A Nigerian professor based in the US, Godwin Sadoh has insisted that Prof. Afolabi Oladapo, a former Ag. Pro-Chancellor of the Technical University, Ibadan and the school owe him (Sadoh) 40 months of unpaid salary arrears amid other allegations.
Recall that Sadoh, in a disclaimer issued some months ago, said he was recruited from the United States under the Nigerians in Diaspora Scheme to assist in creating a music programme that would be rooted in 21st-century music technology, for the university, which was under construction at the time.
He added that Afolabi conscripted him to create the academic programme for all the departments in the College of Agricultural Sciences, from the first year to the fourth year, including the intensive summer curricula.
Sadoh said he was to be paid $10,000 monthly, but this was later reduced to $5,000 monthly in June 2013. He added that Afolabi assured him that the university leadership at the time, would provide him with a suitable accommodation and a new car viz a viz the LEADS Scholar program, and most importantly, as a foundation academic staff member of the university.
However, Prof. Afolabi allegedly defaulted in the payment of all the salaries, allowances, transportation and accommodation while the National University Commission (NUC) kept to its part of the bargain, Sadoh said.
Reacting in a statement, the University dissociated itself from claims made by Sadoh. Akeem Lasisi, the university’s public relations officer debunked the allegations, stating that Sadoh’s claims could not be verified.
According to the PRO, the US-based professor had earlier sent a letter to the First Technical University, however, a search of the available records did not yield any evidence of his assumption of duty.
In a recent development, Sadoh told SaharaReporters that he was indeed appointed by the NUC as a LEADS Scholar to serve at the University with documents to support his claims.
Sadoh said all the current members of staff at the University had yet to be recruited into the workforce at the time of his appointment (2013-2016).
The US-based Professor, however, noted that he had expected the university to contact Prof. Afolabi and the NUC to verify that he worked for the school as all the current staff members were employed after he had left.
He said, “I was appointed by NUC as a LEADS Scholar to serve at Tech-U, Ibadan (See the attached first letter of my appointment).
“Prof. Afolabi was the one who assigned me duties in the capacity of Ag. Pro-Chancellor at the time. All the present staff at the school were not yet hired when I worked there at the advent of the school (2013-2016).
“They were hired after I had left. When this saga began, the management of the school was supposed to first consult with Prof. Afolabi and NUC for verification of my claims, especially, that I worked for the school and confirmation that NUC issued me three contracts.
“But the management of Tech-U did not do so before going out to the press. Also, note that my services to the school predate the appointment of all the current staff at the school.
“Hence, they don’t know me. The attached letter of Prof. Afolabi written and signed by him confirms my engagement at the institution.”
His appointment as a LEADS Scholar was contained in a letter shared with SaharaReporters dated June 12, 2013, and signed by C.J Maiyaki, the then-Chief of Staff to the Executive Secretary of the Leads Committee.
Another letter dated July 15, 2014, signed by Afolabi and addressed to Julius Okojie, the then Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commissions (NUC), requested the renewal of Sadoh’s LEADS Scholar contract.
When SaharaReporters contacted Professor Afolabi, he explained that he had only helped Professor Sadoh who was recommended by his (Sadoh’s) elder sister, a former colleague.
Afolabi said in a bid to assist the academic, he wrote to the NUC to recruit Sadoh to the new LEADS Scholar’s programme for a year and Sadoh was paid accordingly by the Commission. He said for the period of one year, the University had not developed at all and Sadoh never did any work for the institution but was still paid.
He also debunked Sadoh’s claims that he promised to make provision for accommodation and transportation, noting that he gave Sadoh his flat to stay and the latter extended his stay as he could not afford to raise the rent.
Afolabi said, “I only helped Sadoh and he has decided to blackmail me. This boy called Sadoh, I don’t know where he is now, he is a fugitive. At the time he was introduced to me, I was then the pro-Chancellor of the Technical University, Ibadan.
“We had nothing on the ground, all that we had was to come together and have an idea of how to overcome the problems of Nigerian University. It was his elder sister that had worked with me before when I was Director.
“She said her brother is in Nigeria, has nothing to do and is a professor of music, and we did not check his papers. Based on his sister’s good reputation, we said come and be part of what we’re doing.
“We paid him a sitting allowance, many big names were there, many Vice-Chancellors were there, he was not even qualified to be there but we allowed him.
“At that time, I approached NUC to accept him but they said he must have come from a University that will recommend him for work. I wrote to NUC, and they gave him one year. During the one year, he didn’t step on the ground of the University for one day because there was nobody there, NUC was paying $2,500 every month.
“Nobody promised him any car or anything, he was just dreaming. He has been blackmailing me all over. I was magnanimous enough, I was just pitying him, I gave him a flat to stay in. He refused to leave the flat after five years, I had to sell the flat, and he fought the landlord when he had no money to pay.
“How can you be so qualified and not have a job? If he was qualified, why does he have no job? Let him show you the music he said he wrote, I didn’t use it in the University.
“I only helped this man and he has been blackmailing me. If he is so aggrieved, let him go to court. Let him go to court, and show all the evidence there. It’s not fair, I helped him.”