Vice Chancellor docked for alleged N800 million fraud returns money to EFCC

The embattled Vice Chancellor of Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta,  Olusola Oyewole, and others accused of corruption have refunded N6.5 million to the anti-graft agency, EFCC, PREMIUM TIMES learnt

Mr. Oyewole is facing criminal charges for allegedly misappropriating N800 million belonging to the university. He was charged to court alongside the university’s Pro-Chancellor, Adeseye Ogunlewe, and Bursar, Moses Ilesanmi.

The three were accused of benefitting from various illegal allowances not approved by Nigeria’s Salaries and Wages Commission.

Investigation by PREMIUM TIMES showed that Mr. Oyewole  refunded N2.5 million on December 6 from the illegal allowances he allegedly collected to finance his daughter’s wedding. Four other staff  of the university also refunded a total of N4 million from similar illegal allowances.

A spokesperson of the EFCC zonal office in Ibadan, Ayo Oyewole, confirmed that some money was returned by suspects in the matter.

“The Commission will ensure that everybody who benefited from the illegal allowances return whatever they collected to the coffers of the university,” he said.

The monies returned so far are, however, a far cry from the N800 million that the EFCC says Mr. Oyewole and others mismanaged.

The university’s spokesperson, Emi Alawode, declined comment saying the matter was already in court.

The accused were docked on an 18-count charge bordering on conspiracy, stealing, obtaining money by false pretence, and abuse of office.

The judge, O.O. Majekodunmi  granted the three accused men bail and adjourned the case to December 16, 19, and 20.

Apart from facing corruption charges, the vice chancellor and the university management have also faced criticism for sacking the whistleblowers who exposed the alleged financial irregularities.

Workers, civil society organisations, and the Nigeria Labour Congress have all called for the reinstatement of the sacked workers, members of the university’s senior staff union, SSANU.

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