EFCC summons former OAU Vice Chancellor over alleged N3.5 billion fraud

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has invited a former Vice-Chancellor of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Bamitale Omole, over allegations of fraud levelled against him by academic staff of the university.

PREMIUM TIMES had on April 20, 2016, reported that the budget monitoring committee of the local chapter of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, accused the management of the university under Mr. Omole of mismanaging N3.5 billion intervention fund released to the university for upgrade of facilities.

The Union had accused the management of the institution under Mr. Omole of expending the sum on hostel renovation and construction of new lecture theatres without observing due process and transparency.

The funds were part of the N100 billion released by the Federal Government in 2013 to universities in response to agitations by ASUU for upgrade of facilities at the tertiary institutions in Nigeria.

An implementation monitoring committee had spelt out guidelines for accessing the intervention fund but the teachers’ union in OAU said the university failed to abide by the guidelines.

According to the report of the monitoring committee obtained by PREMIUM TIMES, the university’s management failed to follow due process in contract awards or follow guidelines in the use of the fund.

Although the management, through the university’s spokesman, Olanrewaju Abiodun, denied any wrong doing, a body known as Third Eye International OAU restated the allegations in a petition to the EFCC.

In the petition, the group had urged the agency to investigate “the illegal disbursement and embezzlement of funds”.

Apparently in response to the petition, the EFCC in a letter to the Acting Vice Chancellor, Anthony Elujoba, dated January 19, requested the release of Mr. Omole and the university’s bursar, Aderonke Akeredolu.

The commission asked the bursar to come along with Certified True Copies (CTC) of “all capital project contracts, including financial documents relevant to the renovation of official residence of the VC executed in the institution”.

“Other documents expected are financial document of funds remitted to OAU under the NEEDS ASSESSMENT of Nigeria Public Universities Special Presidential Intervention between 2013 and 2014 and all financial documents of Employer Contributory Pension Scheme of the Institution between 2012 and 2016.”

Students groups and the Non Academic Staff Union of Universities, NASU, of the university had also demanded that Mr. Omole be probed.

Mr. Omole’s invitation comes less than two months after the current acting vice chancellor, Mr. Elujoba was also questioned by the EFCC.

Alleged N1.4 billion fraud: How OAU Vice-Chancellor got into trouble

The acting Vice-Chancellor of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Anthony Elujoba, who is under investigation over alleged diversion of N1.4 billion of the university’s fund, ran into trouble by drawing the remunerations of a substantive holder of his office, investigations have revealed.

Mr. Elujoba and the university’s bursar, Aderonke Akeredolu, were on Tuesday in Ibadan quizzed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission over the allegation.

He was appointed acting vice-chancellor for a period of six months with effect from July 21.

According to the terms and conditions of the appointment as approved by the Federal Government, Mr. Elujoba’s fringe benefits include N120,000 monthly as furniture allowance.

Investigations however revealed that part of the allegations against him in a petition to the EFCC was that he received over N7 million as advance payment of the allowance for the five-year tenure of a substantive vice-chancellor.

The petition alleged that the acting vice-chancellor and bursar diverted monies from the university’s Fixed Assets and Endowment Fund, without approval from the Federal Ministry of Education and the Governing Council of the University, to pay themselves unapproved allowances, including the N7 million as furniture allowance to Mr. Elujoba.

Mr. Elujoba and Mrs. Akeredolu, who arrived the Iyaganku office of the anti-graft agency in Ibadan at about 5 p.m. on Tuesday, were quizzed for some hours and released on bail.

Before their arrival at the EFCC offices, scores of workers of the university and supporters had besieged the premises in solidarity with the officials.

When contacted, the EFCC Head of Media in the zone, Ayo Oyewole, declined to give details of the allegations against the acting Vice-Chancellor.

He however confirmed that he was was released on bail while further investigation was continuing.

The spokesman of the university, Biodun Olanrewaju, has however defended the accused officials, arguing that the acting vice-chancellor could not have been involved in financial malpractice as he was not in charge of the university’s finances.

