THE owner states of Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, LAUTECH, Oyo and Osun have insisted that the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) of the institution was preventing the forensic audit of the university.
The leadership of the Union on several fora, repeatedly claimed is not opposed to the exercise as being peddled in some quarters.
ASUU statement reads : “While our union is not opposed to the exercise, it should not be used as an excuse to justify holding on to salaries of our members for eight months. Let the government fulfill its obligation as even recommended by its own visitation panel, then whatever auditing exercise they want to carry out can continue.
“Our union is a law-abiding one, and will not stand on the way of accountability and transparency but will not allow our members to be subjected to humiliation of economic deprivation and starvation for an “offence” they never committed. To us, the ploy by government to paint ASUU as standing in the way of auditing exercise is a cheap blackmail which cannot stand in the face of the logic of the present realities”.
However, in a sharp contrast, the Oyo state government corroborating its Osun state counterpart through the state commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Prof. Adeniyi Olowofela has disclosed that the auditing firm, KPMG have been prevented from doing the job by the union.
Speaking on a television programme, on Monday, in Lagos, while quoting the letter sent to the visitors by the auditing firm, expressing difficulties encountered, Olowofela said: “However, on the 30th May, 2017, in the process of compiling the information requirements submitted by KPMG, the bursar of the University informed the KPMG team that members of the Union came into the offices and forcefully ejected the bursary staff providing support for the data gathering and collation”.
” What should be the concern of the Union is what can hasten the opportunity for welfare of the staff and government said this one will hasten the opportunity, let us complete in time.
“As I am talking to you, despite the nebulous accounting procedure that is in the institution, Oyo state government has also given the institution more than N140m in the last two weeks in support”, the commissioner continued.
Olowofela, who is also an ASUU member stressed that the governments of Oyo and Osun have contributed the sum of N13.6b via subvention into LAUTECH between 2011 and 2016, but the impression being created to the members of the public is that government is not doing anything.
He, also hinted that the institution’s account was last audited in 2012, warning ASUU against blackmailing the state government for its decision to audit the institution’s account.
“Government has begun a process to solve the problem once and for all. KPMG has been given three weeks’ mandate to complete its assignment but members of the union are preventing the audit firm from carrying out the assignment.
“It is correct that it is the governing council that should be facing this problem, but government has taken the bull by the horn and that is why we are doing what we need to do to solve the problem. The blackmail will not work.
“The process of solving LAUTECH problem permanently has commenced. The Chief Wole Olanipekun report directed the owner state governments to carry out a forensic audit of the institution because the accounting system is nebulous and porous. The truth is that the accounting process there is not what we are proud for. We give money carefully.
“The panel report revealed that the institution operated 97 accounts. It also revealed that as at 2011/2012 session, there was about N400 million hanging that cannot be accounted for. Since 2012, the account of the institution has not been audited. So, the position of the two state governments is that the audit firm completes its assignment then we will do whatever we need to do. There is a lot of fund trapped that could not be accounted for.
“The position should be clear. The position of ASUU should be about the welfare of members of the union. Up till today, ASUU has not presented any document to government stating what it is agitating for. ASUU has been moving from one radio, television to another, involving in itinerant propaganda”, the commissioner said.
Olowofela, however called on the students to appeal to the Union members to cooperate with the auditing firm.
‘Take pre-emptive steps to secure Oyo State’, Akande advises Makinde
Oyo state governor, Engr. Seyi Makinde, has been urged to take immediate and decisive measures to secure lives and property in the state.
Professor Adeolu Akande, the Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, made the plea on Monday, in the wake of the security measures announced by Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State.
The Ondo State Government had on Monday given a 7-day ultimatum to illegal occupants of forest reserves in the state to vacate their hideout. The government also announced many other stringent steps to secure the state from incorrigible elements.
Professor Akande noted the extreme measures would make Ondo State uncomfortable for the criminals, who would seek a new haven and continue to wreak havoc.
“It is logical to expect that the displacement of these criminal elements from Ondo State will lead them to migrate to comfortable zones to continue their nefarious activities. This is the risk Oyo State faces if it fails to take stern measures to keep such elements away from the state.
“We should not be unmindful of claims by the Chairman of the Amotekun corps in Oyo State that the forest reserves in the Oke Ogun area have become a haven for criminals from neighbouring countries.
“It is therefore of great urgency that Governor Makinde announces measures to ensure that Oyo State does not become a natural comfort zone for criminal elements expelled from neighbouring states.
The APC Chieftain further noted that the rising crime wave in the state and across the country calls for collective action from all citizens.
