The attention of the Management of the Captain Elechi Amadi Polytechnic, Rumuola, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, has been attracted to a distasteful publication circulated on the social media on 2nd January, 2023, on the above subject matter by a certain Mr. Zoe Solomon Tamunotonye. Ordinarily, it would have been needless to react or respond to the said unsavory publication, except to clearly refute the said publication in its entirety and indisputably state that:
1. the issue of suspension and non-payment of salary to Mr. Tamunotonye is subjudice. Mr. Tamunotonye instituted an action against the Polytechnic before the National Industrial Court, Port Harcourt Judicial Division in September 2022, in Suit No. NICN/PHC/116/2022:Mr. Tamunotonye Zoe Solomon Vs Captain Elechi Amadi Polytechnic;
2. the Management of the Polytechnic had earlier issued a Press Statement on the matter in The Tide newspaper on Friday, July 22, 2022, and the National Network newspaper on July 27-August 2, 2022;
3. Tamunotonye should be strongly advised by his lawyer to refrain from commenting on or publishing facts relating to a matter before a court of competent jurisdiction pending its determination, one way or the other. To do otherwise is obviously contemptuous;
4. on collection of Christmas largess by staff, the Management of the Polytechnic did not send text messages to staff individually, including Mr. Tamunotonye, to collect Christmas largess contrary to his claim. Members of staff were communicated through official platforms of the Polytechnic;
5. Assuming, but without conceding that there was a misunderstanding or problem between Mr. Tamunotonye and some staff of the Polytechnic arising from collection of Christmas largess; Mr. Tamunotonye should have reported the matter to the appropriate authority in the polytechnic for necessary action in line with established and applicable administrative rules, procedures and regulations;
6. Instead, he elected to report the matter to the Nigeria Police. He should allow the Nigeria Police to complete their investigation. Accusing the Nigeria Police of “cover up” is unfounded, unpatriotic, uncharitable and most undeserving, especially considering that the matter was reported to the Nigeria Police in December, 2022, during Christmas celebrations;
7. Consistent publications of falsehood on social media with the intent to embarrass and bring the name of the Polytechnic to disrepute in outright violation of the law establishing the Polytechnic and the Senior Staff Conditions of Service; and to misinform and mislead the public and whip up public sentiments and sympathy in his favour will not help him; and,
8. No amount of falsehood and blackmail by Mr Tamunotonye will deter the Management of the Polytechnic from enforcing discipline among the Staff and Students.
Chris A. Woke, Esq.