Saturday, February 24, 2024

Crisis rocks federal agency over Buhari’s last minute appointment

BY TIMOTHY AGBOR, OSOGBO

Serious crisis has enveloped an agency of the Federal Government, National Centre for Technology Management following the appointment of its new Director General, Olusola Odusanya, by former President Muhammadu Buhari.

Odusanya is one of those appointed by Buhari in the twilight of his administration.

Meanwhile, NACETEM Governing Council, in a statement signed by its Chairman, Haastrup Olatunji, on Monday, kicked against Odusanya’s appointment, saying it did not follow due process and that the council was not consulted as required by law.

The council further noted that Odusanya’s appointment was “a concoction” of Chief Henry Ikechukwu Ikoh, former Minister of State for Science, Technology and Innovation.

The statement reads, “Our attention has been drawn to the purported appointment of one Dr Olusola Odusanya as the DG/CEO of the National Centre for Technology Management (NACETEM) on the pages of many national dailies. This is misleading as the legally constituted Governing Board of the Agency never interviewed the ‘appointed’ DG nor had any interaction with him at any time.

“As a result of our stance not to compromise due process, Chief Ikoh set up a parallel committee to select DG for NACETEM. We wrote letters to all known constituted authorities to admonish on the implications of the Minister’s actions. Despite all our efforts to make reason prevail, he went ahead with his plan. The illegal parallel process instituted by Chief Henry Ikoh to appoint Odusanya attracted litigation by a public interest lawyer and all entreaties to make him stay action because of the court case still fell on deaf ears, as he eventually released letter of appointment to Odusanya.

“To put the records straight and educate the public properly, we will like to say that: NACETEM Governing Board is not a party to the appointment of Dr Olusola Odusanya; His appointment did not follow due process, as it’s a concoction of Chief Henry Ikechukwu Ikoh, former Minister of State for Science, Technology and Innovation.

“His appointment is subjudicial as it’s an affront on the rule of law because of the subsisting case in court over the process; His appointment is rejected by the Governing Board as even though he submitted an application initially to the NACETEM Governing Board-duly constituted Selection Committee, he did not, like 10 others, get past the screening process, before the Committee was halted by Chief Ikechukwu Ikoh sometime in 2022 and went on to re-advertise our initial advertisement of the 2nd June June, 2022 on the 14th March, 2023 to suit his whims and caprices; and his appointment obviously seems an invitation to unmitigated crisis as evidenced by the protests that followed the announcement on the pages of newspapers of the purported appointment.”

The council, however, called on President Bola Tinubu to investigate circumstances leading to Odusanya’s last minute appointment, saying, “While we assure NACETEM staff that we will deploy all known legal means to uphold peace and progress of the Agency, we call on the new President, His Excellency, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, GCFR, to probe the circumstances leading to the last minute ‘appointment ‘ of Odusanya without recourse to due process.”

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