“This is no time to trade culpability. The state is facing a serious security challenge, and all of us must join hands with the governor to salvage the situation. Criminals do not distinguish between political parties when they commit a crime. They do not choose their victims according to their political affiliation. All hands must be on deck to return our dear state to a secure and peaceful one”, the NCC boss submitted.
NDDC: Akpabio threatens legal action over fake news of $5m bribe to Malami to secure sole administrator
Senator Godswill Akpabio, the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, has denied the news making the rounds in some media outfits that he offered a bribe of $5 million to the Minister of Justice and Attorney-General, Abubakar Malami, to secure the appointment of a sole administrator for the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
Also, the former governor of Akwa Ibom State has threatened legal action against the purveyors of the news inorder to clear his name and that of the Attorney General from the malicious publication.
The position of the Minister was contained in a statement signed by his media aide, Anietie Ekong, and made available to newsmen.
The statement read, “the attention of the Honourable Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio has been drawn to a piece of fake news which claimed that Senator Akpabio paid $5 million bribe to the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami and others to secure the appointment of a Sole Administrator for the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
“We wish to state categorically that this is a piece of malicious concoction manufactured from the pit of hell by mischief -makers. It is a figment of the imagination of the author of the fake news. Senator Akpabio denies the story in its entirety. The authors of the fake news should be ready to back up their claim or face the full wrath of the law.
“The story is a desperate attempt by some unscrupulous bloggers to impugn the integrity of the Honourable Minister of Niger Delta Affairs and the Honourable Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami as the claim is not only spurious but utterly ridiculous.
“The fact is that in a suit number ABJ/CS/617/2020 filed by a Civil Society Organization, Forum for Accountability and Good Governance, at a Federal High Court in Abuja, Justice Ahmed Mohammed had granted an order restraining the Interim Management Committee of the NDDC from performing the functions of the board and accessing the Commission’s offices and files.
“The Order clearly listed the Managing Director Professor Kemebradikumo Pondei, Acting Executive Director of Projects Dr Cairo Ojougboh, Mrs Caroline Nagboh and Cecilia Akintomide as those restrained. The Order also asked that “the most senior civil servant or administrator in the Commission be appointed” to take charge of the Commission.
“It was based on this order that President Muhammadu Buhari approved the elevation of the Acting Executive Director of Finance and Administration, Mr Effiong Akwa, being the most Senior Administrator to take over the headship of the NDDC as an Interim Administrator pending the completion of the Forensic Audit Exercise.
“It is therefore absurd for anyone to even imagine that the Honourable Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio would bribe the Attorney General before an Order of the Court is complied with as the purveyors of the fake news have stated. The general public should discountenance this piece of trash.
‘It is obvious that some persons who are scared of the ongoing forensic audit of the NDDC as ordered by President Muhammadu Buhari are working tirelessly to scuttle the exercise by blackmailing the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio. Their modus operandi is to churn out fake news in a bid to stop Senator Akpabio from sanitizing the NDDC. Otherwise, how can a responsible news website make such a grievous allegation without any shred of evidence to back up its claim.
“However, we wish to state that no amount of sponsored fake news and blackmail would deter Senator Akpabio from doing the right thing as directed by Mr. President. The Minister has the overwhelming support of the impoverished masses of the Niger Delta who have borne the brunt of underdevelopment of the region over the years”, it concluded.
Alaafin of Oyo, encyclopedia of Yoruba culture and tradition – Tegbe
A chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Oyo state, Engr. Olasunkanmi Tegbe has described the Alaafin of Oyo, His Imperial Majesty, Oba Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi III as an encyclopedia of the culture and traditions of the entire Yoruba race.
Congratulating the custodian of culture on his 50th coronation anniversary, Tegbe said Oba Adeyemi has displayed uncommon wisdom and emotional intelligence in administering his domain, fostering peace and sustainable development.
In a statement signed on Thursday and made available to Mega Icon Magazine, the APC chieftain added that the Alaafin has not only “sustained our heritage and identity as a people”, but also used his throne to build bridges of friendship and harmony in the state, across Yoruba Land and beyond.
“I felicitate with His Imperial Majesty, Oba Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi III on the 50th Anniversary of his ascension to the throne.
“In half a century, Kábíyèsí has displayed uncommon wisdom and emotional intelligence in administering his domain, fostering peace and sustainable development.
“Iku Baba Yeye has sustained our heritage and identity as a people. He is best described as an encyclopedia of the culture and traditions of the entire Yoruba race.
“Our Father has used his throne to build bridges of friendship and harmony in the state, across Yoruba Land and beyond.
“I remain proud of his progressive ideals, particularly the legacy of peace and harmony which Yorubas are known for.
“I pray that Kabiyesi spends many more years in good health”, the statement read.
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