ASUU calls for probe of alleged sale of AAU properties

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By Owen Eresoyen, Benin

The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Ambrose Alli University (AAU), Ekpoma Chapter has expressed grave concern over the far-reaching legal consequences of the continued stay by the University’s Special Intervention Team (SIT) whose tenure expired in November 2022.

In the statement signed by Dr. Cyril Onogbosele and Dr. William Odon, Chairperson and Assistant Secretary of the University’s Chapter of ASUU respectively, the Union warned that the legal implications of the continued operation of SIT in the institution might be too much for the institution to bear now and in the future, particularly in its day-to-day financial and administrative policies/directives on the disciplinary processes of staff and students, and the management of the University’s properties.

The Union who claimed to be alarmed and inundated by reports of “financial recklessness, mismanagement and outright sales of properties of the University by the SIT”, expressed strong resolve to ensure justice for the university, its workers and students.

Specifically, the Union cited the non-procedural sales of the University’s properties at Emaudo Campus and the skepticism surrounding the owner-status of the University’s Liaison Building in Benin City, adding that it was surprised to hear that the University allegedly paid a whooping sum of more than N22 million as service charge on the University’s property at Abuja.

“The questions bordering the minds of ASUU and other stakeholders of the University are many. What is the motivation for sales of the University properties by the SIT? Considering the expiration of the tenure of SIT, is it legal for the body (SIT) to authorize sales of the University’s properties? Who is in custody of the money realized from sales of the University’s properties by SIT?”

The Union alleged, “Financial profligacy is in ascendancy in the University, including the payment of eight million naira (N8 million) as monthly clearing charge of the university campus even when fire is being used to do the clearing of weeds while many parts of the university campus are left un-cleared.”