OSUN, Nigeria – The State High Court, on Tuesday, imposed a fine on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and Vice-Chancellor of Osun State University for flagrant disobedient of the court order and failing to respond to petition on time.
The Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational And Associated Institution (NASU) on behalf of all workers had written a petition compelling the EFCC to investigate the VC of the institution, Professor Labode Popoola over mismanaged over N100 million belonging to the school among other corrupt practices.
In a suit number FHC/OS/CS/44/2020, NASU’s counsel, Kanmi Ajibola filed an application seeking the court to compel the anti-craft agent to investigate the Vice-Chancellor allegedly misappropriating and embezzling the university funds.
According to him, NASU had written a comprehensive petition supported with valued documents to the EFCC in Ibadan against the VC since 2018 but the anti-graft agency had failed to investigate and prosecute the Vice-Chancellor.
While responding to claim, counsels to the anti-graft agent,, M. S. Usman and the Vice-Chancellor, S. B. Ayeni sought relief of the court to adjourn the sitting to allow it respond to the application before the court on grounds that the filed motion on notice was handed to them on Monday.
The duo pleaded with the court to give them more time to respond having exhausted the required period stated in the notice.
Ajibola while opposing the adjournment of the case said the applicant must not be made to suffer for the respondents’ decision not to respond to the application, saying they were served early enough to respond to it.
He sought for the sum of N100,000 each of the respondents as an inconvenience if the case should be adjourned saying the respondents had enough time to respond but failed to do so.
Justice Lifu in his ruling said it is unfortunate that counsel disregarded a clear court order and wanted the court to act with impunity.
He warned that the problem of administrative bottlenecks of their organisation should not be brought before the court as the court is bound by law and refuses to swallow his order or act with impunity.
Justice Peter Lifu chided the respondents and granted the cost of N20,000 against EFCC and UNIOSUN VC in favour of NASU to compensate the applicant for the inconvenience.
He adjourned the matter till November 25 for final hearing.