By Ekene Agbor, Osogbo
The Senate of the Obafemi Awolowo University has condemned the invitation and quizzing of the Acting Vice Chancellor, Prof. Anthony Elujoba by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Wednesday.
Rising from its meeting held on Friday to review and discuss the issues surrounding the invitation and allegations, the Senate denied the allegation leveled against Elujoba that he enriched himself with N7 million furniture allowance.
A release by the Public Relations Officer of the University, Mr. Abiodun Olarewaju, stated that members of the Senate frowned at the allegation describing as embarrassing, the anti-graft’s invitation of the acting VC for paying workers their due allowances.
The release reads, “The Senate, Obafemi Awolowo University met on 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 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 an harassment to the Senate and the University Community. This should be stopped henceforth.”
It could be recalled that the EFCC invited Elujoba to their office in Ibadan and quizzed him for hours before he was allowed to return to the campus on Wednesday evening.
Workers of the institution had protested the invitation describing it as unwarranted and ploy by “enemies” of the acting VC to scuttle his efforts in transforming the institution for better.
The workers had abdicated their offices and duty posts last Wednesday and accompanied Elujoba to the EFCC’s office in Ibadan amid solidarity chants.
Likewise, students of the school were also seen expressing displeasure to the invitation. They described Elujoba as “God’s sent” to OAU wondering why the anti-graft body should investigate Elujoba for paying workers their allowances.