Vice Chancellors, Bursars involved in corruption in Nigerian universities

Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB)
Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB)

In their efforts to check the menace of corruption, Nigeria’s anti-graft agencies appear to be paying attention to happenings in the ivory towers where administrators have been accused of financial scandals.

From vice chancellors to pro-chancellors and bursars, various officials of major Nigerian universities have been accused of corruption with some of them already being prosecuted.

PREMIUM TIMES takes a look at four of the prominent cases.

  1. N800 million FUNAAB alleged fraud

The anti-graft EFCC is currently prosecuting three top officials of the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, FUNAAB, for their alleged roles in an N800 million scandal.

The Vice Chancellor, Olusola Oyewole, the Pro-Chancellor, Adeseye Ogunlewe, and the Bursar, Moses Ilesanmi, were arraigned in November last year on an 18-count charge of financial misappropriation at High Court 6 in Abeokuta, Ogun State.

The embattled vice chancellor was later reported to have refunded N6.5 million to the anti-graft agency, out of the funds mismanaged.

Investigation by PREMIUM TIMES showed that Mr. Oyewole refunded N2.5 million on December 6 from the illegal allowances he allegedly collected to finance his daughter’s wedding. Four other staff of the university also refunded a total of N4 million from similar illegal allowances.

A spokesperson of the EFCC zonal office in Ibadan, Ayo Oyewole, confirmed that some money was returned by suspects in the matter. The monies returned so far are, however, a far cry from the N800 million that the EFCC says Mr. Oyewole and others mismanaged.

The accused officials have all pleaded not guilty to the charges and are currently on bail.

  1. The FUTA alleged fraud

The EFCC, on February 14 in Akure arraigned the Vice Chancellor of the Federal University of Technology, Akure, FUTA, Gregory Daramola, over allegations of fraud to the tune of N24 million.

The vice chancellor was arraigned alongside the school’s bursar, Ayodeji Oresegun, for offenses of misappropriation of public funds, misuse of office, and obtaining money under false pretence among others.

While Mr. Daramola is facing a nine-count charge, his co-accused is facing a two-count charge of mishandling unpaid funds and fixing funds without due process.

According to the charges, the vice chancellor and the bursar conspired “on or about 21 January, 2015 with intent to defraud to wit illegally place on fixed deposit the money of the Federal University of Technology Akure in a WEMA bank account No 1300002035.”

They were also accused of abuse of office.

The accused pleaded not guilty to the charges and are currently on bail.

  1. UNICAL bursar’s alleged fraud

The University of Calabar in August last year suspended the bursar, Peter Agi, over allegations of fraud, forgery and threat to life.

Following the development, an inquiry was immediately set up by the management of the institution to look into issues. In a letter of suspension signed by the Registrar, Moses Abang, the management of the institution alleged that the bursar had been found guilty of impersonating the vice-chancellor on the e-payment platform of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), among others.

Mr. Agi lost an appeal against his suspension at the National Industrial Court in Calabar but filed another application against his suspension at the Industrial Court in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.

The Nigerian police has also said it is investigating Mr. Peter Agi, over financial dealings involving his office.

  1. The OAU Vice Chancellors

The case of the Obafemi Awolowo University is unique as both the current vice chancellor and his predecessor are being investigated for alleged fraud.

The EFCC in February 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.

Weeks before Mr. Omole was invited, the Acting Vice-Chancellor of the university, Anthony Elujoba, and the university’s bursar, Aderonke Akeredolu, were in December invited for questioning by the EFCC for allegedly diverting N1.4 billion.

They were quizzed by the anti-graft agency over the alleged payment of ‘unapproved’ hazard allowance to the institution’s workers. PREMIUM TIMES learnt that a petition was written by an unnamed OAU staff to the EFCC, who complained about the allowances.

The allowances were reportedly sourced from the university’s endowment fund, which is usually dedicated for projects.

Students and staff of the university, however, defended the new vice chancellor, saying he was transparent in his dealings unlike his predecessor.

Reacting to two of the cases being prosecuted, the Civil Society Network Against Corruption, CSNAC, asked the Ministry of Education to suspend the FUTA and FUNAAB vice chancellors.

In a petition addressed to the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, on Thursday, the group’s chairman, Olanrewaju Suraju, said the continued involvement of the two indicted administrators in the activities of the universities may make a mockery of the current administration’s dedication to the fight against corruption.

“We thereby demand for the Ministry’s intervention at ensuring the immediate, urgent and indefinite suspension of the Vice Chancellor of Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA) and Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB); Mr. Olushola Oyewole and Mr. Adebiyi Daramola respectively,” Mr. Suraju said.


