NOT FORGOTTEN: How Supreme, Eja Nla ‘swallowed’ N188,000 meant for NANS debate participation

Now that the days of Obagunwa Oluwasegun (Supreme) are numbered as the president of AAUASU, students of the university are puzzled about the truths behind his financial management while in office.

This reporter made an investigation following accusations by the executives in the Union’s Whatsapp platform that the President, Obagunwa Olwasegun (Supreme) has allegedly connived with the Senate President, Amodu Abiola (Eja Nla) in embezzling a certain N188,000.

The money in question, was meant to fund the welfare of two AAUA students who represented the school at the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) Southwest Inter-tertiary debate, themed ‘CLASH OF THOUGHTS’, at Lagos State University on March 25.

NANS Southwest debate

Ikulajolu Adesola had, since February, brainstormed with his colleague, Diwura Williams, on the essay topic numbering about 1500 words, for qualification to the competition proper.

Fate smiled on them when they were finally pitched against the University of Ibadan.

However, they chose not to rest on their oars as they put all hands on deck to ensure a successful presentation at the event.

Financial support is all they needed from the Students Union.

“We were not given any bus to travel, we were roaming Lagos streets at night. We basically cared for ourselves, we had to train ourselves. We went in a public bus when they said the union bus wasn’t ready,” Adesola recounted in an interview with this reporter.

The experience led to their early disqualification, despite being prolific debaters individually, as they were exposed to unfavourable conditions.

He said, “The trauma and stress worked on us. Our mates got there early enough to rehearse and practice. We left AAUA very late in the afternoon and arrived at LASU very late in the night. Only God saved us.”

“We started hearing different sad accusations from our people at home, which demoralized the energy we went with. The office of the VP should originally be in charge of every duty that deals with academics. She wasn’t carried along, the president did it all without her consent.”

“The fraudulent act is bad- collecting money in our names. We wanted more than we got.”

WhatsApp senate budget

It was gathered that the Students Representative Council had earlier pended the budget for the debate at their sitting on March 23, only for it to continue via Whatsapp.

This reporter obtained the screenshots of the virtual sitting held the same day, where a quorum of 6 senators deliberated on the budget.

The senators online as of 10:30 pm were Senators Revol (Pioneer Hall), Centurion (Science Education), SAN (Law), Always (Accounting), Neyo (Animal Science), Jorogram (Sociology), Vic To Ria (Plant Science and Biotechnology) and Eja Nla (Fisheries).

Senator Eja Nla sitting in the office of the Senate President

Following negotiations and counter-suggestions, one Senator SAN raised the motion for the sum of N188,000 to be granted for the debate. It was seconded by one Senator Always.

The bill was approved by Senator Eja Nla at 11:06 pm on March 23.

However, this development was alien to the representing team, as they had to feed themselves while the event organisers sorted out the accommodation.

Adesola said, “I and the team never received any funds whatsoever from either SRC or SEC. We personally borrowed N13,000 to transport ourselves to LASU which the SU President promised to refund; he refunded it a few days after we arrived from Lagos. That’s the only fund we had access to.”

“No budget of 188k was given to us. It was after the debate that I started hearing of the particular 188k approved budget. We were given nothing,”  he stated.

He further disclosed that Supreme had assured him of full reimbursement once it had withdrawn from the Union account.

Obagunwa Segun Supreme

A trusted source confided in this reporter that the fund would surely have been disbursed since it has been approved by the Senate President.

‘Supreme, Eja Nla took debate money from VC, SU account” – SU

A petition to the management, signed on September 6, was obtained by this reporter that disclosed the pent-up difference within the administration.

It had earlier accused the President of “effortlessly initiating and carrying out his hideous plans with aid of the Senate President, Amodu Abiola”, who they accused of being “a puppet to the President.”

The petition, which had the signature of the Vice President, Akinlalu Funmilola; General Secretary, Taiwo Oluwagbogo; P.R.O, Adegbeyeni Oluwafemi; Welfare Director, Oseni Ridwan; Social Director, Emoruwa Ade and Sports Director, Adelowo Adebayo, also disclosed that the two parties had concealed the money even after receiving N180,000 from the Vice-Chancellor in support of the debate.

It reads, “It should also be on record that Supreme and Eja Nla received the sum of N180,000 from the Vice-Chancellor to sponsor NANS debate in which some of our students participated, but the duo concealed the fund and went behind to request for another sum of N180,000 from the Student Union account for the same purpose.”

“While we have chosen to tow the path that will encourage peace among the students and in the university, we importantly took this courageous step to clear the growing impression that the Students Union leaders generally have a hand in the failure of the 2019/2020 administration.”

Keeping the distance

A Whatsapp chat with the Vice President requesting an interview on September 10 was read at 16:46 but went unanswered.

A plea by this reporter to verify if the money was disbursed was subtly denied by the Union’s Treasurer, Geo Emmy, as he stated that he is in bed at 9:27 pm.

When this reporter also made a call across to the Senate President on September 11 at 4:26 pm, he pleaded for a physical meetup or a recall at night despite holding a 2-minute conversation.

A follow-up call made across to him by 8:32 pm went unpicked.

As of press time, none of them showed interest in responding to the requests.

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Author

  • Phillip Anjorin is a Student Journalist in Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba-Akoko in Ondo state who writes for different media outfits. He's a volunteer, phonetographer and lover of nature.

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