I Never Claimed To Have Gotten A Degree From OAU – Dapo Abiodun

 

The governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress in Ogun State, Mr Dapo Abiodun, has reacted to the certificate scandal hanging over his campaign, insisting the whole matter is down to mudslinging.

During an appearance on Channels Television’s Sunday Politics, Mr Abiodun said he was not worried about the scandal.

“There are no issues about my certificate,” he said, adding, “I never claimed to have finished from the University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University).”

The APC candidate has faced allegations that he submitted conflicting educational qualifications to the Independent National Electoral Commission in 2015 when he ran for Senate and this year in his quest to become governor of his state.

Of contention is the allegation that he claimed to have obtained a degree from the University of Ife, now Obafemi Awolowo University, an allegation he denies.

“I never claimed to have gotten a degree from the University of Ife,” he insisted when asked about the matter.

He, however, said he studied at the university, but he didn’t graduate from there.

When asked about some profiles of him that indicate he had a B.A in Accounting, replied, “But that is not from Ife”.

When his attention was subsequently drawn to the argument of those who fault claims that he bagged B.A in accounting on the grounds that the institution did not issue B.A. certificates in accounting, he blamed the controversy on political attacks.

“This has all been an attempt at mudslinging and to confuse the electorate and it is bundled with a lot of half-truths,” he said.

“I never claimed to have studied accounting at the University of Ife. I never claimed to get it (the degree) from the University of Ife. So, this issue has been presented as the presenter wanted it presented.”

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Asked to clarify what degrees he had, Mr Abiodon said, “I do have a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Accounting and I will like to stop at that because this matter will be sub judice if I go any further.”

Stressing that the matter was in court, he declined to comment further on it when questioned about where he got his degree and the veracity of the certificate he indicated he had in his form for senatorial election in 2015.

Open To Reconciliation With Amosun

Mr Abiodun’s emergence as the governorship candidate of the APC in Ogun had created a rift in the party in the state with Governor Ibikunle Amosun refusing to back him, and preferring to support Mr Adekunle Akinlade who has dumped the APC after it backed Abiodun to fly its flag in the race.

The rift also pitted Governor Amosun against the National Chairman of the APC, Mr Adams Oshiomhole with both men trading accusations.

Concerning the crisis in the state chapter of the party, Mr Abiodun said, “Governor Amosun is my governor. I am positively disposed to reconciling with everyone and anyone, particularly my governor; he is a governor in my party.

“I believe these issues are issues that are internal to our party. It is unfortunate that it has come to the public fore. But I am sure that at the right time, these issues will be reconciled.”

Mr Oshiomhole has been accused of working for Mr Abiodun’s emergence as the party’s candidate against the wishes of the major stakeholders of the party in the state.

But Mr Abiodun insists he won fairly.

He said, “I don’t know about favoured candidates. I don’t think that primary elections are won by favoured candidates. Adams Oshiomhole did not come to conduct my elections in Ogun. I don’t see how anyone will begin to accuse Adams Oshiomhole as favouring me in place of some other persons.

“It is not unusual that we have these kinds of issues arise when we have primary elections within a party. It is not unusual and it is not the first time. It is just that this has been a bit more contentious than ordinarily, we have seen in the past.

“A body was set up to conduct my elections, that body conducted the elections, I emerged from that process and I have been declared the winner of that election and I remain the validly elected winner of that election.”

Qualitative Governance

Away from the conflicts surrounding his campaign, Mr Abiodun is optimistic that he has solid plans for the state.

His vision is to give Ogun State a “focused and qualitative governance and create the enabling environment for a public-private partnership which is fundamental to the creation of an enduring economic development and the individual prosperity of all” in the state.

For him, a public-private partnership is critical for the enduring development of any state.

Also, the APC candidate believes that the internally generated revenue of the state will rise significantly if the state is able to “consciously and willfully” attract both local and foreign direct investors.

