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Billion Naira Fraud In Obafemi Awolowo University: Student Union Invites EFCC, ICPC, FIRS

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Billion Naira Fraud In Obafemi Awolowo University: Student Union Invites EFCC, ICPC, FIRS

Billion Naira Fraud In Obafemi Awolowo University: Student Union Invites EFCC, ICPC, FIRS

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See Letter of invitation below:

GREAT IFE STUDENTS’ UNION

09/05/2018

 

OPEN LETTER TO ECONOMIC AND FINANCIAL CRIMES COMMISSION (EFCC), INDEPENDENT CORRUPT PRACTICES COMMISSION(ICPC),FEDERAL INLAND REVENUE SERVICE (FIRS) FOR THE PROBE OF FINANCIAL MISMANAGEMENT OF OBAFEMI AWOLOWO UNIVERSITY ON STATE TAX REVENUE, STUDENTS’ IDENTITY CARD FEE AND OTHER PUBLIC FUNDS UNACCOUNTED FOR BY THE UNIVERSITY ADMINISTRATION.

 

Since the 2nd of May, 2018, the university secretariat has been sealed up by the Osun State Internal Revenue Service over tax default of 1.8 billion naira by the university. In June 2016, the university was charged to court over tax default of this amount since 2015 where it was later argued out after separation of allowances from the tax scheme, that the amount owed by the university was 500 hundred million naira. This amount was agreed to be paid installmentally within a year by the university in a MOU signed by the Bamitale Omole led University administration with the Osun State government. This agreement has been faulted by the university administration till date and has led to the sealing of the university senate building up till this moment.

 

The university administrative function has been paralyzed since the seal up. Many of the non academic staff cum security operatives who work in the university senate have no access to offices as many of them now resume work in the sun outside their offices. This development is abruptly posing a drastic inconvenience to the smooth running of the university and threatens to disrupt the university academic calendar. As we speak, the non academic staff members are on the verge of suspending activities pending the resolution of the financial crises between the university and the state government. This action will further truncate academic activities of students and staff in the university. It should be noted that the backlog of tax owed by the university has always been deducted from salaries of both academic and non-academic workers of the institution, but the university has failed to remit the tax deducted into the state pocket. This, we see as nothing but corruption on the part of the university which poses a detriment on the careers of students and workers of the institution.

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It is also pertinent to point out how the university has failed to account for over 17.5 million naira that was paid for Identity Cards by over thirty-five thousand (35,000) students of the university for the 2016/2017 academic session. The university administration failed to issue out identity cards to students. This mismanagement exposed many students to assault and harassment from police in which many students have always been detained in the police cell for failure to identify themselves as students of the university. A lot of students have also missed scholarship and job opportunities for this reason.

Over fourteen (14 000 000) million naira is being paid every session as development levy by fresh students, eighteen thousand naira (#18,000) each of eight thousand fresh students. This development levy does not have slightest reflection on the conditions of living, learning and teaching of students. The laboratories have been ill-equipped for years; the library and lecture theatres dilapidated and outdated; deteriorating hostel and health center facilities. These are the obtainable conditions of Obafemi Awolowo University. Till now, the Postgraduate students pay seven thousand naira (#7,000)each as health center due upon admittance, yet they still pay five thousand naira (#5000) for registration to use the health center. This five thousand naira (#5000) has remained unexplainable by the university till date. Despite the Tertiary health Insurance Scheme being paid every year to federal universities by the government, the university still charges students 1 800naira each for Tship(health fee), amounting to 63 million naira every session for thirty-five thousand students.

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The university is still currently constructing a new senate building with a ‘ship-like’ structure with funds from World Bank disbursed through CBN (CENTRAL BANK OF NIGERIA) to the university. These fund were meant to be used for construction of students’ hostels and install academic facilities. With the former senate building having vast unoccupied office spaces, the university has diverted funds to build a new senate building while students have no accommodation and the meagre accommodation available house students like prisoners in the rotten hostels on campus. About 60 million naira has been expended on this new project but the structure has barely gone beyond its foundation and is almost abandoned. The university has furthered its corruption by chasing majority of students away from hostels in order to heap up profit from students who would rent private hostels built off-campus by the university officials.

 

In an attempt to hide these shady financial dealings from being exposed by the students, the Prof. Eyitope Ogunbodede-led university administration has been aggressively attacking the rights of students to independent unionism and freedom of expression and association, which are fundamental human rights guaranteed under the FRN (FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA) constitution, 1999 as amended. The Vice Chancellor has been doing these by suspending student activists, brutalizing, arresting and incarcerating them in prisons, as well as banning public gatherings.

 

As a union, we call on EFCC, ICPC, FIRS and other relevant goverment agencies to swing into swift action and immediately probe the administration of Obafemi Awolowo University over the aforementioned mismanagement of public funds and corrupt dealings. The university must make the institution’s account public for all to see, being a public property. We urge the President Muhammadu Buhari led Federal goverment to sincerely extend his anti-corruption campaign to Obafemi Awolowo university where he also happens to be an official Visitor.

 

SIGNED: ACTION COMMITTEE, GREAT IFE STUDENTS’ UNION

OLONINIRAN GBENGA VON, CHAIRMAN

OYEDEJI S.I., SECRETARY

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