Lecturer's calls for Sack of Rector and Governing council Chair, says corruption at its highest heights

Embattled Governing council Chairman, Banji Alabi Esq.

Rufus Giwa Polytechnic, Owo, Ondo State
Lecturer under the auspices of Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) Rufus Giwa Polytechnic, Owo, (RUGIPO) chapter, have demanded for the removal of the
Rector of the school, Dr. Gani Ogundahunsi and the governing council chairman of the institution, Banji Alabi, alleging misappropriation and embezzlement of funds in the institution.

The union alleged the governing council chairman and the acting rector of misappropriating over N68m meant for the purchase vehicles for some principal officers of the school and for the payment of arrears of accumulated workers’ salary.

Speaking during a press conference in Akure, the Chairman of ASUP RUGIPO Branch, Mr Oluwadare Ijawoye,  expressed concerns over the deplorable state of infrastructural facilities in the school since the rector assumed the mantle of leadership.

He specifically alleged the council chairman and the rector of using the school as a tunnel to siphon funds through different dubious and illegal means to misappropriate over N68m meant for the development of RUGIPO, saying the school was already on life support and called on the state government to save the institution from total collapse.

He accused the management of the institution of victimising the union by illegally suspending them for unfounded allegations while only a few cronies of Alabi enjoy promotion as at when due.

Ijawoye said: “ASUP requests from the proprietor of RUGIPO -the Government of Ondo State under the purposeful leadership of His Excellency, Arakunrin Rotimi Akeredolu, SAN, to allow RUGIPO to get out of its current lite-support-condition, as soon as possible.

“The current Chairman of the Governing Council, Mr Banji Alabi, should be changed and replaced with a seasoned and experienced academic who will not only understand the workings of a tertiary institution of learning, such as RUGIPO; but will additionally possess the requisite temperament for such exalted position.”

Ijawoye stated further that government should find out the reason or reasons behind the non availability within the premises of RUGIPO the official car meant for the office of the Chairman of Council, in respect of which a huge sum of N28m has been paid into the personal bank account of the chairman, Mr Banji Alabi, several months ago.

“The chairman of the governing council, Mr Banji Alabi also allegedly received the sum of N28m  into his personal corporate account for the purchase of a state of the art Mercedes Benz (G-Wagon). Documents to that effect were obtained by our investigators and will be tendered to the appropriate authorities.

“The said vehicle has neither been seen nor received into the school vehicle pool. Documents available to us also shows that three units of used Toyota Corolla cars (2015 model) with a street value of N4.5m was also purchased for the Deputy Rector, the Registrar and Bursar at a price of N7.5million Naira per vehicle, while the Rector also received a used Toyota Land Cruiser Prado Jeep at the sum of 18million Naira.

“These purchases were made by the institution and approved by management without due process. Indeed, the address of the vendor that supplied the Chairman of the Governing Council remains unknown as document available shows the address as “Km18, Expressway Lagos”; a location without any definite identity.”

“The bone of contention between the ASUP and management started when the Ondo State Government released a sum of 1.7billion naira to the institution to clear some backlog of salary arrears.

The Union accused the Management of the Institution of “removing a whopping sum of N500m without recourse to the purpose for which the fund was released. The Management initially claimed that the withheld fund was to be used to fund capital projects within the Institution and till date, no project has been initiated nor commissioned by the Council from the deducted fund.”

The ASUP chairman, however, urged the government to do all necessary and lawful means that will not allow the National Board for Technical Education carry out its threat of de -accrediting all academic programmes of RUGIPO.

“Government should also pay forthwith the outstanding five months outstanding salaries of members of staff, so as to reduce their current untold hardships and also bring them at par with other workers of Ondo State.”

The Union alleged that “government should carry out an investigation into how over N68m of public fund was recently approved by RUGlPO‘s leadership (contrary to the extant law of Ondo State) and used for the alleged purchase of about five cars, most of which are to be second-hand cars.”

The ASUP Chairman noted that if the state governor refused to act fast on the situation at the institution, RUGIPO may be brought to an irredeemable poor condition.

The school in its reaction, the Director of Public Relations and Protocol of the Polytechnic, Mr Samuel Ojo dismissed the allegation as baseless and unfounded, saying that the school followed due process in all its dealing.

Ojo stated that there was no warning from the NBTE on the need to de-accredit all programmes in the school, describing it as a pure lie to ridicule the management of the institution and smear its image.

The Director said the Chairman and Secretary of ASUP in the school had been suspended over alleged gross misconducts, insisting that contracts and spending at the institution always followed the due process and extant rules.

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