By Agbaje Ayomide
All seems not quite well in the faculty of Life Sciences, University of Ilorin, following an official release by the faculty’s students’ association’s Social Director, Mr Akintoku Olumide, Wednesday, alleging a financial mismanagement to the tune of three hundred and forty thousand naira allegedly spearheaded by the faculty’s Financial Secretary, Mr Bamishile Phillip Olusoji.
Akintokun, announcing to the students the cancellation of the faculty’s imminent dinner and awards night scheduled to hold on Saturday, August 3, 2019, gave the hint into the alleged financial misappropriation.
In reaction to the bewildering development, fuse and lamentations have since awash the faculty and the whole of the university’s students community.
“It is undeserving of our faculty that such an event like this happened, but so many issues are attached to this. I am not in the best position to say this, but the Financial Secretary has withdrawn all the association’s funds which is a sum of #340, 000 and has been embezzled everything with no cogient (sic) or reasonable explanation to back up this action.” the statement reads in part.
According to him, the misappropriated funds have been earmarked to cover the salaries of the members of the Central Executive Council (CEC), Students Representatives’ Council, Judicial Council, the Electoral Commission and also a traction for the forthcoming faculty dinner.
Meanwhile, in a bid to clear the air, the President of the Faculty of Life Sciences, Mr. Oni Shinaayomi, has also narrated his side of the story in a series of audio clips made available to the Press detailing various accounts of the event as they had transpired.
He stated that two events led to the scandal. The first event happened on June 21, 2019 when the Financial Secretary was asked to withdraw #470,000 from the association’s bank account, as part of the approved bugget by the SRC. And thereafter, the accused sent him a sum of #280,000, which is not the complete sum money, remaining #190,000. He stated that the act caused a delay in the disbursement of funds on the production of souvenirs for the faculty members.
Mr. Oni recounted: “The following day, I called the Financial Secretary to request the outstanding funds from him and inquire what happened to them. He then told me that the bank said the highest money they can withdraw per day is #250,000. I simply said no problem and asked when will the next funds be withdrawn. He said the following day the bank will balance up the money and he is going to send them to me. For complete two and half weeks, Mr. Fin. Sec has been avoiding my calls, avoiding to come to the secretariat and avoiding to see me. At times if I call him, he won’t pick up my calls. At times, he would just end the call. At times, his line would be busy. It even got to a point that he blocked my line. There was one period he even switched off his phone. For complete one week, I was looking for Philip. If he comes to school, he won’t spend up to 5 minutes, because he knows that I would be coming to BLL (Biology Laboratory) to look for him.”
“I then reported this incident to his classmates, that if anyone should see him, they should hijack him, as he hasn’t given me the complete funds. And he should let me know what is going on. I later found Philip and asked him what’s up with our money. And guess what he told me:
“Philip now told me that his sister had an accident and it was urgent that he needed that money. And they nowno asked him to borrow her that money, which he sent it to her Aunt in Ganmo. He said the money was used to settle the hospital bills. Then, I informed others about it, for them to see what has happened and what Philip said. They all sat him down and pressurized him. I also informed the Speaker of the SRC about the issue and he mandated me to give him an ultimatum to return the money and to further know where exactly the money is.
“Ialso called his dad and he denied having any knowledge about the money. Philips now said he would pay the money in the next two weeks, but it would be in installments. He paid the money on June 22 and that was when I received the alert of the balance.”
The faculty President further stated: “However, on the day of the Congress, this issue even prompted the house to want to impeach the President, Financial Secretary and the Speaker. I just had to play maturity to not allow that to happen. He returned that money and that ended there.
“Subsequently, we had withdrawn around #190,000 from the association’s account. But, in that particular period, after the previous amount was withdrawn, I didn’t receive any debit alert for the next #50,000 that we later withdrew. And immediately, I raised alarm to my excos and called to ask the Fin. Sec about it. He said the bank has activated “do not disturb” and they will soon remove it. He asked if they reverse it and he said yes. On June 24, the day I went to defend a petition written against me at the Students’ Affairs Unit about the same money issue, I called him, but he didn’t pick up, as he has not been picking up my calls. Then, I texted him, that he should kindly see me tomorrow and bring the cheque book that we want to receive honorarium.
“Do you know the most appalling thing that happened? He now messaged me and was blasting me, that I have been bossy and for saying things he would never reply me if that happened again. I just left him since that day, as I know the Congress are going to question him and I can’t be begging people to perform their constitutional duties. Not until last week Monday, he now came to the secretariat to meet me that he is now ready to start the process of withdrawing money for salaries of the CEC and SRC. As would be expected, we wrote a letter and got it approved by the Dean and Staff Adviser.
