The Economic and Financial Crimes
Commission on Wednesday interrogated a former Minister of Works and current
Pro-Chancellor of the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Ogun State,
Senator Adeseye Ogunlewe.
It was learnt that Ogunlewe was
invited to the Ibadan office of the EFCC sequel to a petition written to the
EFCC by a group known as Concerned Stakeholders of FUNAAB in which Ogunlewe and
the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Olusola Oyewole, and other members of the university’s
governing council were accused of mismanaging N250m.
According to sources at the
university, Oyewole and Ogunlewe allegedly spent N250m for allowances in four
years thereby plunging the university into financial crisis.
The anti-graft agency said in a
Facebook post that Ogunlewe was still being interrogated as of 4pm on
It said, “Senator Adeseye Ogunlewe,
the Pro-Chancellor, FUNAAB, is being quizzed at the Iyaganku office of the
EFCC, Ibadan today, August 31, 2016 in respect of an alleged case of abuse of
office and misappropriation of funds reported against the university
Pro-Chancellor, Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Olusola Oyewole, management and some
members of the governing council.
“According to a petition submitted
to the EFCC by the Concerned Stakeholders of the Federal University of
Agriculture, it was alleged that the pro-chancellor and the vice-chancellor
engaged in an ‘unbridled corruption and betrayal of public trust.’ Ogunlewe is
still being interrogated by the EFCC operatives of the commission.”
The EFCC had on August 17 quizzed
Oyewole and the university Bursar, Mr. Moses Ilesanmi, for their alleged roles
in the case.
When contacted on the telephone,
Ogunlewe confirmed that he was quizzed by the commission but added that he was
only asked to offer explanations and he left the anti-graft agency at 10am.
The former minister said the
petition was initiated by the bursar who was aggrieved because the governing
council refused to extend his tenure.
Ogunlewe added that the council had
no access to N250m and therefore dismissed the allegation.
He said, “All our allowances are
prescribed under the rules and regulations. The governing council sits only
four times a year and our allowances cannot be altered. So, the allegations are
false. In government you must sign whenever you receive money. So, how could we
have signed off on that amount of money?
“The council is not involved in the
day-to-day running of the school. We don’t approve money or contracts. What we
do is policy-making. So, we have no access to such funds. The registrar is the
secretary to the council and he has all the relevant documents.”
When asked to explain what he told
detectives, Ogunlewe said, “I told them four things. First, the bursar asked
for extension by one year and the council refused his application and that is
why he is against the council. So, his petition is in bad faith.
“Secondly, the bursar was involved
in N27m missing funds and so it is him that the EFCC should be investigating.
Thirdly, we are about to appoint a new VC so there is a lot of fighting and
politics going on.”
The Senior Staff Association of
Nigerian Universities had on August 24, this year, staged a demonstration at
the Ibadan office of the EFCC where they called on the Federal Government to
investigate financial and other administrative activities of the
vice-chancellor of the university.
During the protest, the Chairman of
SSANU of the University of Ibadan, Wale Akinremi, who spoke on behalf of the
leaders of the union, said the group staged the protest to condemn and reject
the recent suspension of members of the union by the embattled VC.
He said the suspended members were
targeted because they wrote a petition against the VC to the EFCC.
He said, “Our position is that as
from this moment, SSANU as a union ceases to recognise Prof. Oyewole as the VC
of FUNAAB. We are saying that the Federal Government should beam its
searchlight on the university system in Nigeria, especially on the
pro-chancellors, the vice-chancellors and the bursars.”