JAMB registrar, Oloyede, reacts to fraud allegations, says petitioners are liars

Is’haq Oloyede
Registrar, Joint Admission and Matriculation Board, JAMB, Is’haq Oloyede

The registrar of the Joint Admissions and Matriculation board (JAMB), Is-haq Oloyede, has described the allegations leveled against him by members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) as lies.

Professor Oloyede, who is also the immediate past vice chancellor of the University of Ilorin, stated this in a statement released on Saturday.

The Academic Staff Union of Universities had, Thursday, petitioned the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) accusing Mr. Oloyede of fraud during his tenure as vice chancellor.

The petition was jointly signed by the Ibadan Zonal Chairmen of ASUU, Ade Adejumo, and Deji Omole of the Unversity of Ibadan.

Other signatories are Biodun Olaniran of Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Dauda Adeshina of Kwara State University and Kayode Afolayan of the University of Ilorin.

The petitioners alleged that the former vice-chancellor and the incumbent, Abdulganiyu Ambali, were involved in fraud totaling more than N2 billion.

Other allegations listed in the petition include pension fraud, unremitted deductions from staff salaries, extortion of students, contract inflation and kick-backs; and unlawful payment to ex-principal officers of the university.

Alleged Pension Fraud In his reaction to the allegation of pension fraud, Mr. Oloyede disclosed that in 2007, government directed that pension deduction should be based on Consolidated Pay and two years into his tenure as vice chancellor, a meeting of stakeholders including the Unions was convened. The JAMB boss said that at the meeting, all parties agreed not only to commence the higher savings but also to double the difference for a certain number of months to ensure full compliance with effect from the stipulated date of January 2007.

“The Pension Act of 2004 provided that 7.5 per cent of emoluments should be deducted from staff salaries and remitted into their pension accounts with Pension Funds Administrators (PFAs). Most universities, including the University of Ilorin, based the calculation of 7.5 per cent on basic salary and transport allowance. This was the case between July 2004 and December 2006 before I became Vice-Chancellor. I know no PFA and if salaries were deducted and saved in employees’ accounts, I would not be the beneficiary.

“Then, from January 2007, the Government that is matching the employees’ contribution with another 7.5 per cent directed that the deduction should be based on Consolidated Pay. Some universities were compelled by the fake and fraudulent campus hyenas not to comply with the directive of 2007. About two years into my tenure, my attention was drawn to the new decision which was of course advantageous to workers whose higher sum was being equally matched by the Government.

I convened a meeting of stakeholders including the Unions on the Government directive and all parties agreed not only to commence the higher savings (which Government doubles rather than double lower contributions) but also to double the difference for a certain number of months to ensure full compliance with effect from the stipulated
January 2007.

“I summoned the Ilorin representatives of all the PFAs to reiterate the date of compliance from when higher matching additions from Government should also be credited to each contributor’s account. Any averagely educated person would understand who the beneficiaries of the compliance are, who for their tomorrow sacrifice a part of today’s comfort rather than the unreasonable agitators who insist on consuming tomorrow.

“Some universities under the spell of some club crawlers do not comply to the eventual disadvantage of their unfortunate retirees and perhaps to the advantage of clever PFAs. If those who parade doctoral degrees cannot understand this simple logic, may God save Nigeria from the anarchists. I as Vice-Chancellor complied and I believe few other universities did. How that would benefit me personally baffles me.”

Commenting on the alleged illegal deductions of pension funds by the university, Mr. Oloyede said the introduction of the IPSS makes it unnecessary for the university to be involved in such practice as pension was being deducted from source by the Federal Ministry of Finance. He added that when issues arose from the deduction method,
clarifications were made with the Pension Funds Administrators, PFAs.

“The subsequent introduction of IPSS made deductions by the university unnecessary. Government was making the deductions from the source and crediting the PFAs and these ignorant characters believe that my successor should also be nailed on behalf of the Federal of Ministry of Finance. If what was being deducted at the University of Ilorin had been abnormal, IPSS would have corrected the abnormality, common sense dictates,” the JAMB registrar said.

