The Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has again reappointed Adebayo Ninalowo as the Pro-Chancellor of the Lagos State University (LASU) despite his involvement in the controversial diversion of N198 million pension fund.
Mr Sanwo-Olu, on Thursday, approved the appointment of chairpersons and Governing Council members for four state-owned tertiary institutions: LASU, Adeniran Ogunsanya College of Education (AOCOED), Lagos State Polytechnic and Michael Otedola College of Primary Education (MOCPED).
PREMIUM TIMES last year exposed how Mr Ninalowo and the institution’s Vice-Chancellor, Olanrewaju Fagbohun, illegally withdrew the huge sum from the contributory pension of the institution’s employees to purchase 12 luxury vehicles for members of its top echelon.
The management also used an additional N83.37 million from the same fund to buy four buses, documents obtained by this newspaper revealed.
Sources in the university told this newspaper then that the management decided to use a large chunk of the money for things with completely no correlation with that for which it was withdrawn.
The vehicles were three pieces of Toyota Corolla1.8 Gli CVT AT LS Luxury model at N63 million plus VAT, seven pieces of Toyota Corolla 1,8 Gli CVT AT FS luxury model at N113.9 million, and two pieces of Toyota Yaris Sedan AT LS (New Model) at N21.42 million for a total of N198.34 million.
The cars were distributed to top management members in the week of October 22, 2018, this newspaper findings revealed.
Despite multiple official memos issued by the university’s Governing Council, its highest decision-making body, the spokesperson of the school, Ademola Adekoya, said at no time did the university divert funds from the staff pension.
Amidst PREMIUM TIMES’ revelation, the university’s management mandated its staff to sign an oath of secrecy at a time when the Nigerian government was pursuing a whistle-blowing policy, which encourages and rewards civil servants and others to expose financial crimes.
The Lagos State Head of Service, Hakeem Muri-Okunola, who announced the reappointment of Mr Ninalowo in a statement, did not respond to PREMIUM TIMES inquiries on whether the state governor is aware of the diversion of the pension funds.