The Supreme Court of Nigeria yesterday ruled on the protracted imbroglio over the ownership of Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH), Ogbomosho as it upheld a joint ownership of the institution between Osun and Oyo States.
The legal tussle between the two states, which spanned over two years and almost disrupted the administrative system of the institution, was on Monday, laid to rest, as the Supreme Court pronounced that it is jointly owned by the two states.
The apex court also said that both the Oyo and Osun States should mutually run the school’s administration. The Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Dahiru Musdapher, delivering his judgment, upheld the terms of settlement agreed to by the two states.
It will be recalled that the two states were in a long drawn battle over who had the authority to run the university. Hence, this led the immediate past governor of Oyo State, Chief Adebayo Alao-Akala, to approve some appointments in the university, including that of the office of the Vice-Chancellor, when the tenure of the holder of that office, form Osun State was yet to expire..
When the matter came up on Monday, counsel for Osun State, Yusuf Ali, said the two states had found a common ground and had resolved to forge a common ground in the interest of the institution.
The Oyo State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Adebayo Ojo, also confirmed that the agreement was duly entered into by governments of both states.
The terms of settlement agreed upon by the states, which became the judgment of the Supreme Court, was dated March 22, 2012 and was signed by the attorneys-general of both two states.
The court ordered that “the governor of Oyo State could not, within the provisions of sections 2 and 15 of Ladoke Akintola University of Technology Law, 1990 (as amended), unilaterally take any decision on the appointment or otherwise of the principal officers, personnel, finances, fixed and floating assets of the university without the agreement, concurrence and express permission of the governor of Osun State.
“That the Oyo State government could not dissolve, abrogate, annul, tamper with or revoke the provisions of the law setting up the LAUTECH.”