UNILAG: FG refuses to release panel report on VC Ogundipe’s fraud allegations

  • Professor Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, the Vice Chancellor of the University of Lagos (UNILAG) may not be facing a probe anytime soon
  • All though there have been emerging concrete allegations against him following the conclusion of the Agwai-panel of inquiry
  • Meanwhile, the ministry of education has consistently stated that those allegations against the embattled VC were false

The controversy surrounding the leadership of the University of Lagos (UNILAG) dates back to 2020 when a probe led by Wale Babalakin (SAN) which led to the controversial dismissal of the Vice Chancellor, Professor Oluwatoyin Ogundipe.

It was gathered that the Babalakin-led probing team investigated the activities of the VC Ogundipe between 2015 to 2019.

UNILAG, VC Ogundipe
There have been several allegations of fraud and corruption leveled against Professor Ogundipe and the ministry of education still maintained its stance that they are not true. Photo: Vanguard
Source: UGC

The outcome of the report from that probe released findings from a panel led by Professor Eddy Omolehinwa whose submissions led to the dismissal of VC Ogundipe.

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Contrastingly, it seems grace smiled on VC Ogundipe when President Muhammadu Buhari set up another panel to look into the matter and this time it was led by Professor Tukur Sa’ad a former Vice Chancellor at the legendary Federal University of Technology, Minna-Niger State.

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But in a letter addressed to the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, in October 2020, Mr. Sa’ad noted that his panel was restricted to checking if Mr. Ogundipe’s removal followed due process, Premium Times reported.

Following several weeks of panel deliberation, VC Ogundipe will later be reinstated.

This decision forced Mr. Babalakin (SAN) to resign his position as the head of the governing council of UNILAG in protest of VC Ogundipe’s reinstatement.

The third panel of inquiry

Meanwhile, Professor Sa’ad was also not pleased with the reinstatement of Ogundipe as the VC of UNILAG.

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Professor Sa’ad stated that his endorsement of the panel report was due to the body language of the committee members who were clearly in favour of VC Ogundipe.

Due to this development and a series of other outcries from relevant stakeholders, another panel was constituted in the first quarter of 2021.

This time, the panel was led by Martins Agwai, a former Chief of Army Staff to investigate the activities of the university from 2015 to 2019.

Months later, the investigation was completed and the ministry of education received the outcome of the findings as a report.

The content of the report was not published or made available to the media as the ministry of education chose to hold on to it.

Despite concealing the report, parts of the report made the press and it was gathered that the panel indicted VC Ogundipe for fraudulent procurement in multi-millions as well as contract splitting.

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Despite these leaks, the ministry of education played down the authenticity of the newspaper publication of the report.

Truth of Agwai-panel report emerges

Legit.ng gathered that despite efforts by the ministry of education to conceal the report of the Agwai-panel, full details of the report got into the possession of the media.

Premium Times in its report revealed that the Agwai-panel of inquiry found VC Ogundipe guilty of his allegations and also backed the decision of the Wale Babalakin-led governing council to dismiss VC Ogundipe.

The findings of the panel also revealed that Ogundipe and his team ran an incognito administration in terms of financial proceeds and other financial activities of UNILAG.

The panel also established that Mr. Ogundipe and his team engaged in various acts of contract splitting in their procurement of goods and services for the university.

For instance, Mr Dagari, the chairman of the committee constituted by the university council in 2018 to review the expenditure of the university, appeared before the Agwai-led panel to present the report that led to the initial sack of Mr Ogundipe.

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The Dagari-led committee had indicted Mr Ogundipe for spending, without due process, N112.4 million on the renovation of his official residence and the living quarters of the bursar, Olalekan Lawal, and the registrar, Oladejo Azeez.

The committee found that Mr Ogundipe purchased two official vehicles for N52 million, spending far above the university’s tender board limit. He was also said to have spent N57.9 million on estacodes for foreign trips.

Under the Vice-Chancellor’s watch, the university paid the sum of N2.4 million monthly to Ademola Adeleke, the dean of students’ affairs, for 17 months. Mr Ogundipe paid Mr Adeleke from May 2017 to September 2018 for an unspecified purpose, the Dagari-led panel said.

He was also accused of spending N57.2 million on waste management and janitorial services.

The report says:

“Prof Ogundipe’s defence was carefully studied. He did not deny any of these allegations, and there appears to be no valid justification in law for all his defences.”

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As contained in the findings of the panel, VC Ogundipe is also being indicted for multi-million fraud, contract splitting, favoritism, abuse of office, and rendering the registrar redundant.

Despite all these allegations, the ministry of education when contacted maintained its position that VC Ogundipe is not culpable of the said allegations.

VC Ogundipe on the other hand refused to grant an interview to hear his own side of the story as he consistently ignored phone calls and texts, Premium Times reported.

UNILAG ranked 3rd best in Nigeria

In another development, the University of Lagos (UNILAG) has been ranked the third best university in Nigeria.

Ranking above UNILAG is the University of Ibadan (number one spot), and the University of Nigeria, Nsukka.

Ahamdu Bello University took the fourth spot making it also the fourth Nigerian institution that made between 1172th and 1941 positions in the world.

Source: Legit.ng

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