This is certainly not the best of times for Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Admin), Federal University Oye-Ekiti (FUOYE), Ekiti State, Prof Abayomi Sunday Fasina. He was alleged of receiving double salary and absconding from duty at the Ekiti State University (EKSU), Ado-Ekiti. The professor of Soil Science was accused of collecting double salary from FUOYE and EKSU while on sabbatical leave to FUOYE.
Based on a petition dated August 14, 2020, by counsel to the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), FUOYE branch, EKSU set up a four-man committee to look into the allegations against Fasina. The petition was also copied to the Minister of Education, the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC), Vice Chancellor of EKSU, Inspector General of Police, Pro-Chancellor and chairman, Governing Council and State Director, Directorate of State Service (DSS).
ASUU Akure zone had disclosed that Prof Fasina earned salary from FUOYE and EKSU in 2017. It also alleged that his transfer from EKSU to FUOYE did not follow due process. The union acknowledged that Fasina went on sabbatical to FUOYE from July 2015 to December 2, 2017 and returned on January 2, 2018.
In its petitions to FUOYE and EKSU, ASUU said Fasina applied to use his 189-day outstanding leave to complete his remaining workload at FUOYE, against the rules and regulations of the state university. ASUU said EKSU wrongly approved Fasina’s request.
ASUU alleged that the Establishment Academic Division of the Registry in January 2018 discovered that Fasina was no longer coming to work and his salaries were being paid: “EKSU stopped his salary in October 2017 but was paid September 2017. He also received September salary from FUOYE.
“The division reported that Fasina did not follow due process of disengagement as enshrined in extant rules and regulations of EKSU. EKSU Directorate of Personnel has no document on his transfer of service from EKSU to FUOYE. He did not give room for space between the time he resumed from sabbatical leave and the use of his deferred leave, even though he got approval to utilise it.”
The Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, directed EKSU to investigate the allegations against Fasina. The Vice-Chancellor, Prof Ewards Olanipekun, set up a four-man committee headed by Prof L.K. Olofintoye, with Mrs E.A. Ojo-Eyitope as secretary. Other members are Prof Kemi Ogundana and Prof M.A. Abiodun.
The panel established that Fasina was given approval for the one-year sabbatical leave to FUOYE. There was no evidence he signed a bond form, utilisation of 189 days leave immediately after sabbatical leave was approved, but the panel faulted it, he resumed on September 23, 2016, record from Establishment Academic revealed he stopped attending to his duties in January 18, thus his salary was stopped.
The panel recommended that Fasina refund the September 2017 salary received from EKSU; the university should investigate why the request for the utilisation of 189 days deferred leave was approved because it contradicted the regulations of the institution on sabbatical leave; Fasina’s case be further referred to the university disciplinary committee since there was no record to show his resignation of appointment or transfer; he should be recalled from FUOYE to EKSU because he has not properly disengaged from the services of EKSU.
EKSU sent the recommendations to the minister via a covering letter dated October 28: ‘’The Vice Chancellor has directed that the report of the university committee on petition against Prof A.S. Fasina be forwarded to the minister. Accordingly, the report is herewith enclosed for the information of the minister.’’
ASUU called on President Muhammadu Buhari to stop the impunity and the attempt to institutionalise same at FUOYE. It said there are clandestine plans to enthrone Fasina as the next VC. Its Akure Zone alleged that Fasina absconded from EKSU and took up appointment at FUOYE and received full salaries in both institutions for six months.
It added that since he returned to EKSU in September 2016, he had been on the payroll of the university as a bonafide staff and also received second salary in FUOYE as a full time staff. The union said the whole story reeks of confusion with intentions to commit fraud in the two universities because he was re-appointed in September 2017 as a full professor at FUOYE again without disengaging from EKSU.
It claimed Fasina from 2016 collected double salaries estimated at N3.3million from the two universities for six months.
Prof Fasina failed to pick calls and refused to respond to text messages sent to his phone. But the management of FUOYE said it is not aware of the committee and even if it exists, Fasina was not indicted. It described the allegations against him as false.
Deputy Director, Corporate Services, FUOYE, Mr Yinka Ademuyiwa, insisted: ‘’Prof Fasina did not collect double salary at anytime. This case is already in court and it is sub judice to make it a subject of discussion. EFCC, ICPC and the university governing council had investigated the matter and made respective pronouncements on this issue, which Akure ASUU keeps recycling like a jaded record. This recycled issue is also in the press and can be accessed by media men. To us, that is our final word on this shop worn issue.
‘’The raised issues are over-flogged. Nothing new is being said. Each time FUOYE is making a huge leap to consolidate on previous gains, misguided characters masquerading as scholars who channel their energies on frivolities try to deny, delay or distract from such achievements. But they have run out of their bag of tricks.
“Nobody can be taken unawares again. There is nothing new about the allegations against Prof Fasina. If EKSU set up a committee, it is its business but we know it is politics.”
FUOYE said Fasina has documents to back his transfer to FUOYE, letters that he was the first to draw the attention of management to double payment but when The Education Report demanded for a copy, for one week, it was not made available: ‘’The transfer letter was approved by EKSU management and it was conveyed to Prof Fasina and FUOYE.’’
On double salary, the management, which had earlier denied it existed, said it was Fasina that drew the attention of FUOYE to the payment and made a refund to the university.
In another letter to FUOYE Pro-Chancellor and Chairman, Governing Council, ASUU demanded for thorough investigation and disciplinary action be taken against Fasina: ‘’Based on the report of the panel from EKSU, Prof Fasina is not a staff of FUOYE.
“The EKSU’s panel, the university where he started and built his career as lecturer, indicted him. Obviously, by law, you cannot put something on nothing. To this end, Prof Fasina should be placed on interdiction from FUOYE according to Condition of Service of the University (Section 14 (6) under interdiction) pending the determination of his case on salary fraud.’’