The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) on Thursday said it has petitioned the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to probe an alleged multi-billion Naira fraud against the administrations of former Vice-Chancellor of University of Ilorin (UNILORIN), Prof Isiaq Oloyede who is now the JAMB registrar and the incumbent Vice Chancellor, Prof Abdulganiyu Ambali.
The Ibadan Zone Chairman of ASUU Dr Ade Adejumo while addressing journalists on along with the Chairman University of Ibadan, Dr Deji Omole, Dr Biodun Olaniran (LAUTECH), Dr Dauda Adeshina (KWASU) and that of University of Ilorin, Dr Kayode Afolayan, described University of Ilorin authority as one of the most corrupt in the country.
He said the institution had been using the pretext of keeping stable academic calendar to silence whistle blowers while perpetrating enormous fraud.
ASUU called on EFCC to do a diligent and thorough investigation of the allegations adding that if such was done, the anti-corruption agency will reveal can of worms.
A copy of the petition which was stamped by the EFCC as received and dated 29th December, 2016, alleged that the former Vice Chancellor in 2011, doubled the amount of pension being deducted from staff under the false pretext that the previous deductions were lower than prescribed in law.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the legal minimum prescribed by Pension Act at the time was 7.5 of emoluments and the staff were already paying even above this minimum. By way of comparison, in federal universities such as University of Lagos and Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife the sum of N20,124.62 is deducted from each professor as pension contribution per month. However, in the University of Ilorin, the sum of N40,206.42 is deducted monthly for the same “pension contribution”. Contrary to law, the extra deductions did not derive from any agreement with the workers; indeed, the forced deductions were protested to no avail. For the avoidance of doubt, the pension law does not empower an employer to forcefully deduct above the minimum from any employee. However, the Administration pushed out the argument, through their cronies, that whatever amount is deducted for pensions will be automatically doubled and that the deductions were therefore “for our benefit.” The import of this is that government is being made, perhaps unknowingly, to pay double the amounts prescribed by law, to the Pension Fund Administrators and the subscribers, thereby constituting an unwarranted extortion or drain on the treasury. The quantum involved in this fraud is in Billions and is continuing.”
The petition also alleged a fraud of N1.5 billion jointly perpetrated by the immediate past Vice chancellor and the incumbent on fraudulent and unremitted deductions from staff salaries.
It said. “Having given the impression of assisting the workers by extorting more from the Treasury than the law prescribes as shown above, the UNILORIN authorities now set out to defraud the same workers by making additional deductions from their salaries under false pretext. From May 2012 to December 2013, the University of Ilorin Administration deducted further sums ranging from about N9,000 – N20,000 monthly from each staff according, claiming these to be arrears of under-deduction.
“However, these extra deductions never reflected in the pension statements of the staff concerned to date. The quantum involved in this fraud is in the neighbourhood of N1.5 billion. In other words, these Vice-Chancellors have defrauded the staff of varied amounts over the period totalling up to 1.5 billion naira or more.”
It also alleged fraudulent extortion from students without supplying item claimed to have collected the money to execute, noted that over 35, 000 students have been extorted including sandwich students with a group of students writing to demand a refund.
It said, “Our preliminary investigations revealed that billions of naira have been so extorted from the student population of about 35,000 student including Sandwich students over the past years. Many students have graduated without being given the paid for items. (The group of graduating medical students actually wrote to the authorities to demand a refund but they were ignored). The items involved in this fraud include: PC TABS – Previous sessions – N27,000 per student– Current session – N50,000 per student; Bandwidth (for internet) – N5,000 per student; Sweat shirt and bag – N3,000 per student, Flash Drive (especially for PG students) – N3,000 per student; The EFCC is invited to investigate: What is the exact quantum? Where did the money go? ”
The union therefore appealed EFCC to investigate the allegations and rescue the institution from the entrenched fraudulent activities.