Pro-Chancellor of the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB), Senator Adeseye Ogunlewe, has denied report that he was invited for interrogation by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over alleged N250 million scam rocking the university, describing the said report as a fairy tale, hoax and a sort of April fool.
Ogunlewe, former Minister of Works during the Olusegun Obasanjo-led administration, made the denial on Monday, in Lagos, in a release entitled “Re: N250 million scam in FUNAAB: Pro-Chancellor has no access to University funds” and made available to the Nigerian Tribune.
According to the former minister, contrary to the impression created in the news media, no invitation was extended to him by the anti-graft agency over the alleged scam, declaring that it was necessary to let the public and stakeholders in the university know that as the pro-chancellor, he and members of the governing council had no access to funds of the university.
Ogunlewe explained that given the Act establishing every federal university, the vice-chancellor remained the chief executive officer, adding that a team of at least two deputy vice-chancellors, the registrar, the bursar and the librarian assists the vice-chancellor in the day to day running of the university.
The pro-chancellor, who alluded to the intrigues surrounding the race to pick the new vice-chancellor for the university as the current occupier’s tenure would be ending in eight months’ time and also the refusal to extend the tunure of the incumbent bursar of the school, maintained that the N250 million the petitioners claimed to have been squandered must have emanated from mere assumptions that the management team spent the total sum in four years to service the governing council, in the areas of transportation, accommodations, feeding and sitting allowances.
“The tenure of the vice-chancellor will end in another eight months, so the race and intrigues associated with the process of the appointment of a new vice-chancellor does not need to attract internal attrition, since the process of appointing a new vice-chancellor is already streamlined in a recent circular.
“In a case of the bursar whose request for extension of tenure was refused after he had served in that capacity for six and a half years need not generate any outburst. The university has over 40 chartered accountants in the system, they should be given opportunity to serve,” Ogunlewe said.
While insisting that nothing near any scam took place, Ogunlewe, however, assured that the governing council would during its next meeting address all the issues raised in the petition.
He, therefore, assured all the parents and stakeholders that there was peace on the campus, saying the university was on top of the situation.