There is confusion on the reasons canvassed by the Osun State government for the suspension of Dr Tajudeen Odetayo as the Rector of Osun State Polytechnic, Iree, Osun Defender reports.
Odetayo was suspended in a letter dated July 11, 2023 and signed by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Education, Mr. Muritala Jimoh.
The state government said Odetayo’s suspension came on the heel of allegations of financial recklessness, fraud, corruption and abuse of office contained in a petition against him.
But investigations by OSUN DEFENDER revealed that there was no petition against Odetayo as of the time of his suspension.
The only petition written against Odetayo was received at the ministry of education on July 20, 2023, nine days after his suspension.
The petition was written by “Concerned Citizens of Osun State” and dated 29th June, 2023. It was addressed to the Governor through the Chief of Staff.
However, neither the office of the governor, nor that of the Chief of Staff received the letter, as there was no signature, comment, stamp or name on it except that of the office of the PS where it was received after Odetayo’s suspension.
This is just as the investigation panel set up by the state government to probe the allegations against Odetayo concluded that the voucher attached to the petition is fake.
Signed by one Oluwaseun Majiyagbe, the petition reads: “The attention of the Governor of Osun State is hereby drawn to the financial recklessness, fraud, corruption and abuse of office by the Rector, Osun State Polytechnic, Iree, Dr. Tajudeen Odetayo.
“Detailed investigation has revealed that the following financial recklessness, fraud, corruption and abuse of office have been discovered under the rector.
“Over invoiced of the recent highlander 2019 bought by the Rector at the exorbitant price of over N27m, a vehicle which ordinarily should not be more than N12m.
“Over inflated price of some items, especially photocopy/duplicating papers and other items for the institution, running into several millions of naira.
“The welfare of members of staff have not been attended to: peculiar allowances remained in arrears, contract staff and part-time remained unpaid for months.
“All these are enough to bring the popularity of the current government down.
“We the concerned citizens are calling on the government to conduct thorough investigation into this financial recklessness before it becomes issue that opposition will use to start a campaign of calumny against the peoples government of senator Adeleke. A stitch in time saves everything.”
The petitioner, according to findings by OSUN DEFENDER, is faceless. There was no address or phone number of the said “Concerned Citizens of Osun” and that of the signatory to the petition, Oluwaseun Majiyagbe.
Findings by OSUNDEFENDER also revealed that the petitioner is not a member of staff of the polytechnic and does not have any social media handle except twitter which he registered in January 2016.
He followed just two persons while nobody followed him as of the time of filing this report yesterday. He has not also made any post or comment since the creation of the account.
Investigations also revealed that Odetayo’s suspension preceded a query issued to him by the Ministry of Education.
The query with reference number HEBS/TE/PO/V.1 was dated August 1, 2023, 20 days after the rector’s suspension.
In his response to the query, Odetayo described the allegations against him as spurious, unfounded and calculated attempt to destroy his career and reputation.
Odetayo explained that the Finance and General Purposes Committee of the institution at its meeting on Tuesday, April 14, 2023 approved the purchase of a Toyota Camry 2019/2020 model as his official vehicle at a cost of N26m.
The suspended rector disclosed that he opted to buy Toyota Highlander because it was cheaper (N21m) and the poor condition of road leading to the polytechnic.
He stated that all the allowances and salaries of contract staff were paid up to date, contrary to the claim of the petitioner.
However, the investigation panel set up by the state government to investigate the allegation has concluded its duties.
The panel, headed by the same Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, Mr. Muritala Jimoh, held four different sittings without inviting Odetayo and the petitioner.
Chairman of the Governing Council of the institution, Hon. Diran Ayanbeku, had on August 8, 2023 inaugurated the panel and gave it two-week timeline to submit the report.
According to a member of the panel, Odetayo wrote the panel on Thursday, August 17, to request that he should be invited for fair hearing.
The panel, it was gathered, did not respond to his request till the close of work last week Friday.
However, another member of the panel confided in OSUN DEFENDER that the panel later sent an invitation letter to Odetayo at noon on Saturday, August 19, but nobody was in the house to receive the letter.
Voucher Attached To Petition Fake – Panel
In its minute of a meeting held on August 11, the panel noted that the voucher attached to the petition against Odetayo is not genuine.
The minute reads in part: “The panel noted the original voucher used in processing the payment for the vehicle as presented by the Acting Bursar is different from the one attached to the petition. The original voucher number bear 07226, whereas the one attached to the petition bear 07224.
“The voucher presented by the Ag. Bursar indicated that the Toyota Highlander is 2018 model while the one on the petition is 2019 model. The voucher presented by the Ag. Bursar had the signature of the Rector on it while the one attached to the petition did not.”
However, OSUN DEFENDER gathered that the said fake voucher emanated from the bursary department of the polytechnic and was audited by the then Internal Auditor, Sunday A. Afolabi, who is now the Acting Bursar of the institution.
Sunday A. Afolabi is a member of the Investigation panel on the petition against Odetayo.
It was also learnt that the official vehicle on which Odetayo was suspended was procured by the Head of Procurement of the institution, Mr. Charles Fadahunsi, and was inspected and certified by the Director of Works of the institution, Engr. John Abiola.
The panel, it was gathered, would submit its report to the Chairman of the Governing Council of the institution any moment.
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