making where the robust contributions of sound minds can help a great deal because more good heads are better than a single one ceteris paribus but the Rector, because of his supercilious nature and vainglorious posture, believes he knows more than everybody in virtually most areas as a result of which he does a lot of things alone which inhibits collective and successful decision making that ensures collective responsibility of the decision makers to stand by or defend such jointly made decisions, however, the Rector’s autocratic leadership style evident in his undemocratic decision making approach has been responsible for a number defective and erroneous decisions that has been criticized and condemned by all and sundry like the controversial surreptitious employment of staff that infuriated the staff unions but which the Rector would have been rightly advised to shelve until a most appropriate time if he had sought the opinions of other well-meaning members of the Management Committee. Systematic degradation/annihilation of the standard the institution has been known for over the years via deviation from fundamental norms, traditions and regulations and advertently/ inadvertently denting or battering the fabulous and splendiferous image or goodwill of the institution built over the twenty-eight (28) years of its existence through the efforts of committed, determined and dedicated present and past students and staff members against the background of which the products of the institution have always been reckoned in the labour market and the society at large, however, since the advent of the Rector the institution has been recording unprecedented happenings that have been giving critical stakeholders in the system as well as the Alumni Association a lot of concern simply because if the battering of the image of the institution continues with the negative news persistently relayed about the institution in the conventional and new media of communication the institution may lose its goodwill completely, become a laughing stock and will no longer be reckoned with or held in high esteem. Recalcitrant perpetrating of imprudent/improvident financial practices, like spending in a present session the money collected in respect of a coming or subsequent session among others, which have been condemned/corrected because this has been subjecting the institution to financial embarrassments especially with the inability of the institution to meet many of its financial obligations like payment of the outstanding allowances of staff members, hundreds of millions of naira deducted on behalf of the cooperative societies used by the institution with no interest, outstanding responsibility allowances of about ten (10) months owed office holders like HODs, Deans and Directors among others, hence the institution is practically bankrupt simply because the money presently at the disposal of the institution is highly insufficient to clear its various debts, which is highly paradoxical because this institution is now highly indebted in a session that the students population rose to about fourteen thousand (14,000) and about one billion (1,000,000,000) naira is expected to be paid by the students which calls for an investigation of the financial disequilibrium. Exhibiting verisimilitude of cognitive dissonance via the display of inconsistent thoughts and incoherent submissions on serious contemporary happenings evident in his fallacious declaration on the Management Committee platform that no institution has resumed academic activities in Nigeria after the government directed all institutions to reopen based on stipulated Covid 19 guidelines whereas he earlier submitted/confirmed that many institutions have resumed while requesting that Academic Board/Management Committee should approve the proposed resumption of the institution following stipulated Covid 19 guidelines, just as he declared at a recent Management Committee meeting that the institution has more than enough money to pay what it is owing staff and cooperative societies before he was quickly cautioned by the Principal Officers not to say that again because that was not true and he had earlier told the officers of the staff unions and cooperative societies that the institution is having difficulties in paying what it owes them because of financial insufficiency, in a similar vein, he also claimed that the students have only resumed on their own volition without being officially asked to resume whereas they were officially asked to resume and this was announced in various media of mass communication, the danger of the cognitive dissonance presently displayed by the Rector is that it may metamorphose to cognitive derailment which may be inimical to the interest of the institution as effective management of an institution of higher learning requires a pretty sound mind for the boss to be compos mentis. Administering the institution by proxy from an unknown destination for about two months now after abandoning/departing his private residence in Ede to make himself inaccessible especially to aggrieved staff and students whose basic demands are still outstanding, as a result of which the Rector now comes to office only once in a while making it very difficult for many people who wants to see him especially on very urgent matters to be able to see him, which is worsened by the fact he hardly picks calls any longer including the calls of members of the Management Committee hence, the very slow pace of decision making which now characterize the administration of the Federal Polytechnic, Ede, and which must stop or must be stopped immediately in the interest of the system before other polytechnic functionaries start to emulate the Rector by equally not doing the right thing at the right time in the right way or following the right procedures so as to get the right results which has negative implications and will eventually result in outright systemic breakdown. Neglecting and procrastinating on the long-overdue accreditation/re-accreditation of the various programmes of the institutions over his three years as the Rector as result of which none of the programmes of the institution that are due for accreditation/re-accreditation have been accredited/re-accredited as required for institutions to continue to run programmes approved by the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) which has serious implications for the students trained during this period and the institution training them, however, the Rector has continued to expend the scarce resources of the institution on things that are not as essential as the accreditation/re-accreditation of the programmes as a result of which the institution now tops the list of institutions running programmes that have not been duly accredited/re-accredited by the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE).
It is axiomatic ipso facto the above-explicated anomalies which epitomize the unprecedented happenings that characterize the first three years of Dr John Taiwo Adekolawole’s tenure as Rector of The Federal Polytechnic, Ede that with his modus operandi cum modus vivendi especially with the identified deviations from administrative regulations, financial guidelines and moral standards the boat of the institution will soon be rocked and grounded if a very prompt and decisive action is not taken to salvage the institution from an imminent systemic collapse. It is against this background that we, the undersigned representing the critical stakeholders of the institution, hereby pass a vote of no confidence on Dr John Taiwo Adekolawole as the Rector of The Federal Polytechnic, Ede, Osun State, having lost confidence in his ability to effectively direct the affairs of the institution as a selfless, committed, reliable, focused, exemplary and regulation-abiding Rector. We are therefore appealing to President Muhammadu Buhari (GCFR) as the Visitor to the Nigerian Polytechnics to urgently constitute and send a Panel of Enquiry/Investigation to ascertain the authenticity or otherwise of the various anomalous deeds linked to the Rector and to take decisive actions so as to save the institution owned and financed by the Federal Government of Nigeria from an imminent systemic collapse.x