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  • ilubarde

    “From vice chancellors to pro-chancellors and bursars, various officials
    of major Nigerian universities have been accused of corruption with some
    of them already being prosecuted.” This is an excellent summary of the actual situation in Nigerian universities. Imagine the life-threatening pursuit of being appointed Vice Chancellors by lecturers. Ask yourself the reason for this. You can easily locate it in the desire to steal resources. That is why academic standards are thrown to the garbage bins because of poor leadership. What of the university unions? Why are they silent while this massive theft is daily taking place? If this corruption is not arrested, no salvation can come to the Universities. The Unions should be true vanguards. Thank you, Premium Times for this analysis. More grease to the elbows of EFCC. Meanwhile, the investigation should be universal, should involve all the federal universities, for now.

  • ACTION MAN

    Nigeria is a big shame. Corruption has destroyed the political fabric, ravaged the social fabric, and penetrated end eaten deep into the moral and religious fabrics. The rot as PMB usually says is mind boggling.

  • Galantman

    I’m not surprised by the massive fraud in our higher institutions. The government should blame itself first. It’s an open secret that appointments are based not on merit or character but connection to the high and mighty.
    Our institutions are rotten right from the finances to quality of education and morals. One only needs to attend an interview applicants seeking for employment, then you will be horrified by the quality of our graduates. With due respect and apologies to honest and intelligent girls, most of our girls simply use grade for sex to pass because there performance during interview is awful. Ordinary diploma holders are at times ten times better than the so called Bsc holders. What are shame.

    • thusspokez

      The government should blame itself first. It’s an open secret that appointments are based not on merit or character but connection to the high and mighty.

      Most Nigerians seem to think that corruption is their main problem. No! Mediocrity and ignorance are the #1 and #2.

      For example, now imagine an absence of corruption in Nigeria, would this cause an improvement in the quality of teaching and management in Nigerian schools; would state governors become first-class administrators; would the federal government have a clue about what is wrong with the economy? If the answer is no, then corruption is not the reason for the poor running of everything in Nigeria.

      I also present a counter argument to my previous argument above, that is to say, that nepotism, and cronyism are forms of corruption, so I suppose that the absence of them will lead to meritocracy and better running of everything. But in the previous argument, I was using “ corruption” to mean ‘stealing of public fund’ — which is what most Nigerians naively understand as corruption.

  • thusspokez

    Vice Chancellors, Bursars involved in corruption in Nigerian universities

    Nigerian Vice-Chancellors want tuition fees for universities
    — PremiumTimesNG March 13, 2017

    I suppose they are exploring for additional sources of fund to embezzle. And tuition fee is one source.

  • Mary

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  • ejembi

    Are the bursars and vice-chancellors not Nigerians? If they are Nigerians, there will be corruption. They deceived the gullible Nigerian public to believe corruption was a PDP or Jonathan thing. But corruption is in every fabric of Nigerian life, even at the village level. Unless all the politicians and administrators are lined up and shot in one day, long live corruption!!

  • Black Pope

    Elizade university last VC was also involved in fraud late last year

    • How Kontri?

      @disqus_HSJsxI2WH9:disqus

      Nigeria is stuck in three [3] consecutive quarters of economic recession
      and will shortly fall into depression beginning July 1st because
      Nigerians either don’t or can’t think, since they steal at the drop of a hat – but
      will strain at a gnat; just to look good in self-deceit, or announce moral
      principles they’ll never follow themselves, as they shortly thereafter swallow
      a whole cow with fleas.

  • ::????????

    @disqus_HSJsxI2WH9:disqus

    Question of the century: Are Nigerians fully evolved human beings yet?:

    What do you call a place where one thousand government officials rob the 180 million populace of billions and billions
    of Naira in the afternoon without wearing any mask, whilst the robbed populace moan in complete dark without electricity
    supply as a result of wholesale treasury thefts? Will you call such a populace “The People” that are needed for a democracy to function – a populace that will never demand public accounts from their state governors or from elected Senate President or from their country’s national President?

    To be frank, Nigerians are not the sort of human beings called people that wise political philosophers had in mind
    in the 5th century B.C when formulating a theory of ‘government by the people, for the people, by the people‘.
    Nigerians are not people- but morons and retards – brandishing polytechnic diplomas or and university certificates
    all around but only to disguise their true evolutionary status as likely sub-human beings.

    The real reason Nigeria has been declining, sinking, breaking, wobbly,
    and falling and likely to break into tears and pieces very shortly, is the useless quality of its mostly smelly citizens. They just chatter but never meet to discuss sensible ideas or agree sensible concepts for their own country’s development . They just chatter and blab nonsense (over beer for the most part). These are not people. These are wretches of the earth. A sum of 800 billion is missing in Lagos state till today, and likely stolen under the direction of Raji Fashola
    between 2007 and 2015, but the retarded populace in Lagos state have long been programmed to utter curses
    only on the rival party – PDP – whilst the APC treasury thieves haul away the state treasury as private property,
    for their own nuclear families.

