THE last has not been heard about the financial misappropriation rocking Yaba College of Technology, Yaba, Lagos. ENCOMIUM Weekly spoke with more affected lecturers. We also took up Mr. Olu Ibirogba (former Bursar of the College) on some allegations leveled against him by the Rector.
ADEDEJI BASHIRU ADESHINA, Assistant Chief Accountant
Can you tell us why you were suspended?
I was not suspended, my appointment was terminated on September 30, 2014.
Can you tell us what led to the termination of your appointment?
I was the head of special account in the bursary unit of Yaba College of Technology. The section prepares the account of the Consult. The Consult is the organ that generates fund internally for the college. We train people, we collect contract on behalf of the college and remit the money back to the college. We also make blocks and paint. It started in 2010, a proposal was written for the commencement of the block and paint business. The college released money for that purpose but the people running it were doing it like a personal venture. The rule is that, whenever any proposal was made, the proceeds from it must go back to the College purse but, they were not remitting the money to the college purse. Alhaji M. A. Adebakin, a Doctor of Philosophy was in charge. He was also in the Consult but now, he is the Deputy Rector.
The financial regulations were not followed and we were not told about it. After a year, we were told to prepare an account. That was not part of my duty, so I declined at first and insisted it shouldn’t be made verbal but a letter should be issued. We were given documents for the account. We noticed that there was a gap of N14 million. They couldn’t account for it. I reported the case to the Bursar. He wrote a letter to the Rector about it that, an investigation should take place but unfortunately, none was carried out. The Rector set up a committee on how the block making venture can move forward.
Shehu Kagala was the head of the committee. I was invited and I told them exactly what happened. An external auditor of the committee was telling others that he knew me well, that I could handle the account. I also declined and insisted a letter must be given to that effect.
Later on, I was transferred to another department (Urban and Regional Planning). I was demoted to Level 7. I am a Chartered Accountant. I was on Level 14 before I was demoted. They started victimizing me. They wrote a query twice from the office of the Consult. They didn’t give me an office at the Department of Urban and Regional Planning. I was staying under a tree but I was still doing my job. There was a time they brought computer generated expenses and said I didn’t do the account well. Someone told me that I should join the Rector to fight the Bursar but I said no.
In one day, the Rector sacked seven accountants. They are people the school has been commending before. I received seven commendation letters.
What offence did they state you committed before you were sacked?
They said the bursary department was re-organised and our service were no longer required. The letter came in September 2014, a year after, I was moved to Regional and Urban Planning. They employed 400 people out of which 200 were in the bursary department. If the Federal Government wants to sack people, they have their own criteria for doing it. I don’t know the criteria Yaba College of Technology used in sacking us. They did that after personalizing my salary. I was told to write a letter of demotion but I refused. I don’t know how an accountant will work as a technologist, that was what I was told to do where I was transferred to.
What step have you taken about it?
The case is at the National Industrial Court. We are going back in a couple of weeks.
‘The Rector wants to suppress some documents’ – PASTOR AJINDE
I resumed at Banking and Finance as a lecturer. Exactly one year after, I got a letter and was told to state that I requested for the redeployment. I was mandated to apply for a position that I should have been in 2004 but I said no. I told them, that if I will write such a letter, I will rather apply for a position higher than my post. I got a query that I disobeyed her (Rector) instruction. After that, I got a sack letter.
How many years have you worked there?
What have you been doing since you stopped work?
Nothing. I am a pastor, my church has been helping.
What step did you take when you got the sack letter?
I went to court to challenge the sack. Later this month, we will be going to court for the case.
What do you think is going on, any religious sentiment involved?
There is no religious sentiment, I was a student in Yaba Tech before I joined the service of the institution. There is nothing like religious sentiment here. I perceive she wants to suppress some documents and she felt those around the Bursar will not allow such take place, most especially the senior staff, that is why she wants to get rid of us. I kept asking why I should be sacked, a junior staff told me that there was a time I wrote a memo that they should comply with the provision of the law, that that was why I was sacked. Some people told me the rector said they want to make her unpopular. Those were the reasons I got.