“It is the bursar that is in charge of money, not the acting Vice-Chancellor. This is a man who does not even collect hospitality allowances or security vote as collected by other vice-chancellors,” Mr. Olanrewaju said.

He said Mr. Elujoba was brought into the university to stabilise the institution at a time of crisis.

“As acting vice-chancellor, he does the same work as any vice chancellor. Forget about the title, he coordinates the affairs of the university just like a substantive vice-chancellor,” he added.

Insinuating that the development had political undertones, Mr. Olanrewaju said Mr. Elujoba had already been recommended by the Senate of the institution as substantive vice-chancellor “with overwhelming majority of 295 votes against 8 votes for his opponent”.

The university’s spokesman also defended the loyalty demonstrated for the embattled vice-chancellor by workers at the EFCC office.

“You could see how all union members of the university stormed the Iyaganku office of EFCC in Ibadan to rally round him. That was to show that the man did not steal or embezzle as alleged,” Mr. Olanrewaju stated.

EFCC summons new OAU Vice Chancellor

There is an uneasy calm at the Obafemi Awolowo University as the Economic and Financial Crimes commission has summoned the Acting Vice Chancellor of the Institution, Anthony Elujoba.

A letter, signed by Oseni Kazeem of the Southwest Zonal Office of the commission in Ibadan, Oyo State, advised the VC and the school’s bursar, Aderonke Akeredolu, to come along with necessary documents.

The letter reads in part, “The office is currently investigating a case in which there is the need to obtain clarification from you. In view of the foregoing, you and your bursar are requested to report to our office for an interview.

“You are also to come along with the following documents: the salary payment schedule/any other payment made to senior staff and junior staff in August and September, 2016; payment vouchers relating to furniture allowances paid to the VC from the day he assumed office to date; certified true copies of the monthly salary pay slips of the VC from the day he assumed office to date.”

The acting Vice Chancellor has been accused of paying allowances without approval. PREMIUM TIMES learnt that a petition was written by an unnamed OAU Staff to the EFCC, who complained about the allowances.

The Public Relations Officer said the money spent could not be said to have been misappropriated.

“The Vice Chancellor has been invited to make clarifications and he would be there, from there we would know what next,” he said.

PREMIUM TIMES learnt that the Non-Academic staff Union of Universities and the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities were planning a protest to show their displeasure over the invite by the EFCC.

Before the acting VC came on board, the two unions had protested non-payment of their allowances for months, forcing the school to close under the former Vice Chancellor, Bamitale Omole.

The school commenced a new semester on Sunday, December 11.

Exams will continue in OAU despite ASUU warning strike

The management of Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) has informed students that their ongoing examination will progress in spite of the one-week warning strike of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).


In a circular passed on Monday, November 14, D.O Awoyemi, the school’s registrar, enjoined students to proceed with examination activities.


“Following the meeting of the Acting Vice Chancellor and all heads of department, Readers and Professors held today, Monday, 14th November 2016, it has been resolved that the on-going 2015/2016 Harmattan  Semester examination will progress as scheduled.


“To this end, all students are enjoined to attend to their examination,” the school’s registrar wrote.


ASUU had earlier released a circular instructing universities to begin one-week warning strike on Wednesday to compel the Federal Government to address pending issues.

OAU Shuts Down Hostel Mosques Over Teaching Of Boko Haram Doctrines

The management of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun State has shut down mosques located in the school hostels over some allegations raised against a group called Muslim Students’ Society of Nigeria (MSSN).

A statement by the Department of Student Affairs (DSA) said the mosques, located in Fajuyi and Awolowo halls of the school allegedly harbors female students for prostitution and teaching of an alien doctrine with a fashion similar to the current Boko Haram insurgency.

Dr. G. O. Akinola, head, Division of Students Affairs gives further details on the closure.

Below is full statement:

The Division of Students Affairs (DSA) acting upon the Statutes and Regulations of Obafemi Awolowo University hereby declares closed until further notice, the two purported mosques in Awolowo and Fajuyi Halls for the reasons of peace, free movement of students and staff within the Halls and the overriding need for the security of all persons, assets and installation in the Halls.

