LAUTECH unions litigation against forensic audit, shocking, ill-conceived —Osun govt
OSUN State government, on Sunday expressed shock over the suit filed by joint unions of the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH) to stop the auditing of the university’s accounts, as recommended by the visitation panel set up to investigate and find lasting solution to the crisis that has crippled the institution.
The government called on parents, students and other stakeholders to prevail and plead with the unions to stop frustrating sincere steps of owner governments to get LAUTECH back on track, saying that it was not happy and uncomfortable with the prolonged strike in the institution.
In a press statement signed by the Osun State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr Adelani Baderinwa, the state government maintained that it found the suit instituted by the industrial unions in Oyo State High Court shocking, unheard of and counter-productive.
The commissioner explained that the auditing of the LAUTECH, Ogbomoso accounts was recommended by the Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN) led visitation panel, and the two owner states had appointed a reputable accounting firm, KPMG firm to do the job.
He added that the LAUTECH unions, apart from chasing out the KPMG workers in the university, have persistently been working against the recommendation of the Olanipekun panel, except where the owner states were asked to raise fund.
Baderinwa, who observed that the owner states were anxious to resolve issues involved in the institution’s crisis, urged the unions to be sincere and support the owner states in its bid to get the school back on track, describing the suit by the unions as unpatriotic and ill-conceived.
According to Baderinwa, contrary to submission by the unions, the owner states have effective contractual agreement with KPMG on the forensic auditing job.
Baderinwa said: “The last time LAUTECH accounts were audited was in 2012, and a sum of N400 million was in question then. LAUTECH has 97 different accounts at this time of Treasury Single Account policy . The Wole Olanipekun panel recommended auditing of the university’s accounts as a way to address the crisis holistically.
“The Osun and Oyo states entered into effective contractual agreement with KPMG, a reputable auditing firm. KPMG workers were harassed and chased out of the university by the unions. The unions have also gone to court stop the forensic auditing as directed by the visitor of the institution, it is worth noting that the two owner states have committed a total sum of N13.626 billion to the university since 2011 aside over N10 billion that has come to the university as TETFUND and NEEDS as well over N12 billion declared as IGR for about five years now and we deserve every right to find out the way the money was spent.
“We wonder what the unions stand to gain by approaching court to stop the auditing. Do they have something to hide? How could they militate against a genuine and transparent move to get LAUTECH out of the unpleasant situation? We make bold to say that the unions’ action is unbecoming of a group of academicians and patriotic workers of the university. We appeal to them to give peace a chance,” he remarked.