According to him, although there are several top companies located in the state, they did not commence operations there because they were encouraged to set up operations in the state.

“You will find out that most of them are in Ogun State not because there was a willful attempt to bring them in. They’ve come to Ogun State because it is convenient. It is very close to Lagos; the land mass is there and the people are there,” he said.

If elected, to fix the problem, Mr Abiodun said his administration will ensure that it increases the ranking of Ogun State on the global ease of doing business ranking.

The ranking, he explained, is measured by how easy it is to come to the state, set up a business, register a business, acquire land, employ people, and resolve disputes and so on.

Coming from a private sector background he said he would ensure that doing business in the state becomes a pleasurable experience and such things as dealing with multiple agencies when trying to set up a business to the state.

“It would be a pleasurable experience. We will endear you to come to Ogun State and invest,” he added.

As for his hopes and chances in the forthcoming election, the APC governorship candidate is of the view that the election will be won by the person who is able to show the electorate that “he is capable of leading the state”.

Narrowing it down, he believes he is that person.

“I believe that Ogun State citizens are very, very educated. They are a very educated electorate and I must remind you that that’s where Awolowo comes from.”

The level of education and awareness, to him, is major for his confidence that victory is within reach.

Sex-For-Marks Scandal: Dismissed OAU Lecturer To Remain In Custody

The Federal High court sitting in Osogbo on Tuesday declined the bail application of an ex-lecturer with Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Professor Richard Akindele.

Akindele was earlier arraigned by Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) for allegedly demanding sex in exchange for marks from Monica Osagie, a postgraduate student of the institution.

The presiding Judge, Justice Maureen Onyetenu at the last proceedings adjourned for definite trial and hearing application for bail but asked that Professor Akindele be remanded in prison.

READ ALSO: Sex-For-Marks: Ex-OAU Professor Arraigned, Remanded In Prison

At the hearing on Tuesday, the ICPC counsel, Kehinde Adetoye, told the court that they were ready to open the case for trial and had a witness in court out of six witnesses.

However, the trial could not go on because the lead counsel for ICPC was absent in court due to some other official assignment and he wanted to personally conduct the case.

The defence counsel, however, moved the application for bail which the ICPC counsel objected to.

The court then ordered that the facts alluded to in the counter affidavit of the prosecuting counsel needed to be corroborated with evidence.

The judge then adjourned till 17th of December to enable all parties to produce evidence alluded to in the affidavit.

Osun Govt, OAU Management Disagree Over Tax Remittance

One week after Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile Ife was sealed by the Osun State government; controversy appears to be trailing the actual amount owed by the institution.

While the management of the institution is claiming that its outstanding tax liability for 2015 and 2016 is N384 million, the Osun State government does not agree with the figure stating that the tax remittance owed by OAU for the year 2015-2016 audit is N1.8 billion.

The Special Adviser on Tax and Revenue Matters, Olugbenga Akano told journalists on Wednesday that the claim by OAU management as their tax liability for 2015 and 2016 is misleading.

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Akano said N287 million is the outstanding balance in respect of the year 2006-2014 audit as at the time when the representatives from the office of the Accountant General of the federation came into the matter.

He explained further that upon the intervention of eminent personalities, most especially the Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Femi Falana, the Osun Internal Revenue service has however removed the seal at the OAU Senate building after the management paid the sum of N25 million as a deposit for further negotiations on the repayment plan for the balance.

“As an Alumnus, I’m in pain that the only institution that I can point to in the whole world as my own is involved in this ridiculous issue of Tax under deduction and juggling of figures as a liability against the university. This is not in the tradition of a reputable world-class university.

“We are here to set the record straight and maintain our earlier position on tax issues involving Obafemi Awolowo University. The figure of N384million being claimed by the authority of OAU as their outstanding tax liability for 2015 and 2016 is misleading.

“As at 4th May 2018 the amount of N287,815,947.07 has been their outstanding in respect of 2006-2014 contrary to OAU rejoinder of N384,000,000,” he said.

