The Vice Chancellor of Lagos State University (LASU) at Ojo, Prof. Ibiyemi Olatunji-Bello, has no hand in any case of certificate racketeering, it was learnt yesterday.
The Nation learnt that the academic crime did not happen under her leadership as vice chancellor, according to an undercover agent.
The detective, who exonerated Prof. Olatunji-Bello, reported that the eminent scholar was not involved in the nefarious act.
A statement by the General Manager of WealthRoot Company, Benedict Okohnma, also explained that the vice chancellor did not prevent the investigation.
The Dean of Student Affairs, Prof. Tajudeen Olumoko, was suspended, pending the conclusion of the investigation.
Before Prof. Olatunji-Bello came on board, LASU had worked with the organisation, under the immediate past administration of the university, to act as an undercover agent to unravel the syndicates that were manipulating the university’s server and fraudulently imputing records of non-graduates of LASU as students of the institution.
The investigation followed a complaint by a concerned and respected alumnus of the university, who brought a case to the notice of the management.
It was discovered that the alleged crime was only perpetrated through the university’s External System, also called satellite campuses.
The company explained that “this crime and the manipulation has nothing to do with the full-time regular undergraduate academic programmes of the institution”.
Also, it was discovered that members of the syndicate had worked at the university’s external systems at one point or another, thereby capitalising on the rush associated with the desire of the institution to wind up the External System and clear the backlog of yet-to-be-graduated part-time students of various external centers at that time.
The detective added: “WealthRoot as a company had an understanding with the university with the mandate to understudy the mode of operations of the syndicates, under-study the process of recruiting their clients, all administrative and academic processes taken by the syndicates to the point of clearance, which required to be done in person, work with security agents to wrap up the syndicates, no matter their status or any level of external connection.”
It said the university expressed its desire for a thorough job, adding that this would naturally take a longer time for the company to gather undeniable evidence against the culprits.
The university brought in the Department of State Services (DSS) to support the investigation alongside LASU’s security operatives while the operations lasted.
The company was also mandated to recommend measures to prevent a repeat of such nefarious activities in the institution and submit findings to the management.
It said: “As at the time the online media reported the matter, final reports were yet to be submitted to the university by the company, but LASU management was always updated on the progress of findings before the assumption of office of the incumbent vice chancellor and same updates have been ongoing upon the assumption of the current management.
“It must be placed on record that we also observed that the university under the current vice chancellor recently put in place some measures to fortify the certificate collection process in the university.
“The current management under the leadership of Professor Ibiyemi Ibilola Olatunji-Bello, mni, NPOM, neither covered the matter nor shielded the alleged members of staff.
“The management is carrying out her obligation of the understanding between the university and WealthRoot and necessary support to the company and other agencies involved in the operations while the investigation is ongoing.”