Covenant University has remained the renowned awards-winning, best ICT-driven University both in Nigeria & West-Africa back to back to back within the last 10years; virtually almost all the official processes & activities within the university are executed/managed electronically via dedicated ICT platforms, and recently an electronic payment platform (called ‘CUSanwo’ i.e. ‘CUPay’) was put in place as an additional payment channel for students’ school fees payment, and payment for services offered by the school such as CU Energy, CU Shopping Mall, etc.
The “CUSanwo” e-Payment platform was reported to be the University’s Vice Chancellor’s original research idea and concept. And soon became an adopted payment e-platform for the University, after one of the University IT/Technical support staff (by name Daniel Owolo) had convinced the VC that he could help me develop the payment platform. Afterwards, the VC packaged and presented project concept to the University’s board, and approval was secured.
Going forward, The VC decided to work closely and hand-in-hand with Daniel (the “CUSanwo” developer), and sooner or later, CUSanwo became Promoted & choice platform for school fees payment.
Mr. Daniel decided to play a fast one on his Covenant University, his employer, by using the e-payment platform he developed to start diverting funds meant for CU into his own account.
And within a twinkle of an eye, his financial status and physical outlook changed: bought new exotic cars for himself and wife (also an AdminStaff of CovenantUniv), bought landed properties outside campus, bought new cars for campus “Uber” runs, chartered Choppers To-Fro Ota and Lagos, … (even reportedly bought a N11Million worth Car as a gift to the VC, which was said to be rejected by the VC), … etc.
Soon Daniel’s office colleagues began to raise eyebrows, asking probing questions, … yet, none could Xray him, despite not being able to imagine how a staff who roughly earns about N100k as an IT/Technical support staff, suddenly transformed financially overnight, …
It was not until around the 2019 Presidential election period, that the University’s Chancellor, Bishop David Oyedepo got to hear about the extravagant lifestyle of Daniel; The bishop was at his Polling Unit in Ado-ota to cast his vote, when the ‘area boys’ around started hailing him, with the hope that we would ‘drop something for the boys’, but when he wasn’t yielding to their demands, they started grumbling, and exclaiming that, “was it not one of Oyedepo’s boys that always give them cool cash, each time the guy flies to the area with his Chopper?, so why Oyedepo no wan ‘settle’ them na?”
This apparently caught Bishop’s attention and that was how Daniel’s name came up.
So without Daniel’s knowledge, he was placed under surveillance and … here you have it: N180Million of CU’s money (mostly school fees) fraudulent diversion uncovered.
On the Bishop’s order, he was apprehended by the internal security team of of the University, then grilled and with the hope of recovering as much as they can from him. He appeared to be cooperating with the securitu team, until suddenly a lawyer appeared claiming he was Daniel’s attorney. And so the case became a state high court matter.
The matter was taken to court, only for Daniel & his lawyer to play another ‘Dino Melaye’s Strategy’ on the court and the university. He claimed to be medically unwell, and as usual in Nigeria, the court granted him bail (but under police parole).
Amazingly, few days after Daniel was sighted moving around like a free man with nothing to fear: the police’s position was that, the guy has been granted bail so since it’s already a court matter, he can’t be rearrested except he tries to “jump the bail”
So, the Bishop who may still be deep taken aback by this possibly ‘all-time greatest’ financial fraud within his camp, apparently had to resort to the EFFC to handle the matter. So Daniel is reportedly being held in EFCC’s custody.
By the way, revelations coming out from the priliminary fact finding into the CUSanwo project and the N180million fraud case shows that:
The VC single-handedly conceived and executed the CUSanwo project hand-in-hand with Mr. Daniel alone, without following the University’s official protocols for awarding and managing projects contracts (not even of such magnitude): usually, there are constituted university committees and panels, such as ICT/Software committee, etc. that review and examine every project proposals presented to the University; a project contract proposal defense panel (constituting of staff from all key and relevant departments and units of the university) is usually constituted to interrogate any contractor/vendor before any project contract is recommended and referred to the university management and then university board.
But in this CUSanwo case, the VC acted alone, in managing the project with Daniel.
Besides the fact the EFCC is now involved in Daniel’s case, one of the many questions begging for answers among staff on the university campus remains: “How or Why would the VC single-handedly managed such huge project, without following due process or even ensuring proper controls are put in place?”