January 17, 2018.
While his sanction still subsist, the suspended Unilorin Student Union Sports Secretary, Comrade Bash, believes the basis for his suspension is uncalled for.
In this exclusive session with UCJ UNILORIN, Mr Bash gives a chronicle of the whole scenario and makes a case for himself by way of setting the record straight as regards the ground upon which, he was suspended.
UCJ: It has been alleged that you misappropriated the Union’s fund, how would you respond to…(Bash cuts in)…
Bash: I said yesterday that I am not guilty.
UCJ: What facts do you have to substantiate your claim?
Bash: Thank you very much, Sir.I actually released, let me say a very small; let me call it comprehensive report yesterday. I don’t know if you have seen it?
UCJ: We have not seen it, sir.
Bash: Okay. Maybe I will actually send it to you. I am actually charging my phone now. I will send it to you directly. But if you want me to speak verbally now, It’s something I can actually do.
UCJ: Okay, you may proceed.
Bash: Alright. Thank you very much. The scenario started like this: I sent a letter to the Senate President about the commencement of the league. Fine, he was telling me then that “do I need any form of fund to actually start this?” So, I was telling him that I actually…just to raise money, then to actually, let me say start up the league and in one way or the other to make all the merriment. I mean the very first start of this event to actually make sense. So along the line when everything started, I am very much aware that I actually told the Central Executive Council which is known as the President about all this issue of, let me say the fund. Now, it started, though I know constitutionally I am supposed to actually remit the money into the Union’s account. But at that particular time when I need to do things immediately, I mean, I needed money for things immediately then.
Things like, let me say; lining of the field, I need to buy balls. I need to buy banners, I need to buy medical material, I need to buy this and that. And one funny thing is when you actually want to collect money from the Union; you will just need to write a letter you will, when you write a letter, you will… In order for me not to actually, let me say disturb the Financial Secretary much, I actually have a group then in which I called the League Board Committee and this League Board Committee is not a group that is just functioning for the very first time. They actually had it last year. So to actually make things more comfortable for me, it’s not as if I am even the one holding any form of cash. I have the Financial Secretary that actually holds that kind of money. My own is just to oversee most of these things and let’s see where and where we actually make the funds. Fine, along the line, I did not give details of everything to the Financial Secretary. I only told the Financial Secretary that I received fund…from..on the 17th of December…
UCJ: Details, please.
Bash: On 28th, I actually received a letter from the UIACPC that I am supposed to send them the expenses and everything about the league, in which I responded. Before I actually responded, let me say just a very short this thing (sic) and they were like; “ahh no, I am not supposed to do it like this”. I actually followed the normal protocol, I sent them the full details. I sent them the revenue generated and I sent them the expenses at that particular time. And as I am telling you, the league has already reached the 8th week…
UCJ: Were you instructed by the Senate Council to remit the money you had in your possession?
Bash: On the 24th I was…an issue was actually raised in which I was told to actually remit the money in 72 hours. Now, that 72 hours, I was supposed to actually remit the money on 26th, on 27th rather because of the holiday. I sent it. I have malaria. Now, these are things I actually said on the senate floor yesterday. I said I have malaria and I was hospitalized for about a week.
An unverified pic of Comrade Bash on admission at the hospital.
I got home around, let me say, is it not last week Wednesday and that last week Wednesday was around, is it not 3rd or 4th. That last week Wednesday…
Fine, the Senate Council was actually saying something about me having a board and my board actually writing a letter for me and he felt doing official things had to be done by actually me and what if I actually told one of my board to actually write this particular thing for me and well, it is not channeled the right way? I feel it’s a slap on me and it’s a slap on my kind of office too. Well to continue and to cut this thing short Sir, I actually remitted the money on Friday.
UCJ: Whom did you remit the money to?
Bash: I remitted it to… God bless you Sir, I remitted it through the Financial Secretary and I remitted the money into the Union’s account.
UCJ: Is there a voucher to that effect?
Bash: Of course.
UCJ: Can you oblige us a copy of it?
Bash: Well, it’s not here with me. But I can do that on Monday.
A copy of the voucher showing the balance of the generated income.
UCJ: Who is in custody of the voucher?
Bash: The voucher? The money was actually paid by one of my board and I received the voucher myself.
UCJ: Okay, the voucher is with you?
Bash: It’s with me.
UCJ: We would like to ask, in those times when you were sick, why didn’t you cause it for your colleagues, even if it’s not members of your committee, at least the Student Union President to relay the information to the Senate Council?
