Prof. Monday Igbafen, the suspended Chairman of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) Ambrose Ali University Ekpoma branch, on Thursday said that his alleged suspension is persecution from the institution’s Vice Chancellor, over his uncompromising stance on certain issues.
He said this Thursday while reacting to his alleged suspension.
Recall that Igbafen was suspended by the authority of AAU on Wednesday, over alleged gross misconduct bordering on sexual harassment and threats of sex for marks, an allegation he vehemently denied.
But, speaking with journalists in Benin, Igbafen accused the AAU Vice Chancellor, Prof. Ignatius Onimawo, of financial impunity and has not been able to account for about N5.5 billion he received from TETFUND and NEEDS assessment intervention fund.
He also accused the VC of elevating his wife from the position of a typist to Lecturer l.
“We (ASUU) challenged him to be open and transparent. You cannot move your wife from nowhere and make her a lecturer I without a PhD and academic masters degree. We have been on the matter and he has made attempts to compromise me as the chairman of the union and I refused.
“That led to his desperation that to insist that I should never be chairman of ASUU for a second time.
“All monies coming in must be judiciously used. The main source of fund in the University is the TETFUND and NEEDS assessment intervention fund. These funds are all products of ASUU struggle.
“The University has collected more than N5.5 billion for the past five years. From the TETFUND, he has received more than N3.4 billion, while that from NEEDS Assessment is more than N1.2 billion. The Union is demanding for how he has utilised these funds. Is it a sin to demand for how he has utilised our funds?” He queried.
When contacted, the Deputy Registrar, Information/Public Relations Officer of AAU, Mr. Edward Aihevba, asked Igbafen to face the allegation against him and eave the VC alone.
“Prof. Igbafen should face the matter before him, and the matter before him is that he is faced with allegation of sexual harassment and threat of sex for marks, he should face it and not remove attention from it with all these frivolous allegations.
“Igbafen in 2011 was accused of sexual harassment, there was an investigation panel and he was indicted and this administration did not know anything about it until its attention was drawn to it in a petition received on the 24th of December, 2018.
“The petitioner said if the matter is not brought to public domain, he will write to EFCC or ICPC or the state government and accuse the administration of trying to sweep it under the carpet. Now that the petitioner has called for justice, should we keep quiet just because Igbafen is ASUU Chairman? He should face the allegation of sexual harassment against him and leave the VC alone.”
Commenting on the TETFUND fund allegation, Aihevba said all money released to the University in the past two years from TETFUND had been judiciously used for more than 42 visible projects on the University campuses.
“TETFUND is an institution in which, if they give money to you, you account for it before you get another. It is a form of continuous accounting. I don’t know the amount that was released. You should come to campus, there are more than 42 projects that were executed with this fund. They are visible. If you don’t account for what you have, you can’t get more and they follow up the use of the money,” he said.