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University of Ilorin, Ilorin, Nigeria

Going by the tipoff at the disposal of UCJ-UNILORIN, the Student’s Union financial Secretary, Olaakanbi Farhan has been removed from office for gross offence bothering on financial fraud.

The removal was occasioned by allegations bothering on diversion and misappropriation of fund meant for a special purpose.

A source who craved anonymity revealed to this medium that Mr Farhan was asked to ‘step-aside’ pending the outcome of a committee to be inaugurated by the Senate Council of the Union.

In lieu of that, the decision that saw his interim dismissal was heralded at the instance of the office of the Student’s Affair while the Senate Council was charged to go about its findings.

This was also said to be in consonance with the preachings of the Union’s President, Wisdom Okonko aka Passion, his Senate Council counterpart, David Titiloye, and amongst few other Union officials.

It is however unclear weather the SC’s committee upon resumption will validate the interim decision or it will be set aside.

The Union’s Senate Council has been on involuntary recess since March as occasioned by the shut down of university in respect to the ravaging Coronavirus pandemic.

It was revealed by our source that the event that warranted Mr Farhan’s dismissal was not unconnected to a withdrawal of fund from one of the Union’s Bank accounts which domiciles funds meant for humanitarian purposes the Union occasionally embarked on. The Bank account namely, Babatunde Lukman Foundation is to proffer supports for students who are in dire need of financial assistance on severe and chronic (health) issues.

March this year, according to the source, there was a compelling reason to support a student who was awaiting surgical procedures for a chronic illness of eyes. Convinced by the purpose, there was a consensus between the executive and the legislature arms of union to make a financial contribution to the beneficiary who was also at the time a victim of automobile accident. The financial pledge was to be to the tune of One hundred and twenty-six thousand naira (126,000).

Mr Farhan, whose office is saddled with responsibility of making the fund available, was said, withdrew the money but only to extend a part of it, roughly 76,000 to the family of beneficiary, ‘pocketing to himself’ the remaining sultry amount for a personal ‘quick use’. This later revealed to be for the ‘purchase of an iPhone’, another source claimed.

This fund was meant for the purpose of offsetting and, or, augmenting the medical bills of the student involved.

The source further unraveled that the situation became mucky when the beneficiary family requested for the balance of the money pledged as they were made to sign for collection of the full pledge instead of partly 76,000 they in reality were given.

The matter later brought to the notice of some members of Executive and Senate Councils. According to our source, the Union President and his Senate counterpart were amongst first persons to become aware.

Although, it was revealed, the duo made covert efforts to settle the issue amicably without necessarily becoming a public matter, however, this effort fell through the cracks when the beneficiary, alongside other emissaries brought the issue before the office of the Sub Dean of the Student’s Affairs.

Although another source had it that the Union president and some other principal officers of the Union’s were the ones that brought the issue to the school management’s table by involving the Student’s Affairs Unit.

Consequently, the SA Unit ratified the decision to relieve Mr Farhan of his position over the allegations bothering on corruption, insubordination, ineptnesses, diversion of fund, embezzlement to wit deliberate misappropriation of fund.

Confirming the matter to this medium, the Union President Mr Okoko in a phone conversation, albeit hastily, said he ‘feel so sad’ and that ‘nobody is happy’ about the development.

He stated the Union’s officials, himself inclusive, were all ‘ignorant’ of the incident until the beneficiary of the money called their attention to it. ‘we’, the president alongside undisclosed others then involved the school management to ‘take appropriate’ action.

He further maintained that his administration has been known to be such that does ‘not tolerate’ financial recklessness.

As a final note via the voice call, he stated that the issued has been taken care of by the school management.

Meanwhile, efforts to reach out to the said dismissed Financial Secretary at early hours of yesterday for his own side of the story proved abortive as telephone calls severally made to his cellphone line were not attended to.

Although a text message earlier sent to him was later in the night attended to. He however declined to shed light into the matter as it relates to him, saying ‘theres no conclusive information yet’.

“I’d rather not speak now, because the matter is still under investigation and there’s no conclusive information yet. I’ll let you know when it is, have a nice day…”, the message reads.

Post Author: Ridhwan Abdullahi

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