“Could you believe that this guy has been ‘romancing’ me from that Monday? On Wednesday, I now went to meet the Staff Adviser and asked why he is yet to sign the letter. He now lamented that the Fin. Sec has been doing rubbish calculation for him and he cannot sign any money that is not well-calculated. He then signed, made comments and asked we also give it to the Dean. Then, on Thursday, the Dean didn’t come to his office, as the school was holding the handing-over event for the newly-appointed deans. On Friday, I tasked him that he should go to the Dean’s office to sort it out and he thereafter gave me various flimsy excuses that the Faculty Officer (F.O.) stopped him. Then, I went to meet to the Dean myself and told him we need to the money to pay the salaries of our officials, to enable us hand over to the new executives. He eventually signed the letter and the cheque.
“On Friday, Philip told me that we couldn’t collect the money and told me the microfinance bank said we have made the quota of the money we can withdraw for that particular day. I again tasked him to go there on Monday. At 12PM, I saw him and Segun and I had to drag him to Microfinance bank to withdraw the money. He said the cashier told him that there is an order that it is only staff salaries and payments for project binding that are to be received for now, so we cannot withdraw the money on that day. But he said the cashier said he should give him his account so he can transfer the money to it. And we were assured that on the day’s evening, he is going to receive the money, and we agreed that he is going to transfer the money to me, or call me to ask how we will disburse the money. Then, I waited and waited, and I couldn’t even reach him. And members of all arms of the Association are already disturbing me for their salaries. The Social Director is disturbing me for the money for our forthcoming faculty dinner.
“On Tuesday, I went to BLL waited there to see him, as I knew he would want to meet his project supervisor. I eventually saw him, and I told him that the only grace we can give him at this moment is to look for #100,000 just to book hall for out dinner. He said no, and that he is going to find a way to get the money from the microfinance bank. Segun followed him to the bank, but on getting there he told him to not enter that he is the only one that is allowed to see the man. He then came back saying the man said we should keep calm and he will surely transfer it. I already knew he was telling lies.
“I went on sit him down and pressurize him further. He first lied that the man said he is still going to send the money to him. I kept on pressurizing him till he now said that the man has actually transfered #100,000 to his friend’s account. I later asked how he knew his friend’s account number because he doesn’t have a phone. But he said he knew it off-hand. I now asked him to write his friend’s account number, which he obliged. We later discussed it was a fake account number. We now asked him to give us that his friend’s phone number which he indentified as Patrick Tomiwa. He is in Delta State and I called him to confirm the issue further.
“I then called his sister and dad that their son is in police station. His dad now called one of his church members who is a pastor and lawyer. The man came to my place and I narrated all that had happened to him. He now called Philip to one corner and asked him where the money is. He eventually confessed that he has used the faculty money to buy land. And that he is going to sell the land and get the double of the money. His sister indentified as Mrs. Tosin now pleaded us that day before 8:00PM that day, we will receive #100,000 to proceed with our dinner.
“It’s not only Shina’s matter now, it is now everybody’s matter,” the faculty president declared.
“Till now, we are yet to get the money. When I called Philip to ask about it, he said it is with his sister. So, I proceeded to ask his sister, and the response I got was the most absurd I will ever get. She said Philip’s father told her that they should not release the money because Philip wants scam them to collect this money again, and that they can’t trust him again. I was really mad.
“However, I have informed the Sub-dean about the issue and he said he is going to take it up to the Students’ Displinary Council (SDC) and he would have to leave this school, if found guilty as charged. I have written the letter and he would have received a call from the SDC by now.
“I also decided to go the Security Unit today and learnt that he told them an entirely different story. He told them that it was that Friday that he got the whole #340,000 and sent it to his friend who proposed a business to him. He claimed his friend scammed him, so that’s why he has not been able to get the money back. These are lies upon lies amounting to five that we have been told by him.
“The case is now at the Security Unit, SDC and the Students’ Affairs Unit. My excos and I will take the appropriate actions by going to the bank tomorrow to demand for a statement of account,” the President narrated his ordeal.
However, all efforts proved abortive to reach the Financial Secretary to hear his own side of the story, as at the time of filing this report. Although, UCJ-UNILORIN has learnt from a reliable source that there have been damning evidences against the Financial Secretary already, as the case has also reached the cognizance of the university management. Sequels to this story will be reported as the saga unfolds.