A cloud of controversy has enveloped the selection process for the pioneer rector of the Ogun State Polytechnic of Health and Allied Sciences, Ilese-Ijebu, as concerned people in the state has called the attention of Governor Dapo Abiodun to follow due process and strict compliance to the Polytechnic Act in the selection and appointment of substantive Rector for the polytechnic.
In an open letter addressed to Prince Dapo Abiodun by one group led Mathew Olanipekun, the group expressed its dissatisfaction with the recent recommendation of a candidate by the governing council for the prestigious position.
The letter alleges that irregularities were rife throughout the selection process, with claims that the process was tainted by an illegal inclusion of some unqualified candidates, due the lack of compliance to the advertisement made by the Governing Council in one of Nigeria news paper.
According to Olanipekun” Advert to the position of Rector, Ogun State Polytechnic of Health and Allied Sciences, Ilese-Ijebu closed on June 16th, 2023 not less than thirteen applicants successfully submitted their application. Further findings shows that the Council screened out four applicants and decided to invite nine applicants. Our independent investigation finds out that from the nine applicants invited for the interview, there are other two applicants that were not supposed to have been invited, because they didn’t meet the requirements set in the advert. Among these two unqualified applicants was Mr Akinbo who did not have his PhD at the time of the deadline for the submission of application. How he was able to smuggle his evidence of his PhD he got after the closing date of application is still a bone of contention.
“There wasn’t PhD credentials submitted by Mr Akinbo in the application submitted to the registrar at the close of entry on June 16th, 2023. Mr Akinbo evidence of PhD was later collected on July 11th with an effective date of July 6th, 2023, noted on the statement of result made available. All this act was said to be aided also by the School Registrar who was alleged of having personal interest in Mr Akinbo to become the rector of the institution.
“This implies that by rule, Mr Akinbo was not qualified enough to partake in the interviewing and selection process from the beginning of the process. How can someone not qualified to be shortlisted be interviewed, graded and recommended for an appointment.
Our further investigation found that the second person who was not qualified but the council allowed to attend the interview is Mr Cyril Babatope Akinyele. Although, Mr Akinyele has his PhD, but information shows that he’s not a chief lecturer of five years with relevant teaching experience as stated in the advert for the position of Rector of Ogun State Polytechnic of Health and Allied Sciences Ilese Ijebu. Because of the reason known to the council, he found his way into the interview.
An Insider seeking anonymity from his own part explained that at the initial stage, a comprehensive advertisement was issued on May 17, 2023, outlining stringent requirements for candidates.
According to him ” These requirements included holding a doctorate degree from a recognized institution, having 18 years of teaching experience, achieving the position of Chief Lecturer in a Polytechnic, and a minimum of 5 years in that role.”
He added that following the closure of the application process, 13 applicants submitted their materials. Unfortunately, a thorough scrutiny of these applications revealed several candidates fell short of the advertised criteria. Six applicants from the University sector lacked the Chief Lecturer rank, while one candidate from the local government service lacked the required teaching experience. Among the five applicants from polytechnics , two did not possess a Ph.D. at the time of application.
His words “A critical investigation into the situation based on the requirements set by the advert revealed that six of these applicants were from the University sector without being a Chief Lecturer; one was from the local government service commission without having the required teaching experience.
“Out of the remaining five that were from the polytechnic, two did not have the PhD, as at the time of submitting their application.
“Surprisingly, instead for the Council to set up Search Committee and the Joint Council, Academic Board and Congregation Selection Committee, as provided by the Polytechnic Act, because of lack of relevant advice from the Registrar of the Institution, who happened to be the Secretary to the Council, this was not done.
“What did the council do was to carry out a shady job, by jettison some requirements set in the advert published in the Nigeria daily newspaper. This allowed some applicants that were not qualified to be shortlisted for the interview. At the end, nine applicants were shortlisted; it was only four that were not shortlisted.
” Others who were not qualified, because of reasons known to the council were allowed to attend the interview. This made mr Akinbo, Yinka Rasaki, who did not have his PhD at the time of closing of application submission to tender his letter of evidence of completing PhD, while one Mr Akinyele Cyris without relevant teaching and academic administrative experience made his way to the interview.
“Thus, the interview was a free for all.As the system could not shield the council, the effective date of statement of the PhD letter of evidence submitted by Mr Aknibo was issued on the 16th of July 2023, while the deadline for submission of application was 16th June 2023.
” This has been found to be as a result of lack of due regards to the requirements set in the advert, non compliance to the public service rule and the principle of fairness. Going through the advert, Akinbo, apart from not holding his PhD at the time of closing of application, he has not met the expectation of the Council that a person who should become the rector of the institution must be a person of high reputation and be able to command the respect of academic communities, through high track record and must be person of high probity and personal integrity. This is because his application is questionable.
“This he has demonstrated by not upholding the truth, because the shady process followed by the council in appointing the new rector allowed him to smuggle in the credential he did not have while submitting his application in June, 2023. This is not good enough to be a quality of a person who would lead an institution where rules and regulations would be set to be followed by staff and students.
” The expectation of the stakeholders is that the person who should become the rector of Ogun State Polytechnic of Health and Allied Sciences must be a person of high reputation and be able to command the respect of academic communities, through high track record and must be person of high probity and personal integrity. A person who refused to uphold the truth cannot be regarded as a person of good integrity to lead the Ogun State Polytechnic of Health and Allied Sciences, as a new Polytechnic that should be established on good foundation.
As it’s also a violation of the advert made by the Council and the provision of the Polytechnic act to appoint Mr Akinyele Cyril Babatope, who has never be a chief lecturer from the Polytechnic sector with 18 years relevant teaching experience to become the rector of Ogun State Polytechnic of Health and Allied Sciences.
The people of Ogun State and the polytechnic academic community in Nigeria are very anxious to see the outcome of the selection process of the first rector of the institution.”
“We appeal to the Governor of Ogun State, Prince Dapo Abiodun to intervene in the Selection Process to give room for the most credible candidate to emerge. The council of the institution has done it once in 2022 to select a provost for the institution, but failed. This act of wasting public funds on inconclusive exercise should stop”.
As at the time of filing this report, all attempts to reach the registrar of the polytechnic and the Special Adviser to the governor on education are unsuccessful.