UNILAG alumni accuse education ministry of complicity by shielding VC from fraudulent indictments

THE University of Lagos (UNILAG) alumni have accused the Federal Ministry of Education of shielding embattled Vice-Chancellor of the Institution Oluwatoyin Ogundipe from fraudulent allegations.

This was contained in an advertorial published by The Guardian on Monday signed by a professor, College of Medicine, UNILAG Boniface Oye-Adeniran, on behalf of the school’s alumni.

Oye-Adeniran said the Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Education Sonny Echono had issued three different statements on the same issue, which had shown intentions to misrepresent the truth and his complicity in Ogundipe’s actions.

According to him, Echono claimed that the Tukur Saad Panel exonerated Ogundipe of the allegations, but a letter written to the Federal Ministry of Education in October 2020 by the Chairman of the Panel Tukur Saad found Ogundipe guilty of specific charges, including contract splitting, frivolous spending and concealing details of the school’s account.

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“The report also confirmed that Dr. B. O. Babalakin was totally above board in dealing with the finances of the University,” he said.

Oye-Adeniran also said Saad had written a subsequent letter to the Chief of Staff to the President saying the panel’s report could not be the basis for any White Paper, which he confirmed on Arise Television station on Sunday, 19th of September.

“Flowing from the above, the White Paper issued and presented to the media by Arch. Echono did not arise from the Panel’s findings. It was concocted by Arch. Echono,” he said.

The Alumni also alleged that when Echono discovered that Ogundipe was indicted comprehensively by the Agwai report, he claimed that the General Agwai Panel did not have the mandate to examine the fraud in the University of Lagos.

“When Arc. Sunny Echono realized that the two lame reasons he had given earlier about the scope and responsibilities of the General Agwai Panel could not exonerate his accomplice in the University of Lagos, Prof. Ogundipe, he went to the media again and claimed that even though the report that was published in the media existed, the report was not signed,” he said.



    The alumni also challenged the panel members to deny the report’s veracity, adding that legal action would be taken against whoever attempted to overturn the truth.

    Ogundipe was removed from office based on investigations by the Council Committee on review of the school’s expenditure between 2017 and 2018.

    He was accused of “serious act of wrongdoing, gross misconduct, financial recklessness and abuse of office.”

    Efforts made by The ICIR to contact the Ministry of Education yielded no results as the Public Relations Officer Ben Goong did not take calls or reply messages at the time of filing this report.

    Ijeoma Opara is a journalist with The ICIR. Reach her via [email protected] or @ije_le on Twitter.

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