The reasons for this closure are as set out below:

1. On Friday 12th August, 2016 when the current executive members of the Muslim Students Society of Nigeria (MSSN), Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ife Branch were to be inaugurated at the Central Mosque, the Division of Students Affairs (DSA) was invited and was duly represented by the Vice Dean of the Division. There were issues at the inauguration when we were told of another group of Muslim students who wanted to impose themselves and their doctrines which are not consistent with the Constitution of the MSSN members. At that point the Vice-Dean was asked to interact with this group with a view to finding out what their arguments and positions were;

2. After the Vice-Dean’s interaction with the group (which is yet to give a name to itself, although they insisted that they should be called MSSN too), we decided to call members of the group to a meeting at the DSA.

They came on Tuesday, 23rd August 2016 at 6.15pm. After several attempts at making them attend the parley failed, we eventually held a meeting with them on this 23rd August. We stressed at the meeting the point that the DSA is only aware of the existence of only one MSSN as a registered Muslim students’ group on the campus of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife.

We impressed it on the group that even the DSA is also aware that the National body of the MSSN recognises only one MSSN group here on campus. We therefore advised the group to, if they have any issue of disagreement between them and the mainstream MSSN, please for sake of peace on campus and interest of their members take steps to sort them out with the Executive of the MSSN on campus.

3. The meeting deliberated extensively on how to bring this settlement about and at the end of it, it was agreed that a period of one (1) week be given to permit the group interact with the mainstream MSSN and settle their disagreement amicably failing which the two ‘mosques’ at Fajuyi and Awolowo Halls would be closed down for peace to reign.

Note that this splinter group of the MSSN had begun to use the two ‘mosques’ in these Halls as a base for their anti-mainstream MSSN rhetorics and doctrinal disagreement on campus, including recruitment of students for their separate teachings. Note also, that these two ‘mosques’, converted as such were originally Cafeteria buildings meant for the respective halls under the University’s master plan.

We also agreed at the meeting that if the DSA found that they were able to make progress on the reconciliation, even if they have not completely reached an agreement on doctrinal or worship issues, the suggestive closure of the ‘mosque’ would be suspended to permit for more room for rapport and deeper reconciliation. We agreed that we were going to meet again on the very day that the one-week ultimatum to reconcile expired, that is Tuesday 30th August, 2016.

Meanwhile, desirous of a way to convince the DSA that the splinter group meant well, they invited the  to visit the two ‘mosques’ in Fajuyi and Awolowo Halls to see that there was nothing sinister in the activities of the splinter group and that if anything at all, they have been peaceful and law-abiding.

4. However, on Thursday 25th August, a meeting was held with the University recognized MSSN Executive members. This same MSSN Executive is also recognised by the OAU Muslim Community and by the National body of MSSN in Nigeria. That meeting was called to hear the complaints of the splinter MSSN members and their grievances. The recognized MSSN was informed of the University’s plan to close the ‘mosques’ in Fajuyi and Awolowo Halls if the splinter group of the MSSN failed to make peace with the mainstream MSSN and reconcile accordingly;

5. On Friday 26th August, the MSSN National body paid a courtesy visit to the DSA to discuss the furore over the recognized MSSN on campus. The visitation team led by the President of the National MSSN, Muhammad Jameel Muhammad came in company of the campus mainstream MSSN and some of his officials. The thrust of their visit was to make a passionate appeal to the DSA on their fear for the possibility of “Emergence on the OAU campus of an extremist group of Muslim students in a fashion similar to the current Boko Haram insurgency besetting Nigeria”.

They expressed some fears and strongly felt that the splinter MSSN group in OAU and what they referred to as “their strange doctrinal principles and procedures” could lead to the materialization of such fears. The visitation team pleaded with the University through the DSA to do all that was lawful and needful to see that such fears were allayed.

