The Igbajo Polytechnic, Igbajo, Osun State, has sacked its acting rector, Akinola Olaolu, for allegedly presenting fraudulent certificates.
It was gathered that the decision was reached after a
meeting of the polytechnic’s governing council and board
of trustees on Wednesday and Thursday, respectively.
However, our correspondent was told that shortly after
the resolution to fire Olaolu was reached and announced,
the school’s management called a meeting of its workers
and threatened to punish those who broke the scandal.
Olaolu reportedly came into the school in December 2015
as a deputy rector to the former rector, Tanimowo Oke.
However, because he claimed to have a PhD in Economics from the UI,
his arrival led to the exit of Oke, who had a master’s degree as of then.
More than eight months after his arrival, he was reported to
have refused to produce his purported PhD certificate,
as he submitted only a notification of result to obtain the job.
A former registrar at the polytechnic, Bisi Odebunmi,
was said to have also left the school after he (Odebunmi)
demanded the PhD certificate in an official memo.
When PUNCH Metro contacted the UI with a copy of the notification of result,
the Director of Public Communications, UI, Olatunji Oladejo,
said the institution had no record of the rector.
The rector’s purported thesis supervisor, Prof. Ademola Ariyo,
also told PUNCH Metro that there was no record of Olaolu in
the Department of Economics where he claimed to have bagged the doctorate.
When our correspondent confronted the rector with the
UI’s position on the notification of result,
he said he had just obtained his PhD certificate from the school.
Our correspondent, however,
obtained a copy of the certificate through a source.
Like the notification of result, the purported certificate
was sent to UI for verification and was again disclaimed.
The University of Lagos, Akoka, where Olaolu claimed that he obtained a Bachelor of Science in Economics also said checks revealed that the rector did obtain a BSc in Economics from the school.
The Independent Corrupt Practices and other related
offences Commission, in a statement by its spokesperson,
Rasheedat Okoduwa, said the rector had been arrested over the matter.
The Chairman of the Governing Council, Igbajo Polytechnic, Prof. Olu Odeyemi, while declining comment on the arrest, told our correspondent that the institution was awaiting UI’s response to the school’s enquiries.
The UI, in its response, obtained by our correspondent, said the rector did not have MSc and PhD in Economics from the institution.
Odeyemi told PUNCH Metro on Thursday that Olaolu had been sacked, adding that a press conference had been called over the issue.
He said, “He (Olaolu) has been sacked. The governing council had a meeting yesterday (Wednesday) and the board of trustees had another today (Thursday). We made certain resolutions which we planned to release in a communiqué tomorrow (Friday).”
However, a source at the school accused a principal member of the board of trustees of issuing threats to workers for breaking the scandal.
The source said instead of commending the workers for exposing Olaolu, they were accused of plotting to destroy the school’s reputation.
He said, “After the BOT meeting on Thursday, the management called all the workers to a meeting. A top member of the BOT said workers were behind the plot and that he (Olaolu) made a mistake by saying he had a PhD, which is not essential to becoming a rector.
“He accused workers of ganging up to spoil the school’s reputation. From all indication, it is clear that the BOT had no intention of sacking him but for PUNCH stories. The publications really rattled them. The man said the management had asked Olaolu to go, but those who exposed the whole mess would be identified and punished.”
The chairman of the governing council, however, said the accused BOT member did not issue the threats, adding that the allegation was false.
Source: Punch Newspapers