Reacting to this allegations, the Public Relations Officer of the institution, Abiodun Olarewaju told Channels Television that the institution admits to owing some amount of tax liability, he insisted that the figure quoted by the Osun Government is far bogus than what OAU is owing.

The PRO said the management of OAU and the Osun Internal Revenue service are still holding talks and he believes that the tax issues will be resolved amicably.

The Osun internal Revenue service had last week sealed OAU Senate building and the gate of the institution on the allegations that the management is owing the government the sum of N1.8 billion on PAYE tax.

 

OAU Commences Investigation Of Sex-For-Mark Scandal

 

The management of Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, Osun State has set up a committee to investigate the sex-for-mark scandal allegedly involving a lecturer of the institution.

The scandal became viral when an audio-recording of a phone conversation recently surfaced on social media. The recording had the voice of the lecturer identified as Professor Akindele, whose name was mentioned by the student, sexually harassing a female student.

The Vice Chancellor of the institution, Professor Eyitope Ogunbodede, in a statement on Wednesday said the university has begun the process of identifying the person involved by setting up a committee.

“The recording suggests that the lecturer was demanding sex in return for grade which clearly amounts to sexually harassing the lady.

“Since the matter came to our notice, the University has begun the process of identifying the characters involves in this apparent breach of its regulations, the Code of Conduct for the University Community and the Anti-sexual Harassment policy, in full compliance with all applicable laws, rules, regulations and procedures of the University.

“To this end, the University has set up a high-powered committee to investigate the allegation and submit its report within one week,” the statement read in part.

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Professor Ogunbodede in the statement vowed that the culprits of the scandal, when found, will face the wrath of the law.

“Anyone found culpable will be dealt with decisively. It is totally and morally reprehensible, and the University will never condone such act by any staff or student.

“Once again, I wish to reiterate that no one found culpable of this serious misconduct of sexual harassment will go unpunished,” he said.

The Vice-Chancellor said the institution has zero tolerance for sexual harassment and considers sexual harassment as a serious offence contrary to its Code of Conduct for the University Community and the Anti-sexual Harassment policy.

OAU Announces New Resumption Date For Students

 

The Senate in Obafemi Awolowo University has approved a change in the resumption date for the new calendar of 2017/2018 academic session. 

The Public Relations Officer of the University, Mr Abiodun Olanrewaju, explained this, in a statement released on Wednesday.

The new students are now expected come into the halls residence on Sunday, April 29, 2018, as against April 3 that was earlier announced.

This according to the school management is to give enough time for proper repair and comprehensive renovation of all the halls of residence in order to make it more comfortable for the students.

The school management, therefore, urged parents and guardians to take note of the new date and prepare their children/wards for resumption accordingly.

The Senate of the institution has also endorsed the action taken so far, by the University Management over the issue of students’ unauthorised occupation of the rooms in the halls of residence.

The Senate has also given the University Management the mandate to ask students, who are still resident in the halls, to vacate their apartments/rooms, latest by Friday, 30th March 2018.

It also added that any student, who is still illegally occupying any room within the University halls of residence, would be viewed to have violated his/her matriculation oath, and such a student will be sanctioned appropriately.

Workers Disrupt JAMB Mock Examination At OAU

Workers Disrupt JAMB Mock Examination At OAU
File photo

 

Some non-teaching staff of the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile Ife, have disrupted the mock examination of the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) in the school premises.

The mock examination was scheduled to hold on Monday within the OAU premises, being one of the centre approved for JAMB CBT by the examination body.

The Centre Coordinator, OAU ICT, Dr Sururah Bello, told reporters during an interview in Ile-Ife, Osun State, that the examination could not hold after the non-teaching staff stormed the centre.

She said the striking union members were aggrieved due to the fact that the Joint Action Committee, an umbrella body of the three unions, declared that the earned allowance earlier given to the management should be withdrawn.

