Members of the House of Representatives Committee on Tertiary Education and the Minister of Education, Mr. Adamu Adamu, clashed on Tuesday over the sacking of five of the 12 university vice-chancellors the Federal Government disengaged from service weeks back.
Lawmakers and the minister exchanged hot words over the legality of the sacking of the VCs, which the former said was done while their tenures had not expired.
The VCs being contested were those of the federal universities Eyo-Ekiti, Binin Kebbi, Gusau, Gashua and the National Open University of Nigeria.
The minister pointedly told the lawmakers that the former VCs were sacked because there was no law backing their appointments in the first place by former President, Goodluck Jonathan.
For the former NOUN VC, Prof. Vincent Tenebe, Adamu claimed that the governing council of the university illegally extended his tenure. However, lawmakers were enraged by his comments, as they argued that Buhari, as the visitor to the universities, could only sack VCs on the recommendation of the governing councils in liaison with the Senate.
For NOUN, members noted that it had a council in place, which tenure had not expired as of the time of the sacking of the VC. A member of the committee, Prof. Mojeed Alabi, described the removal of the VCs as an act of “impunity.” Reacting to Adamu’s claim that four of the universities were not properly established, another member of the committee, Mr. Timothy Golu, said the minister should have advised the President to close them down instead.