1st February, 2019
CACOL COMMENDS FINAL REINSTATEMENT OF YABATECH WHISTLEBLOWERS
The Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership, CACOL, received the news of eventual reinstatement of the erstwhile bursar of the Yaba College of Technology (Yabatech), Mr. Olu Ibirogba and seven (7) others, who were all staffers of the college’s bursary department before being unjustly sacked five years ago, for blowing the lid on alleged monumental corrupt practices in the institution by the previous management of the institution, led by Dr. (Mrs.) Kudirat Margaret Ladipo, the then Rector of the institution.
In a press release issued by the anti-corruption organization’s Coordinator of Media and Publications, Adegboyega Otunuga, the Executive Chairman, CACOL, Mr. Debo Adeniran noted, “It would be recalled that, early on in 2014, Mr. Olu Ibirogba, as the bursar of Yaba College of Technology and seven others in same department, after all attempts at exploring internal mechanism for stopping the financial heist being perpetrated in the institution by the school’s management as led by the Rector, Mrs. (Dr.) Kudirat Ladipo, wrote to the Federal Ministry of Education, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related Offences Commission (ICPC), and CACOL after which they were all invited by our organization to shed more light on the myriad of financial allegations leveled against the management of the institution in their petition. Some of the allegations leveled against the Rector and Yabatech management were:
- Flouting of relevant legal framework in the award and approval of Contracts (over N120mn)
- Awarding of N60mn (Sixty Million Naira) Annual Security Vote to the Rector
- Annual Vacation Abroad (over N25- Twenty Five Million Naira)
- Ownership of a Company known as Spices Nigeria Ltd. Contrary to relevant rules
- Exceeding Approval Limit
- Receipt of Commissions by Proxy (Adekunle Adams), etc.
“However, rather than responding to any of these allegations, the management of the institution, led by the Rector, in turn made spurious allegations against these staffers and later suspended them, a decision that was later converted to summary dismissal of the eight (8) bursary department staffers without any opportunity of fair hearing. They were, therefore, left with no other option than to approach the National Industrial Court (NIC) for enforcement of their fundamental rights, abuse of processes, etc. by the institution’s management.
“Another point of note in this highly combustive corruption case as noted by the presiding judge, Ms. O.A. Obaseki Osaghae, is that, the same industrial court had, in 2015, ruled in favour of Mr. Ibirogba and others in a similar matter he filed against the institution’s Council, Management and the then Rector, Margaret Ladipo, over what the court described as his illegal suspension and dismissal. Rather than adhering to the directive and the award given by the court, the management had embarked on, ‘calculated and deliberate attempt by the defendants to subvert the cause and administration of justice’. This situation led to the unfortunate death of one of the whistleblowers, Mr. Bashiru Adedeji, apparently due to the frustration occasioned by the management’s victimization.”
The CACOL Boss added, “It is quite unfortunate what these patriotic ‘Yabatech 8’ now ‘Yabatech 7’ were made to undergo due to their resolve to rid our higher institutions of the ogre of corruption. It is therefore, with delight, that we welcome their reinstatement and immediate granting of all the awards in this matter. We also commend the newly installed management of Yabatech for its readiness to adhere to amicable settlement of this avoidable trauma and enjoin the two ant-graft institutions in the country, EFCC and ICPC, to immediately commence investigations into the allegations of corruption raised by Mr Ibirogba against the immediate past management of the college, in line with the directive of Justice Obaseki- Oghae of the NIC and to forestall a repeat of the contemptuous actions of the defendants in the fight against corruption in high places.”
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