The authorities of the University of Ilorin have described as untrue the fraud allegation against its Vice-Chancellor, Prof. AbdulGaniyu Ambali, and his predecessor, Prof. Is-haq Oloyede, who is now the Registrar of the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB).
A release signed by Mr. Kunle Akogun, the institution’s Head of Corporate Affairs, described the allegation as “largely empty merely rehashed to make it look real.’’
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that some officers of the South-West Zone of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) had last Wednesday submitted a petition to the Ibadan office of the EFCC.
They accused the two dons of pension fund fraud running into N2.5 billion and called on the anti-graft agency to institute a probe into the matter.
Akogun described those behind the petition as “enemies of progress’’ who are aghast at the pace of progress and continual giant strides being daily recorded by the university where transparency, honesty, accountability and due process were the key elements of administration.
He said there was nothing new in the allegations contained in the petition, adding; “the same fellows made the same allegations in August this year while shamefacedly kicking against the nationally acknowledged well-merited appointment of Prof. Oloyede as the Registrar of JAMB.’’
“And of course, no one took them seriously, as even President Muhammadu Buhari, who is well-known for his zero tolerance for corruption, is not unaware of the due diligence credentials of the successive administrations of the University of Ilorin,” he said.
“What the administration of Prof. Oloyede did was what the law and ICPC directed all universities to do: that instead of the 7.5 percent being hitherto deducted from the basic salary of workers, the deduction ought to have been from the gross emolument,’’ he said.
He pointed out that it was that clarification that had since guided the university management’s action.
The university spokesman said that the deductions were being credited to the Pension Fund Administrators’ (PFA) accounts as at and when due till the government started the deduction from source.
“It is also fallacious to allege that the university management did not carry the unions along in all these.
” The truth is that management met with the unions on the new development and all parties agreed that the PFAs should be credited the full 7.5 per cent.
“It was the initial under-deduction that was spread for payment over a 24-month period. This had since been concluded a couple of years ago,’’ Akogun said.
He described the petitioners as “disgruntled elements” and “remnants of the notorious 49.’’
Akogun pointed out that their activities within the last one year had been targeted at disrupting the well-known uninterrupted academic calendar of the University.
He said they have tried all the tricks in the book to infiltrate the students’ body and brainwash them to take unconstitutional action against the management.
The plots, he said, have so far failed, adding that this had probably accounted for the resort to the “long-knife tactics of crying wolf where there was none just to blackmail the progressive administration of the better by far university.’’
Akogun also said charges for students’ PC tablets were statutory charges for extra facilities provided for the academic comfort of students to make teaching and learning very conducive for them.
“It is on record that the University of Ilorin pioneered the one-student-one-iPad initiative in the country during the 2013/2014 academic session. And this policy has been steadily executed seamlessly since then,” he added.
He, however, explained that the vagaries of the national economy which led to the fluctuation of the national currency against the dollar led to the marginal increase in the cost price in the current 2016/2017 academic session given that the PC Tablets were not produced in the country.
‘This is also responsible for the slight delay in distributing the equipment to the students.
“The university management already has a firm commitment from the supplier to deliver the remaining tranche of the PC Tablets early in the New Year for onward distribution to the students concerned,” Akogun said.
While welcoming the submission of the petition, the school management said: “We are certain that the anti-graft agency will duly consign it to where it rightly belongs: the trash can.’’
The Chairman of the occasion and a retired Permanent Secretary in Sokoto State, Alhaji Umaru Nagwari, also urged parents to do more to facilitate the education of their children and wards.
On his part, the state chapter Chairman of MATCOBA, Alhaji Yakubu Hassan, promised to do more to bolster effective teaching and learning at their alma mater.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) also reports that highlight of the event was the conferment of merit awards on some members of the association who have excelled in their chosen professions.
The awardees included Mr Labaran Dundaye, General Manager, Sokoto State Television (Rima TV), and Alhaji Aminu Ibrahim, who retired from the services of Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), Sokoto Network Centre, on Sunday.
Responding on behalf of the awardees, Alhaji Ibrahim Kauran-Namoda, commended the association for the gesture, promising to do more for it to excel.