The visitation team also reiterated their support for the recognized MSSN mainstream organization and its president. In addition, the team gave a copy of the MSSN Constitution and 5 copies of the articles of faith of the MSSN titled “MSSN at a Glance” to the DSA;

6. On the night of 27th August, 2016 reports came to the Acting Dean, DSA, that the splinter MSSN group were planning to hold a religious programme in Awolowo Hall Cafeteria the following day (i.e. 28th August, 2016), for which they had not sought or obtained permission.

The Acting Dean reported to the University Chief Security Officer who immediately sent a group of his men to see how things would go with a view to apprehending any illegality or untoward behaviours and report forthwith. Report came that the religious programme held and that the leaders of the splinter MSSN presided at that programme. The point here is that the group failed to seek or secure approval for this religious activity in the Cafeteria.

7. However, on the night preceding the expiration of the ultimatum given to the Splinter MSSN group, to make peace with the mainstream MSSN and reconcile accordingly, a text message was sent to the Vice Dean, DSA, from the Splinter MSSN group that they had contacted someone who would help broker the reconciliation talks and that the person said he would see the Chief Imam of the Central mosque later. The DSA quickly apprehended this as delay tactics as the text could have been sent earlier.

Otherwise, why the night preceding the expiration of the ultimatum to reconcile? In any case, on the agreed date when the ultimatum expired (Tuesday 30th August, 2016), the DSA expected them to come for a meeting at the DSA’s office, but to our chagrin they refused to show up.

8. Meanwhile, acting upon the invitation earlier extended to the DSA by this splinter MSSN group, the Acting Dean and Vice Dean at about 10.45am on 31st August, 2016, visited the Fajuyi and Awolowo Halls with a view to seeing for themselves samples of the activities of the splinter MSSN group.

We told them of many irregular and outright illegal things we have heard them do at the ‘mosques’. We made them realise that they had been holding unauthorized religious programmes in these ‘mosques’ and several other places on campus without approval from the DSA. They, however, argued
that they had not been violent but law abiding and that they had never done anything illegal or irregular in any of their religious meetings.

9. But on this our visit to Awolowo ‘mosque’, we discovered a door leading to one of the rooms in the ‘mosque’ was securely locked from inside and the occupants refused to open. We threatened to force the door open if they refused any further, and after much persuasion, the door was opened and we discovered to our utter amazement that a group of girls numbering about a dozen were locked inside the room either fully or partially veiled. Our amazement was that the room in which they were locked or locked themselves was in a male hall, we wondered to no end why purported female students would be locked up in a male hall during lecture hours, no matter the excuse. Before we could interrogate them, some escaped through the backdoor of the room but we were able to apprehend three of them from whom we collected their identity cards.

10. At the Fajuyi Hall, we also discovered to utter shock that a group of girls who purported themselves to be students were locked in a room in the ‘mosque’. We interrogated them and they claimed that they were kept there by their leaders who happen to be the leaders of MSSN splinter group. They, in addition claimed that they were praying in the room. Our dilemma was why a group of female students would claim to be praying during lecture hours in an exclusive male hall at around 11am! There were five girls in this room and we collected the identity cards from four of them. The fifth one who was fully veiled said she had not her identity card on her. However, a male student who vouched for this fully veiled girl volunteered to stand in for her until she produced her identity card. We collected this male student’s identity card.

11. Having observed the seeming obstinacy of the splinter MSSN group to interact with the DSA and to fulfill the requirements of the agreement reached on 23rd August, we again were forced to send a follow-up invitation to them stating that they should come to the DSA for a meeting on Wednesday, 31st August for a serious interaction at the DSA’s office. But to our utter dismay they sent a text message to the DSA that all of them in the group would be having Continuous Assessment tests from 10am to 5pm on 31st August, 2016. We replied that text message that no test of any kind could possibly last from 10am to 5pm in this University and that in their own interest they needed to show up for the meeting on or before 2.00pm on 31st August to discuss the issue of reconciliation as agreed in our last meeting with them.

