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Ogun polytechnic suspends student leader, sanctions others for alleged misappropriation

The authorities of the Abraham Adesanya Polytechnic, Ogun State, have suspended the student union public relations officer for a session and sanctioned other executives for alleged misappropriation of union funds.

PREMIUM TIMES learnt that the suspension of the officer, Caleb Ijioma, was pronounced by the rector of the institution, Jumoke Bilesanmi after he and other executives were ordered to refund the funds.

In a letter dated August 8 and signed by the registrar of the school, Femi Ositale, Mr Ijioma was asked to refund N51,430.

“You will recall that you were alleged to be involved in a reported case of forgery and misappropriation of funds by the students’ union government Executives under the leadership of Ibrahim Lawal.

“You should refund the sum of Fifty-One thousand four hundred and thirty naira only out of the mismanaged sum of N785,000.00 to the SUG account on or before July 31, 2018. But the management has given you the ultimatum till Wednesday, 15th August 2018.”

Mr Ijeoma, who denied the allegations, told PREMIUM TIMES in an interview that the suspension was disclosed by the rector on Friday

“I and some the students’ union executives visited the Ogun State Department of State Security office and later went to the Rector’s office. I was told to forfeit one academic session. She equally said it categorically that I will forfeit a year and she can’t change her decision,” he said

Also, this newspaper gathered that Mr Ijioma may have been sanctioned for posting the allegations against the president on social media platforms.

Meanwhile, when PREMIUM TIMES contacted the rector via telephone, she confirmed the suspension. She said the suspension was done after several deliberations, “most of what she can’t disclose to our reporter.”

According to her, there are some documents that necessitated the suspension, “which can’t be made available to PREMIUM TIMES.”.

PREMIUM TIMES investigation revealed that the other executives were being punished for the crime allegedly committed by the President, Ibrahim Lawal.

This newspaper gathered that Mr Lawal resigned from office days after he was accused of misappropriating funds by the students.

In an audio conversation made available to this newspaper, the president ‘confessed’ to a group of friends that he forged the signatures of the signatories to the union’s bank account.

The signature of the General Secretary of the union, Erinle Ayomide, was also forged, it was gathered.

However, the school management has ordered all the executives to refund the money mismanaged by the Lawal led administration.

One of the executives, who spoke with PREMIUM TIMES under the condition of anonymity to avoid victimisation, said the management is aware of the mismanagement and that it was masterminded by the president; but he (anonymous executive) was also told to refund the sum N51, 430 to the union’s bank account.

Speaking on the suspension, the official said Mr Ijioma was suspended because he broke the news of the mismanagement to the public via social media platforms.

“The Rector has threatened that she doesn’t want the school’s name in the media space for negative news. She said the Nation newspaper called her on the issue and that was why Caleb was asked to forfeit a year.”

However, Mr. Lawal, when contacted, said he was told to refund the “largest part of the money”.

“I was asked to refund N425,000. I returned N200,000. I’m yet to refund all because the management has added to the figure.”

He also opined that the report of the school was erroneous as the amount to be refunded is equivalent to the amount “accumulated during his administration”.

“What the management want is to refund all the money made during my administration,” Mr Lawal said

When asked about the forgery of signatures, Mr Lawal denied the allegations but didn’t comment on the recording of the audio conversation provided.

Meanwhile, in a telephone interview with a top official of Ogun State Security Service, Tella Adebowale, he explained that he had visited the Rector on the issue and condemned the suspension of the student.

“The rector cannot single-handedly suspend a student. I was aware that some of them were told to refund a sum of money to the union account and we settled it. Only for me to get to the office and see some of the executives, who were exonerated, telling me that they’ve been mandated to pay.

“The president has confessed and he has exonerated most of the union executives. I’ll get back to school on Monday,” he explained.

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