Suspended Vice-Chancellor of Elizade University, Professor Kunle Oloyede, has been accused of swindling $1.8 million(about N600m) from the university.
Prof. Oloyede who is presently in police detention, and recently was arraigned before a Magistrate’s Court in Akure over allegation that he used trick to defraud the owner of the private university and founder of Elizade Group, Chief Michael Ade-Ojo, of the said money.
In a statement released by the Public Relations Department of the university, the university said the suspended VC ahead of his appointment in September 2015 visited the school at a time a new 500-bed space male hostel project contract had just been awarded for N475m, and the contractor was already mobilised to site.
It said Prof. Oloyede pressurised Chief Ade-Ojo into abandoning the earlier agreement with the contractor for a new technology called PIR Panel Building technology after he told the 78-year-old billionaire that he was a partner in an Australia-based company, Duro Global PTY Limited that would handle the project.
The Professor of Biomedical Engineering also made Chief Ade-Ojo believed that the hostel would be ready in August, 2015 ahead of students’ resumption that year.
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.
“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.”