Fraud: UNIOSUN top officials quizzed by EFCC over N.5billion Contract Padding, others
The Ibadan zonal office of the anti-graft agency, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Wednesday began the interogation of the top officials of the Osun State University (UNIOSUN), Osogbo over an alleged N.5billon fraud in the construction of the University Library, particularly, in Osogbo main campus of the institution and other projects.
Investigation revealed on Wednesday to the news medium that the officials were invited for questioning over the fraud in respect of an Open Petition Letter dated Thursday 15th September, 2016 forwarded to the EFCC’s Acting Chairman, Ibrahim Magun in Abuja, by the civil group under the aegis of Civil Societies Coalition for the Emancipation of Osun State (CSCEOS) which was signed by its Chairman, Comrade Adeniyi,Alimi Sulaiman, calling for credible and through investigation of the alleged officials in the contract sums.
The University officials invited for interrogation were; former Acting Vice-chancellor, Professor Jelili Alamu, Acting Registrar, Mr. Bayo Shittu, Acting Bursar, Mr. Samson Adebolu Adegbite and University Director of Works, Mr. Samson Ade Adepoju, while former University Registrar and Secretary to the University Governing Council, Dr. J.O.
Faniran and former Bursar, Alhaji Fatai Lasisi were invited for clarifications respectively.
The group alleged in the petition that the said contract projects were inflated geometrically with 300 Percent by the officials and it wanted the anti-graft body to ensure the returning of the all padded funds in the contract sum that have been earlier diverted into the private pockets of few individuals, including; the State governor, Mr. Rauf
Aregbesola and host of others, to be refunded to the government purse with the evidence of proof before prosecution.
The Petition Letter reads in part; “As a stakeholder in the progress and development of Nigeria Projects, especially, in the area of waging serious war against the menace of corruption which has been the canker worm that has eaten deep into the fabric of our society which impeded the progress of our development.
“After our thorough private investigation into the subject matter and securing of the necessary relating documents from the appropriate quarters, we are compelled to write this Petition Letter to the authority of your anti-graft agency in line with Sections 15 sub-section(5) and 24 sub-section (1e) of the 1999 Constitution of the
Federal Republic of Nigeria(FRN) as amended and Freedom of Information Act 2011 and National Human Rights Commission act 2010 (amendment) where Freedom of Speech and expression are highlighted.
“We wish to inform your good office of our discovery of another mindboggling corrupt practice by the Osun State government which they fraudulently inflate the contract sum of the Construction of Osogbo and Okuku Campuses’ Library and other related projects in Osun State University (UNIOSUN) which sum of N.5 billion public funds were
diverted and siphoned by the State governor, Mr. Rauf Adesoji Aregbesola, his Deputy, Mrs. Grace Titilayo Laoye-Tomori, Secretary to the State Government (SSG),Alhaji Moshood Olalekan Adeoti, Osun State Tenders Board Secretaries, Messers Kunle Akionla and Olawumi,O.T.,the then Acting Vice-Chancellor of the University, Professor Abdul-Jelili Alamu, Acting Registrar, Mr. Bayo Shittu, Acting Bursar, Mr. Samson Adebolu Adegbite and University Director of Works, Mr. Samson Ade Adepoju.
“Others that are supposed to be invited for interrogation and clarification on this financial impropriety of public funds meant for University developmental project are; Former Acting Vice-Chancellors, Professor Bashir Okesina and Professor Ganiyu O. Olatunde respectively, former University Registrar and Secretary to the University Governing Council, Dr. J.O. Faniran, former Bursar, Alhaji Fatai Lasisi, former University Acting Director of Works, Builder Odetoyinbo Abiodun, Tender Board Secretaries, Olawuni O.T. and Kunle Akiola respectively and Permanent Secretary, office of the SSG, Mr. Demola Akinyemi.
“Also, the Chief Executive Officer of De-Kingly Nigeria Limited, Mr. Ademola Olapade and Executive Chairman, Beton Bau Nigeria Limited, Architect Dunni Opayemi should be invited by your anti-graft agency because they are the main actors in the execution of the project in question”.
The letter further reads; “Our investigation revealed that Messers De Kingly Nig. Ltd, Messers Folly B Production and Messers Benton Bau Nig. Ltd bid for the construction of the Osogbo Main Campus construction of Library building which was valued by the Works and Physical Planning (WPP) department of the University at Three Hundred and Forty Four Million, Nine Hundred and seventy Eight Thousand, Seven Hundred and Forty-Six Naira, Sixty kobo (N344, 978, 746.60).
“But Mr. Rauf Aregbesola and his co-travelers at the State Tender Board through its decision from the State Executive Council (SEC) Meeting dated September 4th, 2013 inflated the cost to the tune of Five Hundred and Forty-One Million, Nineteen Thousand, Five Hundred and Seventy-Three Naira,Forty-Four kobo (N541, 019, 573.44k).
“To our dismay, the Beton Bau Nigeria Limited which won the bid for the Construction of the UNIOSUN Main Library Building now re-contracted the same building construction to De-Kingly Nig.Limited, then Co-bidder at the rate of One Hundred and Eighty Million, Seventy-Three Thousand, six Hundred and Forty-Four Naira, sixty-six
kobo only (N180,073,644. 66) on 18th of November, 2013, where we discovered the sum of Three Hundred and Sixty-One Million Naira (N361million) were padded to the construction of the Library Building by the State government under Aregbesola’s watch”.
Meanwhile, the CSCEOS declared that the group would not fold its arms and open its eyes by allowing Aregbesola and his cronies to be siphoning the meager resources of Osun people under the guise of putting infrastructure in place in the State and subject the people of the State to be dying of hunger, misery and abject poverty, adding
that this has been the trade mark of Aregbesola’s government since its inception in November 27th,2010 through the Court of Appeal verdict delivered by Justice Clara Ogunbiyi.
It therefore disclosed that no amount of intimidation from Aregbesola and his co-travelers could stop the group from its quest for honesty and transparent administration in the State, stressing that the funds meant for capital projects in the institution, was tax payers money which would not be allowed to end up in the pocket of private
influential individuals in the State.