“When grey areas arose, clarifications were made with the PFAs. For my own pension deductions, I also had to approach my PFA to be on the same page with them regarding my contributory pension.”

Disparity in Pension deductions According to its petition, ASUU alleged disparity in the
pension deductions at the University of Ilorin when compared with other universities. The union said such deduction is contrary to legal stipulations.

“By way of comparison, in federal universities such as University of Lagos and Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, the sum of N20, 124. 62 is deducted from each professor as pension contribution per month. However, in the University of Ilorin, the sum of N40, 206. 42 is deducted monthly for the same pension contribution contrary to law,” the union said in its petition.

But in his reaction, the former vice chancellor said such allegation is baseless because professors are of different levels, adding that some senior lecturers even earn higher basic pay than some professors based on the number of years they have spent on their ranks.

“Those who compare the contributions of two Professors based on different interpretations of deduction suffer from selective amnesia more so when Professors are of different levels. Some Senior Lecturers even earn higher Basic Pay than some Professors based on the number of years they have spent on their ranks.

“Why did they hide this fact as a possible factor for disparity in intra-university or inter-university disparity? Why would supposed academics who teach research methods not start from PENCOM for authentic information before unilaterally declaring UNILORIN guilty and celebrating insubordination?”

Extortion and Contract Inflation On the allegation of extortion and inflation of contract, Mr. Oloyede disclosed that he has never been involved in bribe collection nor has he inflated contracts. The JAMB boss added that he is selective in accepting gifts from people.

“I am extremely selective in accepting gifts from even personal friends. My needs are limited and my legitimate income is sufficient to spend on my volunteer work. I have never in my life collected bribe, inflated contracts, extorted anyone nor accepted gifts beyond “Thank You greeting cards” from any contractor, dead or alive,” he said.

He, however, maintained that as vice chancellor of the University of Ilorin, he operated a transparent system by publishing the financial transactions of the university, a practice he said many universities do not encourage.

“As Vice-Chancellor, I started the practice of publishing the financial transactions of the University every Monday in a publication circulated far and wide by hand and online. This has happily been sustained by my successor to-date,” Mr. Oloyede said.

“Those who have skeletons in their cupboards don’t choose to publish their financial details. I am aware many universities don’t do so till today and the charlatans who make frivolous allegations against me should mention their mentors who do so.”

Character Assassination

Speaking on what he described as the underlying reason for the petition, Mr. Oloyede alleged that what the union has done is tantamount to character assassination. He however said he does not know any of the petitioners except one, who, according to him, once came to him for assistance when he held sway as vice chancellor of University of Ilorin.

“The only one I faintly know among them led his pastor and his father-in-law, a former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ibadan, to me in order to mount pressure on me to offer his wife, the Vice-Chancellor’s daughter, a temporary appointment as an Assistant Lecturer.

“I bulged to pressure out of deference to the father-in-law (because the Department could do without an additional lecturer) and the man of God. But soon thereafter, this character became a strong advocate of withdrawal of the power of temporary appointment of the Vice-Chancellor!”

While assuring the public of his innocence, Mr. Oloyede claimed that the allegations leveled against him are baseless, stressing that the petitioners are “liars”.

“I do not claim perfection as it is the exclusive preserve of the Almighty Allah but I dare say I stand on a higher moral pedestal than “the 49 liars” and their masters. God will continue to keep them busy and they shall continue to lament their failure at the University of Ilorin and in life precipitated by their own inner insolvency. The barking of dogs does not affect the flight of a plane.

“This statement is just to re-assure my admirers that the allegations against me are like pure wind with no solidity. I remain who I have ever been by the special grace of Allah, the Almighty,” the former vice chancellor said.

Legal action

The vice-chancellor however said that he might institute legal action against the petitioners, including their ‘collaborators’, adding that the statement issued is to clarify his position as regards the allegations leveled against him.

“Lastly, my explanation does not foreclose the possibility of legal action against the authors of the campaign of calumny against me and their willing collaborators,” he said.

“For the latter, I hope they will have the shame of publishing my rebuttal and if they don’t, I still believe it will reach all the right audience, anyway.”

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