The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibadan Zonal Office, yesterday quizzed the Acting Vice-Chancellor of the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Prof. Anthony Elujoba and the Bursar, Mrs Aderonke Akeredolu, for alleged diversion of N1.4billion.
The agency acted on a petition that the duo connived to use the money for payment of certain allowances to members of staff without approval of the Federal Ministry of Education and the Governing Council.
The payment was said to include earned allowance. The VC was alleged to have paid himself N7 million for furniture allowance.
Elujoba arrived at the EFCC’s Iyaganku, Ibadan office in company of some workers at 4.17 p.m.
There was drama as members of various unions, including the Academic Staff Union of University (ASUU), National Association of Senior Staff Union (NASSU), National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT), Student Union representatives, stormed the EFCC office with placards in solidarity with the VC.
Some of the placards read “EFCC should follow “Buhari’s campaign against corruption”; “Great Ife workers are not in support of corruption”; “Probe Omole, not Elujoba”; “It is not a sin to pay salaries of workers”; “Prof Elujoba is a man of peace and integrity”; “OAU workers and students stand by him”.
The school’s Public Relations Officer, Biodun Olanrewaju, said the contentious money was paid to workers to settle their outstanding earned allowance.
“The money was discovered to be logged in an account not tied to any project.
“It was not in the Treasury Single Account (TSA). The workers who knew the money was available and were not paid by the former VC, Prof. Bamitale Omole, were about to attack the Bursar at a meeting.
“She was prevailed upon to pay the money. The VC never embezzled the money.
“This is the first time in the history of any university where a VC will be supported by staff unions and students.” Olanrewaju said.
ASUU Caretaker Chairman Niyi Sunmonu said Elujoba had turned around the institution positively.
SSANU Chairman Ademola Oketunde said the VC runs a transparent administration.
Oketunde said Elujoba had set up task forces to investigate the activities of the institution, of which some had submitted their reports.
“I hope these are not a ploy by some to frame the man.
“We are not here to prevent investigation and we believe he will come out clean. No one will allow his head to be cut off,” he said.
NASU Chairman Wole Odewumi,said the association had written several petitions to the EFCC last year against Omole, “but the EFCC did nothing about our petitions”.
“This new VC paid us part of the entitlements and some people wrote a petition querying why he paid us, when they refused to pay us themselves.
“We are not going to leave this man of peace because he has brought a lot of development to our school .”
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