Embattled YABATECH Bursar Raises Alarm over DSS Harassment
By Bayo Oyedele
The embattled ex-bursar of Yaba College of Technology (YABATECH), Mr. Olu Ibirogba, has accused the institution’s rector, Dr. Margaret Ladipo, of instigating operatives of the Department of State Services to harass and victimize him.
Ibirogba, who has locked horns with Ladipo over claims and counter-claims of misappropriation of funds, alleged in a letter addressed to the DSS headquarters in Abuja through his lawyer, Mr. Olajide Waheed, that he was being victimised because he did not “join her in perpetration of fraud”.
But the institution has alleged that rather, Ibirogba was the one running away from an investigation by the DSS, which is investigating the shortfall of N1.6bn missing in the institution’s bursary records.
Ibirogba alleged that Ladipo is using a senior DSS official she knew in Lagos to oppress him.
“How can N1.6bn be missing while she is rector and she knows nothing about it? Why did N1.6bn go missing and there are no documents to show what happened to such amount of money?” Ibirogba said.
His lawyer stated in his letter to the DSS headquarters, “Our client and Dr. Margaret Ladipo had altercations as a result of whistle blowing. The Federal Government set up an administrative inquiry into the affairs of the college wherein the rector was indicted.
“Our request is that you use your good offices to prevail on your officials in Lagos not to use the powers of their office to harass and victimise our client.”
It will be recalled that the Federal Government had set up an ad-hoc committee to investigate the financial affairs of the institution and had concluded its work in December 2015, report of which has yet to be released.
The spokesperson for Yabatech, Mr. Charles Oni, who spoke on behalf of the rector, said, “The panel that investigated what transpired in the students account section of the bursary department between 2008 and 2013 found out that there was a gap of N1.6bn in the sum that was reported to have been collected from students.
“This was the reason the management wrote to the DSS and the minister of education to report the discovery. Following that, about 14 officials of the institution, including Ibirogba, were invited. Even members of the panel that investigated the missing fund were also invited.
“Officials of our audit section, bursary has all gone to the DSS to make their statements and came back. We do not know why he is afraid of going there to tell his story too. Why is he refusing to honour the invitation of the DSS? The management has gone before ICPC and EFCC as a result of his petition, why is he afraid of going to the DSS?” he said.
The appointment of Ibirogba and some other members of staff of Yabatech were terminated more than two years ago by the management of the institution, an action which they described as unfair.