‘Police have exonerated me’ -she cries
‘I’ve foolproof evidence of her fraud’ –Olu Ibirogba
THE crisis rocking Yaba College of Technology, Yaba, Lagos, has been lingering for a couple of years now. The Rector, Mrs. Kudirat Ladipo was alleged to have misappropriated the institution’s funds with reckless abandon. The allegation was made by the former bursar of the institution, Mr. Olu Ibirogba.
ENCOMIUM Weekly spoke with the two gladiators at the center of the crises.
What is the issue between you and the Rector of Yaba College of Technology, Mrs. Kudirat Ladipo?
What I am trying to let the public and the world at large know is that there has been serial monumental stealing, coordinated by Dr. (Mrs.) Kudirat Ladipo. I have given so many evidences, documentary evidences against her to relevant agencies such as Federal Ministry of Education. I have written a reminder to them. I have given evidences to ICPC, I have given to EFCC and many others. Surprisingly, none of them has deemed it well to do anything about it. Rather, the ICPC referred my petition to that same Rector to constitute a panel to investigate it. I don’t know if an individual should constitute the panel. ICPC asked her to constitute a panel to investigate her. I think it is a complete mockery of investigation. Beyond that, the council was mandated to investigate a petition against the Rector, the council compromised. The Rector participated in the body to set up panel to investigate her, she nominated some members of the committee including the external auditor who was brought in through the back door. The auditor was appointed through a compromised process. The Rector approved the amount to be paid to the members of committee to investigate her. She gave excess allowance. The members of the committee are entitled to a sitting allowance once a week. She approved allowance to pay them every day. What the government lost in that investigation is more than N10 million. I have my facts and figures. The committee members were paid daily for 27 days. They were staying in hotels at government expense. They were paid allowance from the hotel, a duplicated expenditure. I am not surprised they exonerated her. Mrs. Omololu Opeewe spoke with me on phone that they have seen the nepotism and stealing of Dr. (Mrs.) Kudirat Ladipo, that if they do the right thing, the Rector will not forgive me.
Beyond that, the council gave me a query that I was one of the people who blew the whistle about stealing in the system. The Rector who has stolen so much money, is she the offender or the person who reported her? I have some instances of corrupt acts, stealing and breaching of government regulations. In the last five years, Dr. (Mrs.) Kudirat Ladipo has collected more than N30 million for foreign trips and vacations including estacode of not less than $30,000 without embarking on any trip, without refunding the money.
Under Tertiary Education Test Fund (TEFF), contract was awarded to Commit Nig. Limited, we paid advance of N2.4 million to the contractor. The rule or the law is that if the contractor does not execute the project, he should be blacklisted or reported to EFCC, the mobilization should be recovered. After one year, none of these happened. We got the Rector’s approval that the money should be refunded to us, she overruled our letter. She wrote to the bank and told them to dishonor our letter. Why was she, as the Rector of the school protecting the interest of the contractor and not the school. She has a company named, Spicy Nigeria Limited, as a public officer. She still has a company that takes jobs. A staff of the college, Adekunle Adams has two companies, Sherik Enterprises and Fasks Communications. He used the two companies to collect jobs from the college. He also receives bribe on behalf of the Rector (we have evidences).
Tenders board headed by the Rector inflated contracts in October 2013 including contracts for the convocation ceremony held in October. The sum involved is about N35 million, out of which (N5 million) was given back as bribe.
Mrs. Ladipo collected N60 million as security vote. It was paid directly to her account. Whereas, the college has about 150 security staff, six security companies of about 120 staff. The college has cadet and Man O’War that were being paid. The college bought their uniforms, mobilized them and gave them stipends. The college pays stipends to the police at Sabo, Yaba, Lagos and DSS staff. She collects N5 million per month as security vote. She claims there is security challenge. It is just fraud.
In December 2013, the governing council and the rector agreed that they would have a retreat. It was held for one day at Protea Hotel. Ordinarily, for a contract that is more than N2.5 million, it ought to have been advertised. The contract was not advertised, it was awarded through select tendering to Jack A Hotel. The hotel rate was supposed to be N7,000 per night. Jack A Hotel was awarded the contract but the retreat held at Protea Hotel. The actual expenditure was N8 million, they claimed N12 million. They took over N15 million.
About 400 new staff were employed without government approved process. They included children of the Chairman of the Governing Council, Chief Ebenezer Babatope. His in-laws were inclusive. This is clear nepotism.
Last, I must not ignore the fact that I have colleagues, professional accountants about seven of them. They were sacked by the management because they were perceived to be very close to me, standing against the recklessness of the Rector. ICAN President called us about it. They wrote a petition to the Ministry of Education, up till now, no investigation has been done. If we are looking at how much had been stolen by Mrs. Ladipo, we would be looking at N10 billion.
She is using Yaba Tech’s purse and her political clout. She has crippled the investigation that should have been done by ICPC. She has also crippled, to a very large extent, the police. As a matter of fact, the police are after us. Before any harm is done to us by the police or hired assassins, the world and the president should know what is going on. We will appeal to the president to use Yaba Tech as a case study to fight corruption. All we have said are allegations, court action has been filed but we want a full scale investigation, a non partial one. Some people try to broker peace, some people said they will hire SAN to prevent any action against her. They said she is taking care of them. They said they will hire a SAN to sustain our suspension. We are appealing to the president to look into the matter, ask the council and rector to step down. As long as she is on the seat, she will manipulate the investigations and the truth will not be known. If after the investigation, a non partial one and she is found not guilty, they should do whatever is appropriate to us.
How long have you been on suspension?
Since October 2013. I am not working, the half salary they are supposed to pay stopped in September 2014. The maximum period of suspension is three months. Mine has gone for more than a year now. They said they are investigating. They submitted a paper in court and said it is statutory for them to suspend an officer under investigation. When Mrs. Kudirat Ladipo was being investigated, she was not suspended. She was part of the committee that will investigate her. She approved illegal money for the committee. She was there when the verdict was passed.
You belong to a union in the college, why is your union quiet?
It’s only the union that can say why they have been quiet. If they have done something, they should tell us about it.
How formal was your petition to the appropriate bodies?
I spiral binded the petition so that they will not remove part of it. I included all the documents. Someone called me some days ago, he said he is the director of EFCC. I know they are trying to investigate the petition, but I am also very sure Madam Rector wants to frustrate their effort. She is using everything to prevent the investigation. We are appealing to the president to use Yaba Tech to convince the world he is fighting corruption.
‘The IGP has exonerated me,’ says KUDIRAT LADIPO
“There is no allegation. It is a bunch of lies from Olu Ibirogba. She has been exonerated. He just wants to malign the image of the Rector and the institution. The Inspector General of Police has investigated the matter and saw that it was a calculated attempt to destroy the image of the Rector.
“The Governing Council, Ministry of Education and Head of Service have all investigated the case. It is just an attempt to malign the reputation of a working woman. If he is saying there is fraud, where was he when it all happened? He allegedly committed fraud and was suspended so that his case can be investigated.
“The allegations are baseless. We have responded to all his allegations in some of the dailies.”