The Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) have asked the Federal Government to suspend three principal officers of Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, over alleged N800 million fraud.
The chairman of the Lagos State University(LASU) chapter of SSANU, Mr Saheed Oseni, said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Wednesday. He said that the suspension was necessary as the three men, FUNAAB Pro-Chancellor Sen. Adeseye Ogunlewe, FUNAAB Vice Chancellor, Prof. Olusola Oluwole, and FUNAAB Bursar, Mr Moses Ilesanmi were under investigation by the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) for alleged corruption.
The EFCC arraigned the trio before an Ogun State High Court in Abeokuta on November 25, Justice O.O Majekodunmi oversaw the case which was based on a petition by some university workers. The three men are facing an 18-count charge of alleged stealing, abuse of office and fraudulent conversion of university’s properties to personal use.
Mr Oseni said “At the moment, the trio must step aside so that investigation will not be tampered with and the government is in the best position to take the action,’’ . He also urged the Federal Government to immediately reinstate members of SSANU in FUNAAB who were unjustly sacked by the governing council for writing the petition to the EFCC. Adding that since the officials were being prosecuted based on the petition, the sacked workers should be recalled without further delay.
According to him, their sack was questionable, faulty and did not follow due process. “The staff were not issued query nor asked to appear before staff disciplinary committee and the governing council did not investigate the allegations against the VC before sacking them. We are happy that the EFCC charged the pro-chancellor, VC and bursar to court for corruption. It shows that our members who wrote the petition were right and victimised by the governing council and the VC,’’ he said.
Mr Oseni advised the EFCC to always protect whistle blowers so that workers in the establishment would not be reluctant to expose corrupt practices for fear of victimisation.