There’s indication of imminent disaster following the choice by the Minister of Science, Expertise and Innovation, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, to dissolve the Governing Council of the Nigerian Institute for Trypanosomiasis and Onchocerciasis Analysis, Kaduna.
The NITR’s Governing Council had requested the minister to withdraw the choice dissolving the board, noting that the tenure of the members which started in 2018 would elapse in 2023.
The controversy over the dissolution of the institute Governing Council started when the minister in a letter dated August fifth, 2021 notified the Chairman of Board of NITR, Haruna Lambu, that the tenure of the board had elapsed.
Onu had argued that according to the legal guidelines and rules guiding the tenure of businesses and analysis institute’s underneath the umbrella of the ministry, “It has grow to be essential to tell you and members that the tenure of the Governing Board which was inaugurated on Tuesday eighth March 2018 elapsed seventh of March, 2021”.
The Minister identified that “consequently, the Director Common/Secretary of Board has been directed to organize finish of tenure report and undergo the ministry”
Nevertheless, the motion of the minister has already elicited reactions from the Presidency and the legal professionals of NITR board.
The Presidency had earlier written a warning memo in opposition to the Ministry, dated September, 1st 2021 over undue administrative Interference, harassment and intimidation.
Within the letter addressed to the Minister by the Senior Particular Assistant to the President (Administration and Operation), Ibrahim Dikko Adamu titled, “Undue Interference bordering on wrongful and illegal intimidation, oppression and harassment of the Governing Council of NITR and the ignoble position of the Minister in perpetuating Dr Augustine Chinyere Igweh as Director Common of the Institute after due retirement.”
Adamu mentioned, “The President has directed the Federal Ministry of Science, Expertise and Innovation to cease interfering within the administrative procedures that are throughout the mandate of the NITR Governing Council. Mr President has additionally directed the Head of Service of the Federation to take disciplinary actions on Dr Augustine Igweh for utilizing the police to forcefully take over administration of the Institute”.
In the meantime, the lawyer for the board members, Shuaibu Umar, in a reply letter dated September 1, 2021 to the minister over the untimely dissolution of the board, mentioned from the provisions of legislation, that the “tenure of workplace of members of all of the councils created and established by the Act is 5 years and never three years as erroneously claimed by the Honourable minister.”
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