The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has begun investigation into alleged financial misdeed by suspended Vice Chancellor of the University of Lagos, Prof Oluwatosin Ogundipe, document seen by SaharaReporters has showed.
Recall that a retired professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, College of Medicine, Boniface Oye-Adeniran, had asked the EFCC to investigate Ogundipe, Acting VC, Prof Folashade Ogunshola; Bursar of the University of Lagos, Mr Lekan Lawal; and Director of Procurement of the institution, Dr James Akamu.
Oye-Adeniran in a petition to the anti-graft agency accused Ogundipe and his management team of awarding contracts amounting to N5bn without the approval of the governing council of the institution, awarding contracts beyond his N2.5m approval limit and breaching the Public Procurement Act (PPA) between 2017 and 2020.
In a letter to the Acting VC of the institution, EFCC confirmed that it had already commenced an investigation into the activities of the suspended VC and others.
Part of the letter reads, “The commission is investigating a case in which the need to obtain certain clarification from the Registrar becomes necessary. In view of the above, you are requested to kindly release the Registrar and Secretary to the council to report for an interview with the undersigned through Head of Procurement Fraud Section as follows.
“The officer is also requested to come alone with the certified true copies of the following information/documents to enable us concluded the investigation. The approved circular that shows the spending limit of the Vice Chancellor, University Financial Regulation. University Procurement Act. Report of the council committee on the review of the expenditure of the university from 2017-date.
“The address and phone numbers of the former Vice-Chancellor, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Bursar and Director of Procurement. Any other information that may assist the commission in its investigation.”
But a source at the Federal Ministry of Education told SaharaReporters that the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Sonny Echono, is doing everything possible to influence and scuttle the investigation.
The source said Ogundipe may be reinstated by the Nigerian Government soon.
“Our Permanent Secretary here in Federal Ministry of Education is pushing for his return because he has been heavily settled,” he said.
Earlier, a group, Coalition of University of Lagos Student Unionists, had asked the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to probe the sacked Vice Chancellor of the school over his alleged involvement in looting and misappropriation of funds while in office.
According to the group, their request was based on the report given by a sub-committee headed by Dr Saminu Dagari, a representative of the Federal Government on the Council of the University of Lagos.
Former Chairman of UNILAG Governing Council, Dr Wale Babalakin (SAN), also accused Ogundipe of trampling upon all financial guidelines of the university and called for his investigation by appropriate agencies of government.