  • Repost by Popular Demand

    Words on Mable:

    “The real reason Nigeria’s been declining, sinking, breaking, wobbly, and falling
    and likely to break into tears and pieces very shortly, is the useless quality
    of its mostly smelly citizens. They just chatter but never meet to discuss
    sensible ideas or agree sensible concepts for their own country’s development .
    They just chatter and blab nonsense (over beer for the most part). These are
    not people. These are wretches of the earth. A sum of 800 billion is missing in
    Lagos state till today, and likely stolen under the direction of Raji Fashola between
    2007 and 2015, but the retarded populace in Lagos state have long been
    programmed to utter curses only on the rival party – PDP – whilst the APC
    treasury thieves haul away the state treasury as private property, for their
    own nuclear families”.

    • 55Noble

      @disqus_HSJsxI2WH9:disqus

      Nigerians don’t know anything about democracy. They don’t even know how to vote. Just go and queue with Nigerians on national Election Day. You will see that democracy can’t work in Nigeria. Nigerians just come out
      of their dingy homes in bad rural smells; like bush rats, to queue and vote anyhow, since they don’t read any
      newspaper or can’t buy newspapers to know the issues or know the candidates on offer, for them to make any
      intelligent choice. A country badly hoisted by such reeds of illiterates will sooner or later crumble and fall.

  • The Revolutionaries

    @disqus_HSJsxI2WH9:disqus

    There’s no peaceful way to resolve Nigeria’s theft crisis. Blood must
    flow. No country can move forward surrounded by heinous thefts – of stolen
    money, stolen lands, stolen cars, and stolen status. All treasury thieves in
    Nigeria now need to be physically attacked and killed.

    The families of treasury thieves – wives and children – must also be
    swiftly laid to rest in perfect peace since they are not entitled to inherit
    stolen assets under any written will. The thefts since October 1st 1960 must
    all be brought to revolutionary justice on the streets under the death penalty
    in the Constitution.

    The deciders of who shall get the death penalty will be the youths –
    armed as ordinary citizens and formed into cells as well-organized militias. In
    30 days of swift and bloody justice on the streets, the story of corruption
    will end in Nigeria for the grave-diggers to then bury the remains of those
    consumed by the people’s revolution. Nigerians may delay or dither over this
    final solution but that is what’s going to happen. The longer it is delayed,
    the worse for the country now stolen into darkness.

    • Eko ti baje ju

      Let us do some sensible arithmetic of the facts here, to know where the rains started beating Nigerians.

      “N5.4 billion goes for monthly salary and N251 million goes for pension bills,” said the Lagos state
      Commissioner of Finance in the year 2011
      “.

      So, it meant total salary payment, as overhead, in Lagos state under Raji Fashola was 64.8 billion Naira per year.
      So, in 8 years, it would be 518 billion Naira on that logical extrapolation; which also meant that pension was three
      [3] billion Naira per year which is = 24 billion Naira in 8 years. Add 24 billion Naira to 518 billion Naira. What do you get? You will get 542 billion Naira.

      Now, add one billion Naira, just to account for increments in those eight years, what will you get? You will get
      543 billion Naira. Now, deduct that 543 billion from the cash revenue of 3.2 TRILLION Naira that came into Raji Fashola’s hands as gross Lagos state revenue. What will you get?

      You will get ₦2.657 TRILLION as the amount RAJI FASHOLA has to account for.
      Where is the evidence showing 2.657 trillion Naira spent for public purpose in Lagos state under
      Raji Fashola? Where is the money, if there is no evidence of correlative ₦2.657 TRILLION expenditure?

      • Ebun Olaseni P.

        @disqus_HSJsxI2WH9:disqus: Please, I just want to say something. Buhari is wasting public funds. He set up
        the Professor Itse Sagay committee to advise him and his government how to fight corruption,
        but corruption has remained alive and well after President Buhari set up the Sagay committee.
        So, why not dissolve the useless Sagay committee and stop wasting money that has other uses?

        Professor Sagay and his his presidential anti-corruption advisory committee members are useless.
        The anti-corruption agencies which follow the Sagay committee advice have lost almost all cases.
        The courts nowadays throw away the cases brought by EFCC and ICPC on point of law as no-brainer.
        For example the court few days ago threw away the case of Malabu oil fraud OPL 245 that EFCC filed.

        What is the use of the Professor Sagay committee if it hasn’t made any impact but made things far worse?
        The Sagay committee is just drawing estacode and allowances for nothing. No thinking, no knowledge too.
        Till today all other countries have solved the Halliburton bribes scandal, except Nigeria. Do we need Sagay?
        The answer is, NO! Professor Sagay and his committee members should be sacked forthwith as useless.

  • Fada4Life

    I have gone through some comments and find out that most people don’t understand how public ivory tower are run, most of the accusations are false example is that of OAU in which the petition raised were due to the struggle for the post of VC, the stakeholders started lying by petitioning each other, the other University’s mentioned is as a result of struggle between the unions and management of University over unpaid allowance. The EFCC can’t achieve anything in University’s probe except on few occasions of fixed deposit bonuses from bankers

  • infinity2020

    Nigeria is like a big giant rotten banana !!!!!!!!!