The Student Union leaders of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, are embroiled in a controversy over the cost of a bus bought by the union for commuter service within the university.
The students are alleging that some principal officers of the union creamed off about N400,000 in the procurement of the vehicle.
The Financial Secretary of the union, Omisakin Kehinde, had told journalists that the Toyota Hiace 14-seater bus was bought for N2,900,000 and additional expenses of about N100,000; but other members of the union’s executive council are disputing the cost.
When pressed for confirmation, Oyekan Edward, President of the union, had in a press statement refused to disclose the cost of the bus, advising students seeking the information to make their inquiries with motor dealers.
Findings by PREMIUM TIMES, however, revealed that the union paid N2.5 million for the vehicle, contrary to the claim by the Financial Secretary.
The bus was purchased from De Val Concepts, a motor dealer based in the neighbouring town of Modakeke.
“I was paid N2,500,000 for the bus and not N2,900,000,” the dealer, Adeolu Omolade, told this newspaper, tendering a copy of the receipt he had issued to the union.
But some students are arguing that even that figure (N2.5million) on the receipt is higher than what was paid.
Adding fuel to the controversy, the Transport Monitoring Committee of the union, which is responsible for issues of transportation, said it was not carried along in the procurement process, contrary to an assertion by the Financial Secretary.
The chairman of the committee, Oluwalade Babatunde, said he could not attest to the cost presented by the Financial Secretary.
The union said it bought the bus to ease the problems students face in moving between their hostels and other locations on the campus.
Last year, the students’ union faced a similar crisis following an allegation that the leaders claimed to have spent N1.5 million of the union’s money on phone calls.