College Provost, Bursar charged with N17m Fraud

The absence of the trial judge yesterday stalled hearing in a case of alleged fraud, the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) brought against the Provost, Federal Cooperative College , Ibadan and the Bursar of the college.


The anti-graft agency had dragged the two principal offi­cials of the institution to court for allegedly defrauding the Federal Government by pre­senting casual workers as per­manent staff of the college.


The two are facing an eight-count charge at the Oyo State High Court, Ring Road , Ibadan .

Both Ruth Adehwe Aweto (Provost) and the school bursar (Adekanye Komolafe) allegedly presented 41 mem­bers of staff treated and paid as casual workers as permanent members of staff in the 2005 budget of the college. According to a charge sheet obtained by Daily Sun, the workers were presented to be entitled to benefits and emolu­ments totaling N7,041,861.15 for the year 2005 budget whereas they were only enti­tled to N3,690,000.


The prosecution further alleged that they conspired to commit an offence under the Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Act 2000 contrary to Section 26 (l)(c) and punishable under Section 17 (1) (c) of the ICPC Act 2000.


It further alleged that they used the document with intent to deceive and mislead the

Federal Government contrary to and punishable under Section 17 (1) (c) of the same Act.


Their arraignment was based on a petition sent to the commission by some of the affected workers, who had petitioned the commission, alleging that they were kept as casual staff for several years with a fixed pay of N7,500 monthly in spite of the fact that they had appointment letters.


They explained that the provost and other principal staff insisted that their regularization was yet to be done by the government, in spite of the fact that their names were on the college’s nominal roll and were registered with the National Health Insurance

Scheme, among others.


They further alleged that the provost told them in February, 2007 that the college had been receiving their full salary but that she could not pay them because their employment was not regularized.


According to them, they were asked to attend the pre­retirement seminar in Akure during the Federal Government right-sizing policy which affected 15 of them, adding that they received their gratuities thereafter. They added that the content of their letters of employment was the same with their colleagues in other institutions, thereby con­firming that they were regard­ed as permanent staff by the government.


The provost, however, denied the allegations in her statement.


But Justice Olajumoke Aiki Idowu did not sit when the case came up for hearing in court yesterday.


Counsels to the parties then agreed to meet again in court on July 19,2011, subject to the convenience and review of the judge, who is likely to proceed on vacation as his colleagues from July 15,2011.

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