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.