But, the Vice Chairman of the National Association of Academics Technologist (NAAT), Adeyosoye Olusoji, who spoke on behalf of some union leaders, noted that fact that the strike was still ongoing.

He, however, accused the management of issued a press release and threatening the workers, despite being fully aware of the industrial action.

Olusoji also claimed that the management ordered that the OAU workers should go back to their offices to avoid being dismissed.

He said the Vice Chancellor of the university, Professor Eyitope Ogunbodede, had threatened to invite the police into the campus to clear the roadblocks mounted by striking workers.

According to him, this brought about the reactions which caused the aggrieved workers to disrupt the JAMB mock examination.

In his reaction, Professor Ogunbodede denied the allegations, saying he was only appealing to the workers to allow the mock examination to hold as OAU was just part of the designated centres.

He, however, condemned the action of the unions which he said could have a negative impact on the university.

The Area “A” Commander of Police, Moore, Ile-Ife, Funsho Adegboye, who intervened in the matter, commended the maturity exhibited by the workers since the struggle began.

He also appealed to both parties to allow peace to reign and create room for dialogue for the benefit of the students and entire the community.

Oyo Govt. Appoints Salami As Tech-U Pioneer VC

Professor Ayobami Salami

The Oyo State Government has announced the appointment of Professor Ayobami Salami, a Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) at the Obafemi Awolowo University, as the pioneer Vice-Chancellor of Technical University, Ibadan.

The Secretary to the State Government, Mr Olalekan Alli, who made this announcement in a statement on Monday evening, said, the Governor of the State, Senator Abiola Ajimobi approved the appointment of Prof. Salami with immediate effect for a term of five years.

According to the statement, Prof. Salami was until his appointment, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) and Director, Institute of Ecology and Environmental studies at the prestigious Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife.

The statement described the new Tech-U VC as a widely travelled scholar and internationally sought after environmental consultant with previous teaching and research experience in University of the Gambia, The Gambia; University of Dar es Sallam, Tanzania and International Institute for Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation, Enschede, The Netherlands.

Alli explained that Tech-U, a newly licensed tertiary institution situated in an industrial hub of the state Free Trade Zone designed to accommodate 175 manufacturing concerns, was an initiative of the Oyo State Government to train students on practical experience of their scholastic activities.

He added that the University is founded on the principle of unique innovation, research collaboration, exceptional service, integrity, excellence and the uplifting of human conditions.

According to him, Tech-U is committed to the efficient and responsible use of science, technology, engineering and innovation in solving societal problems, while maintaining a culture of entrepreneurship anchored on quality programmes that are responsive and financially suitable, adding that the University is expected to commence full academic activities in September 2017.

“The University’s mission is to cultivate a cadre of technical professionals, with requisite entrepreneurial skills, capable of creating jobs and employment.

“This will be done by imparting sound theoretical knowledge and practical skills in various trades and disciplines to students.

“The focus is to provide the training and learning environments that will produce exceptional graduates who are socially-conscious and technically-competent,” Mr Alli stated.

EFCC Invites Former OAU VC Over Alleged Fraud

Bamitale Omole, EFCC, OAU, Aderonke Akeredolu, Obafemi Awolowo UniversityThe Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has invited the immediate past Vice Chancellor of the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Professor Bamitale Omole.

Professor Omole was invited by the anti-graft agency on Thursday to respond to the allegations of fraud and other financial crimes levelled against him.

The invitation follows a petition written to the commission by a group known as the Third Eye Transparency International, OAU chapter.

The EFCC, in a letter with reference number “CR: 3000/EFCC/IB/CTGI-PENSION/031/Vol1/140”, which was dated January 19, 2017 and signed by the Head of the EFCC in Ibadan, Akaninyene Ezima, invited the former Vice Chancellor to report at the Ibadan office of the commission for an interview.