12. The splinter MSSN group eventually came in the afternoon of 31st August at about 1.15pm. We intimated them with our findings and told them they had to put a stop to their practice of harbouring girls in rooms within the ‘mosques’. Their leaders insisted that they could not abide by that demand and that they reserved the right to keep any of their female members in the rooms in the ‘mosque’! We explained to them that what they were doing was contrary to the laws of the University and the regulations guiding religious worship and students’ conduct. But they held their ground that since the ‘mosque’ was a place of worship they could not abide by the rules and the need to desist from keeping female students within its rooms at any time. The meeting ended in a stalemate.

13. We thereafter pleaded with the Chief Imam of the University to take full charge of the ‘mosques’ and prevent forthwith any breach of the University’s rules within its walls. He declined flatly and said he would rather not be held responsible for what ever happened in those ‘mosques’ as he had since dissociated himself from the practices and doctrines of the splinter MSSN who controlled it.

14. It should be noted that the Federal Government, of Nigeria of which Obafemi Awolowo University is an integral part, has not legalized prostitution in Universities. It is pertinent to note also that no female should be camped in a male facility under the guise of religion, as this is tantamount to running a brothel which will breed prostitution; and this is illegal. It is only fit, proper and responsible that any grossly abused university facility be closed down.

15. Consequently, acting within its powers to prevent any breakdown of law and order and to ensure freedom of movement of persons within the respective halls of residence, especially at this time of dire security concern in the country, the DSA has therefore acted this 2nd day of September, 2016 to seal off and close down henceforth, the two ‘mosques’ in Awolowo and Fajuyi Halls until such a time that orderliness and the rule of the University would be respected within its walls.

Daniel A. Moses: OAU No More “Oba Awon Universities”?

The self-acclaimed “Oba Awon Universities” (King of universities) is fast losing its credibility for which it was acclaimed king. OAU, which is undoubtedly one of Nigeria’s finest universities in terms of academic prowess and otherwise is now beginning to ridicule itself amongst others through its very irrational actions. No thanks to both the school management and its students.

In the late hours of December 1st 2015, the governing council shut down the school indefinitely and still went ahead to suspend the Students Union Government (SUG). So shameful of the school management, I must say. This development only came after students boycotted lectures demanding better welfare conditions, fumigation of the halls of residence which have been conquered by bedbugs, rats amongst other demands.

Instead of the management to look into these demands, all they could think of was to shut down the school and mute the student’s mouthpiece.

What is the justification of collecting large school and Hostel fees from students if they cannot be provided with basic amenities like good power supply, clean water, neat environment and habitable halls of residence. I really do think the school management should start acting like fathers and mothers that they are to their students and NOT display a Master-Slave relationship with them.

The fast declining reputation of the Obafemi Awolowo University has left me pondering for hours, days or maybe weeks if this once great university is still the “Oba Awon Universities”.

Now, on the part of the Students Union Government, I want to vent my disappointment at the way matters are being handled by its leadership. In my little sojourn on planet earth, I have come to discover what is called a “dialogue” and I think the union officials should have discovered that too.

You don’t always resort to violent protests to make a certain body meet your demands. There are more civil ways of doing this. Also, if we are conscientious in observing this scenario, we would discover that most of the strike actions that occur in OAU are majorly products of these violent protests by students. So what is the gain?

Now to fellow students, even if you are supposed to be living in luxury given the large amount of hostel fees you pay, the reality is you are NOT living in one. There are certain things you can organise yourselves or contribute money to carryout to make your environment a more habitable one. This is why we are higher animals.

Should we keep watching until the great ife is diminished enough to be called “Omode Awon Universities” (Child of Universities)? I guess not.

Tweet @oluwadaniemoses

OAU Closed Down Over Students Unrest

The authorities of Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, Osun State, have closed down the school after 48 hours of students unrest.

The institution was shut down on Tuesday after an emergency meeting of Senate.

The students started the protest on Monday over epileptic power supply, unavailability of portable water supply in their halls of residence and alleged poor funding of education in Nigeria.

The protest prevented free flow of traffic into and out of the campus.

The institution’s Public Relations Officer, Mr Biodun Olanrewaju, who confirmed the closure of the university in an interview, said that the date of resumption would be announced as and when due.

He however said that the convocation slated for next week would still hold.

Credit: Vanguard