By NBF News
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The Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) has ordered the authorities of the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife to remit N687, 185, 868. 70k, into the coffers of the Federal Government. The amount, according to a recent report of the commission, which was obtained exclusively by Daily Sun at the weekend, formed the unspent funds in the personnel account of the institution since 2004.

Workers of the institution had dragged management of the university to the ICPC in March last year over allegation of double deduction of pension contribution from their monthly salaries.

The petition, which was written by the Joint Executive Committee of Staff Unions (JECOSUN) of the institution, made the ICPC to direct its financial investigation unit to look into the contentious issue, which had earlier paralyzed academic activities in the campus for almost four months.

After what it described as ' thorough examinations' of the financial records of the institution, which included, payment vouchers, cash books, payrolls, vouchers raised on pension deductions, bank statements, as well as the interrogation of the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Michael Faborode; the Bursar, Odeyemi Omolara, and Director, Investment and Supplies, of the university, Ademola Adebiyi; the anti-graft agency found the institution culpable of withholding its unspent funds from the Personnel Cost Account (PCA) since 2004.

The unspent funds, according to the report signed by one of the ICPC members, Chief Simeon Oguntimehin, were discovered in two 'fixed deposit accounts domiciled with the First Bank Plc and Afribank Plc respectively'.

Although, ICPC insisted there was 'no illegal or double deductions by the university authority,' the commission, however, pointed out that the movement of funds from the salary account 'were done in such a way that the amount moved tallied with the exact monthly pension deductions already made at source by the Federal Government.'

Not only that, the commission stated that it discovered that the payment vouchers of the transferred funds were 'wrongly captured and misleading as being deductions of pension from staff salary.

'The statement on the payment vouchers was, therefore, the genesis of the problem as the staff erroneously believed that the OAU management was still deducting pension contribution from their salaries and diverting same to other use.

'It was on this basis that the staff insisted that the money being transferred from salary account to fixed deposit accounts were pension contribution formerly deducted from their salaries, whereas it was not true as confirmed from investigations activities carried out,' part of the report stated.