Alleged Financial Misappropriation: Court Fines FUOYE’s VC For Stalling Proceedings
Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke of a Lagos Federal High Court, has slammed Professor Abayomi Sunday Fasina, the Vice-Chancellor, Federal University, Oye-Ekiti, Ekiti State, (FUOYE), for stalling the hearing of a fundamental rights Enforcement suit against the police and others.
Professor Fashina alongside Mrs. Bridget Oyaola and Mr. Sulaiman Olajide Usman, both the University’s Acting Director of Works and Chief Internal Auditor, have dragged the Commissioner of Police (PSFU); CP Anderson A. Bankole and Supol Sunday Akeregun, before the court in a suit marked FHC/L/CS/684/2021.
The Vice-Chancellor and others have asked the court to stop the respondents from Investigating them over alleged financial misappropriation. And a declaration that they are entitle to know and be inform of the details of any Investigation against them by the police. And a declaration that physical invasion of the University’s premises by the respondents in an attempt arrest and detain the Vice Chancellor in a manner unknown to law, constitute a flagrant violation of their rights as guarantee by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
They also asked the court to award the cost of N50 million being general, aggravated and exemplary damages against the respondents, jointly or severally for the violation of their fundamental rights.
But the respondents in a counter-affidavit deposed to by Supol Segun Akeregun, asked the court to dismiss the applicants’ suit for being frivolous and abuse of court process.
The deponent averred that it is untrue that the police invaded the premises of the Vice Chancellor on June 17 and 18, 2021, or any day at all but only visited the University’s premises to serve an invitation of the Vice Chancellor over some criminal allegations which the police were investigating.
He also stated that the petition against the applicants is not only in respect of frauds allegedly perpetrated as Vice Chancellor from February 2021, but includes his tenure from 2017, when he was Deputy Vice Chancellor in charge of Administration till February, 2021 when he became the Vice Chancellor of the Federal University. And that the Vice Chancellor has been heading more than eleven (11) committees as Deputy Vice Chancellor from 2017 to February, 2021 before he became the Vice Chancellor and these committees deal with contracts and other financial engagements.
The deponent also averred that the Vice Chancellor as the then Chairman of TETfund Committee of the University and about other 10 committees, allegedly fraudulently converted to himself and laundered about N13, 864, 925.00 through the son, Fasina Oluwadamilola Tosin, who is a Post- graduate student at Sterling University, Scotland.
The deponent averred that it’s untrue that the applicants are being or about to be intimidated, do not investigate civil transaction(s) and we have not introduced any criminal element in any civil matter. And that the applicants are yet to honour the invitation. Adding that the petition and documents before his office relate to criminal infractions allegedly committed by the applicants.
Furthermore, the deponent stated that from the available documents in record obtained in the course of investigation of the petition against the applicants revealed that, the Vice Chancellor is involved in fraudulent conversion of funds from Ekiti State University as salaries while he was still receiving salaries as Deputy Vice Chancellor in charge of Administration at Federal University Oye-Ekiti.
He also stated that it is only a comprehensive and complete Police investigation that will determine whether or not the applicants are culpable. Adding that the applicants filed the suit to intimidate and circumvent Police investigation and possibly to escape the long arm of justice.
The deponent while asking the court to dismiss the applicants suit for being frivolous, hoodwink, also asked the court to award a huge cost against the applicants.
Meanwhile, at the resumed hearing of the matter on Thursday, counsel to the applicants, Mr. Ebun Olu-Adegboruwa (SAN), inform the court that after reviewing his clients’ case, they come to conclusion that there is need to include the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) as a respondent in the suit.
In urging the court to grant the IGP in the suit, Adegboruwa (SAN) said: “the section of the Constitution, we thought it necessary that the Inspector-General of Police be invited as a party in this suit. We have filed an application seeking leave to join IGP as a respondent in this suit.
“We have served the counsel on record and the bailiffs are trying to serve the person we sought to join.
“We therefore seek for further date to enable the Sheriff to serve Igp”.
Responding to Adegboruwa (SAN) application, counsel to the respondents, Mr. Chukwu Agwu, pleaded with the court to discountenance the application, on the ground that it was a ploy to continue to delay the hearing of the matter.
Agwu particularly told the court that for the past two months that the matter was adjourned for definite hearing, the applicants failed to filed all the processes they needed to filed.
However, the respondents’ counsel told the court to award a cost of N200, 000, 00 against all the applicants, should the court is mindful of granting their request.
Ruling on the award of cost, Justice Aneke awarded a cost of N50, 000, against all the applicants, in favour of the respondents, which he ordered to be paid before February 23, 2022, when the will come up for definite hearing.