FUNAAB passes confidence vote on embattled VC
*Promotes 23 As Professors
The Senate of the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB) has passed a vote of confidence on the institution’s Vice Chancellor, Prof Olusola Oyewole, who is currently facing trial over alleged mismanagement of funds.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had on Friday, November, 25 arraigned the VC, the Pro-Chancellor, Senator Adeseye Ogunlewe, and former Bursar of the institution, Mr. Moses Ilesanmi, before an Ogun State High Court in Abeokuta on 18-count charge.
The VC and the Pro-Chancellor were later granted bail of N500million each.
Three staff of the university and members of the institution’s Senior Staff Association of Nigeria Universities (SSANU) had in August this year sent a petition to the EFCC against the three suspects, accusing them of fraudulent activities.
But a release by the institution’s Head, Directorate of Public Relations (DPR), Mrs. Emi Alawode, indicated that the management had reviewed the current situation “and passed a vote of confidence on Oyewole.”
The Senate also said it was satisfied and supported all measures taken by the Governing Council and the university management to ensure peace, security and unfettered academic activities in the institution.
According to the Registrar and Secretary to Senate, Mr. Mathew Ayoola, the Senate stated that the allegations levelled against the officers were now before a court of competent jurisdiction; hence it reserved comment on them.
It, however, noted that all the accused persons are presumed innocent until proven otherwise by the court.
The Senate, therefore, re-affirmed its confidence in the ability of Oyewole to provide academic and administrative leadership during the remaining part of his tenure, adding that the process for the selection of a new VC for the university had begun, in accordance with the law.
“Senate expressed deep concern over the emerging trend in Nigerian universities, where some persons or group of persons, in the guise of unionism, acting alone or in concert with internal and external influences, seek to control the levers of administration and undermine the peace and harmony in the system.
“It also re-affirmed its resolve to uphold the laws of the university and ensure discipline
and good governance at all times,” the release stated.
Meanwhile, the university’s Governing Council, in furtherance of its commitment to manpower and capacity development, has approved the elevation of 23 Readers as Professors, while 285 other academic and non-teaching staff were also promoted.
According to the VC, the promotion exercise was a call to greater responsibilities, noting that the gesture was in recognition of their dedication and contributions to duty, in line with the extant provisions of the university.
Oyewole, who is also the President of Association of African Universities (AAU), expressed optimism that the exercise would serve as a source of motivation to the affected staff and implored them to be prepared for higher service.