A sordid drama played out at the Federal University of Technology Akure (FUTA), on Thursday, as the institution’s Registrar, Dr. Modupe Ajayi, physically assaulted Mr. Isaac Adams, the clerical officer in her office.
In addition to a rain of blows, Mr. Adams, a member of the Non-Academic Staff Union (NASU) of the university, was also bitten in the head by Dr. Ajayi.
Sources told SaharaReporters that the brawl took place at about 9:30 am, sparking huge confusion in the University Senate Building.
A source told our correspondent that the fracas developed when Dr. Ajayi was told that a memo was printed out on her office printer behind her back.
“On Thursday morning, Mr. Adams was in the office and trying to download a memo written by the university’s Legal Director to the acting Vice-Chancellor, Professor Tunde Arayela, in respect of the court order issued to the university concerning the payment of staff salaries. The memo was posted on our union’s Whatsapp platform but was not easily readable on the phone. This made Mr. Adams use the office printer to print out the memo so that he could conveniently read it,” explained the source.
However, another staff in the office, with apparent loyalty to the Registrar, went to inform her. The information, said the source, incensed Dr. Ajayi, who came out of her office spewing insults at Mr. Adams and attempted to forcefully retrieve the memo from him. Mr. Adams resisted the Registrar, who then decided to use physical assault to get it off him. “Before we knew what was happening, the Registrar went berserk and bit Mr. Adams on the side of his head and repeatedly assaulted him,” the source narrated.
He also disclosed that the matter has been reported to the leadership of the institution’s chapter of NASU and to the acting Vice-Chancellor. Another source also informed that the incident has been reported at the Okuta Elerin’la Police Station in Akure. “We have reported to the matter to the Police because we don’t want to cause any other crisis on the campus,” he said.
Mr. Dele Durojaye, Chairman of the FUTA chapter of Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU), also confirmed the incident to SaharaReporters in a telephone conversation. The SSANU leader, who condemned the Registrar’s action, disclosed that leaders of his union have taken steps in protest against the dehumanization of the clerical staff. “Honestly, this is very unfortunate for a university registrar to have descended so low by engaging in a brawl with a clerk. I wonder how this kind of people get to sensitive positions,” he lamented. Mr. Durojaye also disclosed that the union has contacted its lawyers, adding that Dr. Ajayi should be prepared to face charges.
Calls to Dr. Ajayi’s phone line for her response went unanswered. A source close to her, however, confirmed the incident in a phone chat. “The incident actually happened, but I can’t speak for the Registrar because she might have her own personal reasons for such a display. Don’t forget that we are all human. Moreover, it is an in-house matter, not one for the press. I am aware that the Registrar has met with the council over the unfortunate incident,” the source said.