The management of the Elizade University, Ondo State, have elucidated why the suspended vice chancellor of the university, Professor ’Kunle Oloyede, was arrested and detained by the police.
In a statement by the Public Relations Section of the institution on Thursday, Professor Oloyede’s arrest, arraignment and subsequent detention was not unconnected with failure to deliver on a students’ hostel project, as well as lack of transparency in the award of its contract and its execution.
The university explained that when Professor Oloyede visited the university ahead of his September 2015 appointment date as the second substantive vice chancellor of the university, a new 500-bed space male hostel project contract had just been awarded for N475 million.
The contractor was said to have mobilised to site, but Oloyede reportedly advised and persuaded the university’s Founder, Chief Michael Ade-Ojo, to discontinue with the project and adopt a new technology called PIR Panel Building technology.
He said that this technology would be faster, and that the building would be ready in August 2015, while 40 per cent of the total cost of the conventional building would also be saved.
According to the statement, Chief Ade-Ojo agreed to adopt the PIR Panel Building technology, believing that the hostel would be ready in August, 2015 ahead of students’ resumption that year.
The total cost of constructing the 512-bed space PIR Panel hostel was put at $1.8 million; and the building was meant to be constructed by an Australia-based company, Duro Global PTY Limilted, which Professor Oloyede was said to have introduced to the university’s Founder.
The statement reads: “Professor Oloyede had claimed that he is a partner in the company. Based on the advice of Professor ‘Kunle Oloyede, the Founder transferred the total sum of $1,120,000 to the account of Duro Global PTY Limited between March and July 2015.
“However, when (Chief Ade-Ojo) noticed that the steel and panel for the construction were not forthcoming, he complained to Professor Oloyede, who then asked for a power of attorney to act on behalf of the Founder in Australia. The Founder believed that Professor Oloyede would ably represent him as promised.
“After the power of attorney had been given to Professor Oloyede, he requested the Founder to send the balance of $650,000 into his personal account to enable him procure the remaining materials for the building from South Korea.
“The Founder transferred the money into Professor Oloyede’s personal account in Australia; but to the Founder’s dismay, Professor Oloyede informed him that he later paid the $650,000 into Duro Global’s account, even when it was obvious that the company had not performed.
“Up until this date, only seven containers of incomplete steel have been supplied to the university.”
According to the statement, all efforts made by the Founder and the Board of Trustees of the university to get Oloyede and his partners, Duro Global PTY Limited, to fulfill their contract terms have not yielded any result.
“Specifically, on October 4, 2016, the Board of Trustees gave Professor Oloyede a 90-day ultimatum to move the project to a substantial level of execution. This ultimatum did not produce any result as nothing was done even at this moment.
“The failed project had caused Elizade University a lot of harm in terms of the extra cost of constructing another male hostel at a cost of about one billion naira.
“When it became obvious that Professor Oloyede could not offer meaningful explanation for the prolonged delay, the Founder then lodged a complaint to the State Police Command with a view to resolving the issue. He was arrested by the police and arraigned before a Magistrate’s Court in Akure.”