Edo teachers dare Oshiomhole

BENIN—FOR going ahead with the competency test for
secondary and primary schools in the state, despite a
court order stopping same, counsel to Academic Staff
Union of Secondary Schools, ASSUS, Mr. Olayiwola
Afolabi, is to file contempt proceeding against Edo State
Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr.
Henry Idahagbon.
Meanwhile, Edo State Commissioner for Higher
Education, Mr. Washington Osifo, has described the
assessment test conducted in the state by the Prof.
Denis Agbonlahor- led Assessment Committee as a
success, saying that teachers who absented themselves
from the test will have themselves to blame.
Although the exercise was marred by low turnout of
teachers, the assessment test for public schools
teachers was held on Saturday by the Edo State
Government across the three senatorial districts of the
state.
Afolabi, who spoke with newsmen, weekend in Benin,
exhibited a photocopy of the receipt of an Edo State
Government of a courier service with which an interim
order granted by National Industrial Court, sitting in
Abuja, restraining the state government from
conducting the competency test or any other test, was
purportedly said to have been served on the state
Attorney General.
He said: “We are going to file contempt proceedings. We
are aware that former Attorney General of this state
went to prison for disobeying court order. So, if he goes
ahead, we know the appropriate thing to do and the
Attorney General will go to prison.
“We know the Attorney General of the state. I respect
him, he cannot try it because he knows the law, he is a
member of the Bar. If he tries it, it is prison straight, Oko
prison and Benin prisons are there.”
On his part, the state Chairman, ASUSS, Mr. Charles
Ifaluyi, reiterated the position of the union on the
competency test and called on members to disregard
any threat by the state government aimed at coercing
them to write the examination, adding that there was an
existing court order restraining the government and the
Agbonlahor-led committee from conducting any
assessment test in the state for the teachers.
The state Commissioner for Information, Mr. Louis
Odion, had denied that the state Ministry of Justice was
aware of an injunction restraining the state government
from going ahead with the teachers’ assessment
exercise.
He said: “There was nothing like a court injunction,”
adding that he was glad that those who meant well for
the children of the state participated actively in the test,
noting that the exercise was not to witch hunt, but to
reform the educational sector.
According to him, “We are not aware of any order
stopping the test. An attempt to get an order does not in
itself translate to an order stopping the conduct of the
test. As we all observed, the test held successfully in the
three senatorial districts of the state. May be, some
teachers felt it was not necessary, but those who saw
the import of what the state government was doing
participated.”

Vanguard

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