The court has mandated the defendants to appear before the court at the next sitting to show cause why the committal order should not be entered against them.
For the disobedience to lawful court order on the alleged misappropriation of a Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) grant, the Vice-Chancellor of Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomoso, Oyo State, Prof Mojeed Olaide Liasu, and other principal officers of the institution risk imprisonment.
Unfortunately, after he had travelled to the US for the programme, the university authority started mismanaging the fund and refused to release the full grant to the lecturer, a development that trapped him in the US.
Following his overstay as a result of the non-payment of credit borrowed to complete his programme, the institution reportedly started deducting the salary of his guarantor.
The development forced Olasumboye to file a suit at the National Industrial Court to stop the institution from deducting the salary of the guarantor, comply with TETFund guidelines and also pay the balance of the grant held by the school, which the court granted.
SaharaReporters gathered that the TETFund grant was issued to a lecturer of the institution, Dr Adewale Taiwo Olasumboye for his doctoral programme at Howard University in the United States.
Unfortunately, the vice-chancellor of the school and his principal officers deliberately ignored the judgement of the court and continued to deduct the salary of his guarantor.
Sequel to the impunity, Drs Olasumboye and Mudashiru Lateef Owolabi filed a committal proceeding before the National Industrial Court, Ibadan Judicial Division, against the Vice-Chancellor Prof Liasu, Registrar, Dr K. A. Ogunleye; Bursar, Mr Abayomi Okediji; Legal Administrative, Mr Bayo Adeyi; and Chairman, Governing Council, Prof Ayodeji Omole as contemnors.
The claimants, Olasumboye and Owolabi, are asking the court to commit principal officers of the institution for disobeying an order of the court made on December 8, 2022.
They sought in their reliefs among others: “An order for the Committal to prison of the 1st to 5th contemnors for having disobeyed the order of this Honourable Court made on the 9th day of December, 2022, restraining the Claimant, whether by itself, its servants, privies or agents from further deducting the salary of the 2nd Defendant pending the hearing and determination of the substantive suit herein.”
“And the 1st to 5th contemnors/claimant despite having notice of the said subsisting order made on the 8th day of December, 2022 by this Honourable Court proceeded to deduct the salary of the 2nd defendant on the 20th day of December, 2022, in flagrant disregard of the Order of the Honourable Court,” the application also reads.
Meanwhile, the court has mandated the defendants to appear before the court at the next sitting to show cause why the committal order should not be entered against them.
Olasumboye, in 2014, a lecturer at LAUTECH applied for TETfund Academic Staff and Development Training Intervention Fund for him to embark on a doctoral degree at Howard University in Washington, D.C.
The sum of N26 million was approved for his academic pursuit, which was to be released in two tranches of N17,826,600 and N8,249,155.
According to Olasumboye, LAUTECH did not follow TETFund guidelines in releasing the approved grant, which include the school opening a domiciliary account for living expenses and paying the tuition directly to the school.
Rather, LAUTECH refused to open the domiciliary account and paid naira to the salary account of the lecturer, an act that led to him running into a loss and almost forfeiting his doctoral degree.
He said he had to apply for credit through the US Credit System for him not to forfeit his degree and be deported to Nigeria.
“The payments were made without compliance with TETFund guidelines. My tuition and living expenses were paid by the school into my salary account in naira. The school also deducted N97,138 from the fund.
“I incurred further losses while personally changing the money to dollars through Bureau de Change. Due to the delayed payments and loss of naira value at the time of payment by LAUTECH in 2016 and 2017, I had an extra semester and could not finish my programme in three years.
“As a result, I had to look for money out of budget and through alternate means in order to finish in December 2017. I also had to do that to prevent further indebtedness to Howard. I had to take loans to be able to foot my bills. There were a couple of credit cards and a few people helped me too. If there was no system put in place to help me, I might have forfeited the programme at Howard. I might have been homeless and lived like someone waiting to be deported,” Olasumboye said.
He further explained that despite being unable to pay a loan of $79,324 arising from the mismanagement of LAUTECH, the institution is forcing him to return to Nigeria.
He also stated that the school began deducting the salary of his guarantor as part of moves to force him to return to Nigeria.
Olasumboye, however, noted that he cannot return to Nigeria without repaying the loan, hence, he would be labelled a criminal and banned from entering the US again.
To stop the deduction of the salary of his guarantor and intimidation, Olasumboye filed a suit at the National Industrial Court to stop the institution from deducting the salary of the guarantor, comply with TETFund guidelines and also pay the balance of the grant held by the school.