Stephen Nwabuzor, one of the professors demoted by the Federal University Otuoke in Ogbia Local Government Area of Bayelsa State, has dragged the Vice Chancellor of the institution, Professor Seth Accra Jaja, and the management of the institution to the National Industrial Court of Nigeria, Yenagoa, over his demotion from rank of Professor to Lecturer 1.
On December 18, 2018, SaharaReporters had reported that the Governing Council of the institution made the decision to demote seven professors of the Federal University Otuoke at its 10th meeting.
However, in a suit filed before the National Industrial Court, marked NICN/YEN01/2019, the aggrieved Professor Nwabuzor sought the order of the court to make a declaration that the regulation of his appointment as Professor to a pensionable appointment by the institution’s letter of the appointment dated September 1, 2015 and the confirmation of his appointment vide the letter of February 21, 2017, has statutory flavour and could not be tampered with except in accordance with the Federal University, Otuoke (Establishment) Act 2015.
Also sought is a “declaration that the purported conversion of the claimant’s pensionable appointment to a contract appointment is ultra vires the defendants having regard to the Federal University, Otuoke (Establishment ) Act, 2015 of the 1999 constitution (as Amended) and all known Labour practices; a declaration that the purported reclassification of appointment of the claimant by the defendant from Professor to Lecturer 1 on the grounds that the claimant did not have the requisite scholarship at the point of entry without hearing the claimant is ultra vires, unconstitutional, null and void and of no effect".
The lecturer is also seeking "an order of the honourable court setting aside the defendants’ letter of 5th of July, 2018, converting the claimant's statutory appointment to a mere contract of employment".