Bash: Thank you, thank you very much. Even on, is it not 31st or 29th, the President was still asking me that what about the money I was told to remit and I give in…(sic)…I told him then that I was actually sick.
UCJ: That you were what?
Bash: That I was actually sick. And he said how can I, let me say transfer the money to him and just like I told the Senate Council before; anything concerning money is not, well is not kept with me. I said I have a board and the money is actually kept with my Financial Secretary. I am just the Chairman…just to oversee everything. Now, the money can’t be spent without me knowing anything and one funny thing is, I would actually need to reach that particular person to actually see how I am going to transfer the money to the President. That is why I told the President that I am going to pend the money till I resume.
But one funny thing is, the kind of thing I actually did that I am very sorry for is that, I actually resumed back on 9th, and since then even before Friday, I actually did not write letter to the Senate Council. And on the floor of the house yesterday, I actually made mention of that and I begged that I was very sorry.
Fine, if at all they actually took that decision of suspension because even on that 9th, 10th, 11th I am not actually, let me say, I did not submit any form of resolution or any form of this thing to them. Fine, I could say that suspension come through that (sic). But then, tagging it as misappropriation in which I have…in which they themselves have the expenses…I mean I personally submit…
UCJ: The Senate Council said you only gave them the expenditure not the income analysis. How would you respond to that?
Bash: God bless you! God bless you! I actually said it on the floor of the house yesterday that even before my budget was certified, my revenue directed was actually included in the budget they ratified. The revenue generated is actually included in the budget…
UCJ: Which is…?
Bash: If… I mean Mr. Chima, if this revenue, if they don’t know about this revenue, I mean, why on earth in the house, I mean in the third sitting will they be telling me that? Will they be harassing me that I am suppose to remit some amount of money into this…? It’s just as if they were still drawing things back. As if they don’t even know I collected money for funds or this and that. But that particular aspect, I actually don’t understand.
Portion of the budget which contains the generated income at the bottom.
UCJ: We gathered from a reliable source that the amount in question couldn’t have been the actual figure you captured in the budget, because most teams are reportledly yet to pay for their forms. How true is that?
Bash: God bless you! God bless you Mr. Chima! But those particular kind of things, do you think I am suppose to be in position to actually be exposing things out?
UCJ: We understand but you know as it stands now, your personality or integrity is at stake.
Bash: God bless you! God bless you! When some of my coaches actually heard of it, some of them have started sending messages in one way or the other but the only thing is I can actually start the league. I mean this is my own kind of administration, I can’t pray that something that has actually been successful last tenure and it now comes to my own and its now somehow. I had to run errands on my own to actually complement all this money. As in, to actually make sure that all this money is actually completed on my own…
UCJ: So, it means the figure in question is not accurate?
Bash: Mr. Chima! Do you know the most painful part of this thing? The most painful part of this thing is that if at all I am actually, let me say realizing, let me say, even if I had realized some amount of money in this kind of league, then I will have been(sic), let me say, I will have even not pleaded, I will have pleaded guilty yesterday that yes! I know, but it’s not as if I am seeing any kind of amount of money. I mean most of them actually see what I am even going through. Being that, as in week in, week out. I (have) actually been in school, Monday to Sunday…do everything and that. But one particular, as in one funny thing is, it seems the only actually, let me say they just seat and just as if, let me say decide on anything they want to do.
UCJ: It could be aargue that they acted based on their own constitutional mandate?
Bash: Constitutional? The way I actually wanted to take the case, sincerely, I wanted to go to court.
Some people actually think that, okay oh, this kind of person that actually promise that he does not even has any…he has spent a sum of 200,000 naira. Because that tag of “200,000” naira is still there. And I am telling you, this particular thing is actually in fact just killing me.
UCJ: What words again would you like to say as regards this issue to unilorites?
Bash: Thank you very much. I would want people to just disregard or let me say form of misappropriation as in anything form of misappropriation because, I mean the exact expenses and the exact amount of let me say remnant was actually remitted to the Union’s account and I have valid evidence for this.
UCJ: Okay so, no problem. We would look forward to getting the voucher from you as you have promised.
Bash: No problem Sir.
UCJ: Thank you very much for your time.
Bash: You’re welcome.
OSUJI, Chima Francis
ADEDEJI, Adeola Rachael
OJEBODE, Oluwatomisin Sewueseter