The Civil Society Network Against Corruption (CSNAC), a coalition of over 150 anti-corruption organizations, has urged the Ministry of Education to intervene in issues arising from the ongoing corruption trials of the Vice Chancellor of the Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA), Mr. Gregory Daramola, and that of Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB), Mr. Olushola Oyewole.
In a petition addressed to the Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, and signed by the coalition's chairman, Mr. Olanrewaju Suraju, CSNAC said the continued involvement of the two indicted administrators in the activities of the University may make a mockery of the current administration’s dedication to the fight against corruption in the country.
Taking its cue from the report of an online Newspaper, Premium Times of February 14, 2017, where the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) arraigned the Vice Chancellor of the Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA); Mr. Gregory Daramola before Justice Bola Ademola of the Ondo State High Court over allegations of fraud to the tune of N24,000,000.00 (Twenty Four Million Naira).
The report said he was arraigned for offenses ranging from misappropriation of public funds, misuse of office and obtaining money under false pretense among other offenses.
"In a similar event, the Vice Chancellor of the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB); Mr. Olushola Oyewole was invited for questioning by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission sometime in August, 2016 and subsequently arraigned before an Ogun State High Court presided by Justice O.O Majekodunmi sitting in Abeokuta over N800,000,000.00 (Eight Hundred Million Naira) fraud allegations. He was charged for offenses ranging from intention to defraud, conspiracy to defraud, stealing and conversion of UNAAB property and unlawful deposit of school’s fund in a fixed deposit account without due process."
The petition read: "We have observed that the convocation activities of the Federal University of Technology, Akure having commenced on the 10th March, 2017 is to end by the 18th March, 2017 with the award of certificates and conferment of honorary degree event.
"We also have information to the effect that the said Mr. Gregory Daramola who is currently on trial for corruption charges has been earmarked by the convocation ceremony committee to serve in the capacity of chairman of the convocation event, contrary to the undertaking of the Chairman of the university’s council to ensure his indefinite suspension from office in view of his current trial for corrupt practices and fraud, in line with the provisions of the civil servant rules and regulations which provides to the effect that a public officer standing trial for criminal charges ought not to remain in office pending the determination of the case.
"The above issue has caused agitations from unions in the school who have threatened to disrupt and unleash mayhem at the convocation ceremony if the embattled Vice Chancellor chairs the ceremony instead of the Chancellor of the University, the Emir of Bauchi; Rilwan Adamu who by the university rules is to declare the convocation open and also close it.
"In view of the above, we are calling for the intervention of the Federal Ministry of Education in other to avoid a total breakdown of law and order in Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA) and also to ensure that the provisions of the Civil Service Rules and Regulation on the handling of corruption issues/allegations by public officers and due process in respect of same is strictly adhered to.
"You will recollect the resignation of Engr. Adeseye Ogunlewe, former Chancellor of Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta in observance of the Public Service rule on this subject matter.
"We thereby demand for the Ministry’s intervention at ensuring the immediate, urgent and indefinite suspension of the Vice Chancellor of Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA) and Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB); Mr. Olushola Oyewole and Mr. Adebiyi Daramola respectively, pursuant to the requirements of extant laws regulating conducts of public officers, the said persons having seen to come under the definition of ‘public officers’.
"The above action is required so as not to undermine or make a mockery of the current administration’s dedication to the fight against corruption in the country," the petition said.