Workers, students protest as EFCC quizzes OAU VC

Academic and non-academic staff, as well as students of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife on Tuesday staged a protest in solidarity with the institution’s acting Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Anthony Elujoba.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission had on Monday summoned the acting Vice-Chancellor of the university and the Bursar, Mrs. Aderonke Akeredolu, over an alleged payment of hazard allowance to workers.

It was learnt that the allowances paid to both academic and non-academic staff from the university’s endowment fund were over N1bn.

The protests took place simultaneously the university campus and the gate of the Ibadan zonal office of the commission.

On the OAU campus, the workers shunned official duties to assemble at the popular freedom park in sympathy with the acting VC.

At the EFCC office in Ibadan, workers and students displayed placards with various inscriptions and chanted solidarity songs.

Among the inscriptions were ‘We say no to Omole incited probe’; ‘OAU students say no to conspiracy’; ‘It is not a sin to pay workers allowance’; ‘Elujoba is a saviour’, ‘Don’t return us to the old days; Omole five-year administration need probing’.

The unions present at the protest in Ibadan were Academic Staff Union of Universities, Senior Staff Union of Universities, Non-academic Staff Union of Universities, National Association of Academic Technologists and the Students’ Union.

Leaders of the unions who spoke to one of our correspondents threw their weight behind the payment of the allowances. They also demanded that the administration of a former OAU VC, Prof. Bamitale Omole, be probed.

They threatened to continue passing the night at the gate of the EFCC office until the acting VC was released.  The acting VC was still being quizzed by the EFCC officials as of the time of filing this report.