UI lecturers, enmeshed in financial scandal, threaten to sue colleague

Two senior lecturers of the University of Ibadan allegedly involved in illegal financial transactions have threatened to sue a former colleague over PREMIUM TIMES’ publications.

Both professors, Miracle Oyewola and Dare Ademola, had written a letter demanding an apology from Chukwuemeka Diji, a former lecturer in the school.

This newspaper, reported last year how the financial transactions of a conference meant for the department of mechanical engineering, were allegedly devoid of transparency.

Amongst those accused of involvement are Messrs Oyewola and Ademola, who headed the department from 2011- 2012 and 2012-2016 respectively.

In 2018, Chukwuemeka Diji, a PhD holder, who succeeded Mr Ademola, wrote the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC), demanding an investigation into the ‘corrupt practices’ in the department.

He asked the commission to compel the university to probe the organisation of the Energy, Technology and Management (ETM) conference and its account since 2012- 2016.

PREMIUM TIMES’ reporter gathered then, through an official of Guarantee Trust Bank, that the account existed between 2012 and 2017, two years after the implementation of Treasury Single Account policy.

The TSA policy, which forbids any government parastatal from running a separate bank account, was implemented in 2015.

Meanwhile, Leke Oluwole, the current Head of Department, defended the embattled professors when this reporter confronted him in June last year.

“The department was running an account before the implementation of TSA. Then when the treasury single account came, we ‘migrated’ the account to the school account. SERVICOM has looked at it and they have holistically done everything,” he told this paper.

Although Mr Diji was later dismissed by the school authorities, an official of ICPC had hinted that the agency kick-started the arraignment process of the professors last year November.


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The process was however stalled due to the total lockdown enforced to curb COVID-19 pandemic a few months ago.

ICPC concluded its investigations earlier this year, our reporter reliably gathered.

Threat

In two separate letters dated June 29, Messrs Oyewola and Ademola demanded an apology from Mr Diji over this paper’s publications.

Copies of the letters signed by their lawyer, Oladepo Abidemi of Chief Ladosu Ladapo Chambers, were made available to our reporter on Friday.

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“It is in the brief of our client that Premium Times Newspaper relied on information supplied by you to publish libelous statements against him on the 8h day of November 2019 and 23 September 2019 and has imputed to his character and reputation negatively in the University of Ibadan and the general public.”

According to the duo, the publications, rooted in falsehood have dealt serious harm to their image and reputation of the University community and deterred friends and colleagues from associating with them.

“We have the instruction of our client to demand that you tender an unreserved apology for supplying Premium Times Newspaper with information used in several publications, especially the publication dated the 8th day of November 2019.”

“TAKE NOTICE that if you fail, neglect or refuse to tender the requisite apology within Fourteen (14) days of your receipt of this letter, we would have no choice but to institute appropriate legal actions against you,” a copy of the letter read.

When contacted for his reaction on Friday, Mr Diji, who now works at a Ugandan University, declined comments.

“Since the case has been reported to an anti-graft agency, I’ll allow them to do their job,” he said in response to an enquiry sent by our reporter.



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