The Students’ Union President of the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Ogun State, Ayobami Popoola, has been suspended for two weeks over an alleged misappropriation of N612,000.
The Students’ Representative Assembly said Mr Popoola breached the provision of the union constitution that empowers the Students Representative Assembly (SRA) to approve any decision (including spending) of the executives.
According to the Clerk, Taiwo Ola, the President loaned the Vice President N50,000; the General Secretary borrowed N90,000; the Assistant General Secretary was also loaned N45,000; the Welfare Director borrowed N70,000; Sports Director collected N30,000 and Director of Finance also borrowed N70,000 while other three members of the union were loaned N84,000. This brought the total amount of money loaned out from the union purse to N439,000.
Other misappropriated funds were said to be for ”refreshments, world cup subscription and purchase of unapproved accessories which summed up to N173,000.”
More so, the parliamentarians accused Mr Popoola of supporting an act of impersonation of other co-signatories to the Students’ Union account which enabled him to have unrestricted access to funds belonging to students.
Mr Ola, however, said the parliament has ordered the “freezing of the Union’s account till after investigations by the house”.
Also, the Social Director of the Union, Olalekan Ola, was directed by the parliament to refund N128,000 realised from sales of freshers’ party ticket on or before November 17.
“The law is respecter of nobody. The suspended president who is the orchestrator of the misappropriated funds is to appear before the Ethics, Privileges and Disciplinary Committee of the House, which has been empowered to carry out holistic investigations on the allegations within two weeks,” the clerk said.
Reacting to the suspension on behalf of the president and other union officers, who did not respond to phone calls and text messages at the time filling this report, the General Secretary of the Union, Opeyemi Awolowo said in a statement obtained by PREMIUM TIMES that the president’s suspension “is a miscarriage of decision by the SRA”.
He, however, did not directly address the allegations of misappropriation of funds.
“It is shameful and doleful that the SRA are always never commending the SRA (SUG) for whatever good works we have done. It should be noted that the university did not have SUG for about two years. Thus, this administration is trying her best to correct existing abnormalities and bring back the relevance of our dear union.”
Mr Awolowo said the “staged” suspension is as a result of ”personal beef (antagonism) and personal interests”.
“The action by the SRA is to intentionally cripple the grown up (growing up of) the Union by suspending the president,” he said.
On Monday, the authorities of another institution, Abraham Adesanya Polytechnic, also in Ogun State, suspended the student union public relations officer for a session and sanctioned other executives for alleged misappropriation of union funds.
PREMIUM TIMES learnt that the suspension of the officer, Caleb Ijioma, was pronounced by the rector of the institution, Jumoke Bilesanmi.