The agency also asked the OAU Bursar, Mrs Aderonke Akeredolu, to report with Professor Omole to clarify issues on allegations of fraud and abuse of office allegedly perpetrated by the duo.

Confirming the invitation, the EFCC spokesman, Abiodun Olanrewaju, explained that the invitation was not a conviction of any sort.

He said that anyone could be invited by the anti-graft agency to shed light on any issues perceived as allegations levelled against him or her.

Mr Olanrewaju maintained that the allegation has nothing to do with the management of the institution but the petitioner.

‎The former Vice Chancellor was accused of renovating the VC’s residence with 208 million Naira and an illegal transfer of 34,905,690.17 naira from the OAU Minor Capital Account to the MBA Executive Fund Deposit Account ‘under questionable circumstances’.

He was also accused alongside Mrs Akeredolu of illegal deduction of contributory pension from salaries of workers running into billions of naira as the funds were said to have remained unaccounted for.

Police Arrest Hit-And-Run Driver Over OAU Medical Student’s Death

Police Arrest Hit-And-Run Driver Over OAU Medical Student's DeathThe Police in Osun have detained a driver who hit a 400-level medical student of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife, Mr Seun Olorunfemi and fled the scene.

The student who was knocked down by the driver in Ile-Ife was rushed to Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital where he eventually died.

The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, SP Folasade Odoro confirmed to Channels Television correspondent that the driver was eventually apprehended and that he is currently in Police net.

“I can confirm to you that the driver has been apprehended and detained. Necessary investigation would be carried out and appropriate steps would be taken,” Odoro said.

Our correspondent learnt that the late medical student was one of the best students in his department and very active in church programmes on the campus.

When other students, especially those of the College of Health Sciences heard about the death of Olorunfemi, they were devastated and the Christian community at the university was also thrown into mourning.

The Public Relations Officer of the university, Mr. Abiodun Olanrewaju said that the untimely death of Olorunfemi was painful.

“The OAU management sympathised with the family and relations of the deceased as well as the College of Health Sciences,” Olanrewaju said.

Saraki Harps On Needed Investment In Nigeria’s Human Resources

Saraki Canvasses Review of Procurement Laws To Cushion RecessionNigeria’s Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, has called for greater investments in human resources, which he described as the greatest assets of the country regardless of the nation’s abundant mineral and material resources.

At a night of recognition and dinner in honour of 72 graduates of Kwara origin who bagged first class in their studies, tagged, ‘Kwara Class of Honours’, Dr Saraki said human resources in Nigeria had not received sufficient investments and encouragement.

Future Of Nigeria

The former Kwara State governor commended the beneficiaries for their determination, commitment, patience and academic exploits.

He reiterated that the youths were the future of Nigeria and urged Nigerian students to aim for excellence and be good ambassadors of their alma mater after graduation.

“We have a lot of resources. You talk about oil, solid minerals and others, but we spend less time on human resources which is the most important.

“What you have in front of us is worth more than many barrels of oils and worth more than many carats of gold,” the Senate president observed.

The 73 firstclass beneficiaries graduated from public and private universities across Nigeria which included, University of Lagos, University of Ilorin, University of Ibadan, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ahmadu Bello University, Federal University, Minna, Kwara State University, Covenant University, Bowen University and Afe Babalola University.

 

Why OAU VC Was Accused Of 1.4 Billion Naira Fraud

Why OAU VC Was Accused Of 1.4 Billion Naira FraudThe rubble over the allegation against the acting Vice-Chancellor of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Professor Anthony Elujoba, appears not be dying anytime soon.

It was revealed to Channels TV correspondent by an insider in the institution who preferred to be anonymous that the Acting Vice Chancellor who is under investigation over alleged diversion of 1.4 billion Naira of the university’s fund, is believed to have violated the rule by drawing the remunerations of a substantive holder of his office.

Prof. Elujoba and the university’s Bursar, Aderonke Akeredolu, were on Tuesday in Ibadan quizzed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission over the allegation.

