OSSCEILA crisis: Afolabi drags Peter Babalola to court, hires professor of law, SAN to fight council chairman

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The Provost of Osun State College of Education, Ila-Orangun, Prof Jimoh Atanda Afolabi has dragged the chairman, governing council of the institution, Mr Peter Babalola before the National Industrial Court, Ibadan to challenge his alleged illegal and corrupt activities and that of the governing council of the college.

To this end, Prof Afolabi has engaged the legal services of no fewer than 10 erudite lawyers including a professor of law and Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Prof Oladoyin Awoyale (SAN).

Also in the team of Afolabi’s lawyer is Barrister John Adebisi, an Ibadan based legal practitioner.

In a related development, a former Bursar of the college has instituted a case against the chairman of the college’s governing council, Mr Peter Babalola and the governing council including a panel of inquiry set by by the governing council to investigate his activities while in office.

Joined in the suit are the Permanent Secretaries of the state Ministries of Education, Finance, Human Resources and Capacity Building and Parastatal and Monitoring who are members of the panel set up by Babalola.

The former Bursar is seeking an order of perpetual injunction restraining the governing council and the panel set up by the council from carrying out the investigations.

Also, he is seeking an order of perpetual injunction restraining the defendants or any of their agents from indicting or punishing him based on the recommendations or findings of the panel of inquiry set up by the governing council.

Among evidences to be presented to the Court as cited in the court papers include how Peter Babalola since he came on board allegedly diverted the college’s fund into his personal accounts, how he hijacked accreditation funds, how he allegedly used the incumbent acting Bursar of the college to siphon #8million within a period of three months and how the sum of #4mllion was allegedly paid into one Akinlaja Wonuola through the College’s Wema Bank account.

Also, in the court documents was how the said Wonuola, a loyalist of the incumbent acting Bursar of the college allegedly moved the said fund to Babalola’s account.

Besides, some officials of the office of Auditor General currently auditing the accounts of the college were also fingered out in the alleged scam as they allegedly collected a huge some of N500, 000.00 from One Johnson Arilewola tagged Entertainment/ Hotel accommodation.

Documents relating to the allegation including implicating vouchers were also cited in the documents submitted at the National Industrial Court, Ibadan.

The legal team, findings revealed are prepared for the legal battle, even as the defendants had been duly served the court’s notice.

Meanwhile, stakeholders have condemned the purported suspension of the Provost of the college, Prof Jimoh Atanda Afolabi, describing it as an attempt by the Chairman of the institution’s governing council, Mr Peter Babalola to witch hunt the Provost and cover up his atrocious acts.

The purported suspension which was announced by Babalola himself was said to be the first time an appointee of the state government would suspend another appointee without recourse to the Governor.

Babalola was said to have contradicted himself by claiming to have recommended Afolabi’s suspension to the state government and at the same time announcing the suspension.

It was gathered that the Chairman usurped the powers of the Secretary to the Council, Mr. Abiodun Adesoji who was supposed to sign the letter.

It would be recalled that recently, when the plot to remove the Provost was at its peak, the Orangun of Ila, Oba Wahab Kayode Oyedotun called to the palace, the Honourable representing Ila state constituency in the Osun State House of Assembly, Hon. Sikiru Bajepade, in the presence of no fewer than 10 chiefs and mandated him to ensure the stoppage of the plot to sack the Provost of the college because of politics.

The monarch made his intention known in the presence of some PDP chieftains in Ila, such as Elder Kolapo Lawal, the present Chairman Ila Constituency of the PDP, the party Chairman under the PDP, Alhaji Sweet mother, the Chairman Ila Local Government, Hon Ayandiran Ayanbanji and other chieftains of the PDP.

Also, on the same day, the Orangun of Ila called both the state Head of Service and Secretary to the State Government, Alahji Teslim Igbalaye on phone to see him on the matter, so as to stop Mr Peter Babalola from carrying out his illegal plot of ruining the carrier of the innocent Provost because of his selfish interest.

One of the stakeholders in the college said “it is obvious that the Governor of the State, Senator Ademola Adeleke has finally resolved to put a lasting solution to the lingering crises as the father of all, by setting up a reputable panel to put a stop to activities of the illegal panel of people which some of them are of questionable characters set up by the Chairman Governing Council, Mr. Peter Babalola for the purpose of witch-hunting and vendetta in order to deal with people who for the purpose of probity and accountability did not allow him to steal from the College as a result of his present level of financial bankruptcy.

“It is the hope of the entire citizens of the State that justice will prevail at the end, if political influence does not erode the quality of the investigations and delivery of justice on that matter, knowing full well that the pedigrees and sterling qualities of the members of Governor’s panel headed by an experienced technocrat,” he added.

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