The Senate of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife has asked the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to stop harassing the Acting Vice Chancellor of the university, Prof. Anthony Elujoba, over the payment of allowances to the staff of the institution.
According to a statement made available to our correspondent in Osogbo on Saturday by the Public Relations Officer of the university, Mr. Abiodun Olarewaju, the Senate of the institution frowned at the invitation and questioning of the VC by the EFCC.
The governing body of the OAU said the VC did no wrong by paying the allowances to workers of the university.
They said the payment of the allowances was approved by the Governing Council of the OAU since May 2013 adding that Elujoba just implemented the decision of the council.
The senate said the vice chancellor’s decision to pay the allowances was what prevented another round of breakdown of law and order in the university.
The statement read, “The Senate, Obafemi Awolowo University met today, Friday,16th December, 2016 to review and discuss the above issue among other things relating to the security, peace and order on the university campus and resolved as follows:
“That the three hundred thousand Naira (N300,000) to the senior and one hundred and fifty thousand Naira (N150,000) to junior staff became necessary in pursuit of the general powers and mandate of the Acting Vice-Chancellor as the Chief Security Officer on the campus to maintain peace, law and order and to prevent loss of lives and property. Moreso, this similar allowance had been paid to staff in other universities under different names and titles.
“That the payment of the said furniture allowance was statutorily approved by the Governing Council, Obafemi Awolowo University, at its meeting of 9th and 10th May, 2013 without provision for any payment pro rata.
“That by the appointment of the Acting Vice-Chancellor through a letter reference no. FEM/HE/CH/3C/II/403 by the Government, “the Acting Vice-Chancellor is entitled to the terms and conditions of this appointment including remuneration and fringe benefits as approved by government for Vice-Chancellors of Federal Universities in Nigeria”, including the said furniture allowance. Hence, the payment was perfectly in order.
“In the light of the foregoing, the invitation already made was considered misplaced, embarrassing and it was patently a harassment to the senate and the university community. This should be stopped henceforth.”
The EFCC had on Monday summoned the VC for interrogation on the payment of the allowances which is over N1bn.
But the Academic Staff Union of Universities; the Senior Staff Union of Universities; the Non-Academic Staff Union and the National Association of Academic Technologists as well as the students’ union followed the vice chancellor to the anti-graft agency’s office in Ibadan where they staged a protest against his invitation.
Some of them said the agency had refused to probe the immediate past Vice Chancellor of the university, Prof. Bamitale Omole, who they wrote 13 petitions against based on alleged corruption.