He was appointed acting Vice-Chancellor for a period of six months with effect from July 21.

According to the terms and conditions of the appointment as approved by the Federal Government, Prof. Elujoba’s fringe benefits include N120,000 monthly as furniture allowance.

Investigations however revealed that part of the allegations against him in a petition to the EFCC was that he received over seven million Naira as advance payment of the allowance for the five-year tenure of a substantive vice-chancellor.

The petition alleged that the acting Vice-Chancellor and Bursar diverted monies from the university’s Fixed Assets and Endowment Fund, without approval from the Federal Ministry of Education and the Governing Council of the University, to pay themselves unapproved allowances, including the 7 million Naira as furniture allowance to Elujoba.

Prof. Elujoba and Mrs. Akeredolu, who arrived the Iyaganku office of the anti-graft agency in Ibadan at about 5PM on Tuesday, were quizzed for some hours and released on bail.

Before their arrival at the EFCC offices, scores of workers of the university and supporters had besieged the premises in solidarity with the officials.

When contacted, the EFCC Head of Media in the zone, Ayo Oyewole, declined to give details of the allegations against the acting Vice-Chancellor.

However, he confirmed that he was released on bail while further investigation was continuing.

The spokesman of the university, Biodun Olanrewaju, has however defended the accused officials, arguing that the acting vice-chancellor could not have been involved in financial malpractice as he was not in charge of the university’s finances.

“It is the bursar that is in charge of money, not the acting Vice-Chancellor. This is a man who does not even collect hospitality allowances or security vote as collected by other vice-chancellors,” Mr Olanrewaju said.

He said Prof. Elujoba was brought into the university to stabilise the institution at a time of crisis.

“As acting vice-chancellor, he does the same work as any vice chancellor. Forget about the title, he coordinates the affairs of the university just like a substantive vice-chancellor,” he added.

Insinuating that the development had political undertones, Mr Olanrewaju said Prof. Elujoba had already been recommended by the Senate of the institution as substantive vice-chancellor “with overwhelming majority of 295 votes against 8 votes for his opponent”.

The university’s spokesman also defended the loyalty demonstrated for the embattled vice-chancellor by workers at the EFCC office.

“You could see how all union members of the university stormed the Iyaganku office of EFCC in Ibadan to rally round him. That was to show that the man did not steal or embezzle as alleged,” Mr Olanrewaju stated.

OAU Protesters Storm EFCC Office Over VC’s Detention

Protesters, OAU, EFCCAngry protesters comprising students and staff of the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) in Ile Ife on Wednesday stormed the zonal office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital.

The demonstrators are calling for release of the acting Vice Chancellor of OAU, Professor Anthony Elujoba, who is in the agency’s custody over allegations of illegal diversion of 1.4 billion Naira.

Professor Elujoba and the university’s bursar, Mrs Aderonke Akeredolu, were invited by the EFCC for questioning, as a result of a petition which came from the university’s community.

The VC was accused of diverting the institution’s fixed assets and endowment fund without approval from the federal ministry and governing council of the university to pay some unapproved allowances from which he purportedly paid himself seven million Naira as furniture allowance.

Routine Procedure

A mild crowd of supporters had gathered at the EFCC office in Iyaganku, even before Elujoba’s arrival and later became rowdy as the investigation progressed.

The spokesman for the anti-graft agency in the zone, Mr Ayo Oyewole, told Channels Television crew that the invitation was sent since November 25, consequent upon the petition filed by members of the university community, less than five months after the interim VC assumed office.

He noted that the angry outbursts from the protesters were totally needless as he stressed that the interrogation was a routine procedure.

Oyewole maintained that investigation would continue until all questions were satisfactorily answered beyond reasonable doubt.

The protesters, however, believed that the interrogation was an attempt to oppress the acting VC.

Professor Elujoba became the acting Vice Chancellor of OAU in July 2016, after a period of crisis of leadership within the management and board of the institution.