All eyes are currently on the Federal Polytechnic, Ede, following allegations of nepotism, favoritism and plagiarism levelled against the Rector of the institution, Dr John Edaogbogun.
Findings by Our reporter however, revealed that the allegations against Edaogbogun are just one out of many controversies and internal crises that had crept into the management fold of the tertiary institution.
The medium learnt that Edaogbogun is not the only official of the institution in the eye of the storm, as an academic of Lecturer I status, Mr. Mathew Omolade is also facing a career-threatening allegation of plagiarism, which is currently being investigated by the management of the polytechnic.
Omolade, who accused Edaogbogun of abuse of power, nepotism, suppression of dissenting voices and flagrant violation of rule of law, was said to have been interdicted and placed on half salary, pending the outcome of findings by the investigation committee set up to investigate the alleged plagiarism against him.
OSUN DEFENDER learnt that Omolade was seeking promotion from his current Lecturer I to Senior Lecturer and submitted some required academic materials to the Establishment Department of the polytechnic in 2019.
Omolade is a lecturer in the Department of General Studies.
According to sources, three assessors, reportedly engaged by the Government Council of the institution concluded after reviewing the papers that Omolade allegedly plagiarised three of the journals 100 per cent, while the fourth paper was plagiarised 84 per cent.
It was alleged that Omolade removed the names of the original authors of the three papers and replaced them with his own name, while he allegedly changed few pages in the fourth paper and converted it to his own academic work.
The medium learnt that there are other lecturers of the polytechnic who had been caught in plagiarism but forgiven by the management.
Reacting to the allegations, Omolade in an interview with the medium yesterday said: “There is no evidence to buttress the allegations that my publications are plagiarized. He who seeks equity must come with clean hand. You that is sitting on a panel trying somebody for plagiarism has already plagiarised so many books. The copies of books are there with the level of plagiarism.
“When you have Masters, you are to be appointed as Lecturer III, not Lecturer I that he puts his son. Before you are moving from Lecturer I to Senior Lecturer, you are expected to submit three conference papers, plus one journal or two chapters in a text book. I submitted four conference papers, instead of three, three journals instead of one and five chapters of a text book co-authored with another lawyer.
“What they (management) are now saying is that, out of the four conference papers, one has a resemblance, when they were looking for what is not lost. I told them that even when they removed the said paper, what I have on ground is more than what I need for promotion.
“We were nine that ought to be promoted, they stepped two of us down. They did not even give the second person any letter now. They only gave me letter without any fair hearing or recommendation from the council.
“I submitted my papers to Establishment Office. There was nothing like external assessors panel. The letter they gave me was that they would sit on my promotion and communicate back to me. I don’t know how and where the allegation of plagiarism came from. And that makes me to say that if they are accusing of plagiarism, the rector himself plagiarised.
“If they see any paper that is not good from what I submitted, they should remove it, other papers qualify me for the promotion I seek for. Tell them to give you the evidence of what they are saying. I have never seen the report of the external assessors. I did not even know there is external assessor because they are the one that do take the paper out. They know who they take my papers to. They know who they send your papers to when they want to incriminate you. Let them produce the report of the external assessor.
“I am being witch-hunted. Interdiction is given to somebody that has criminal case outside the system, and that criminal case has already been charged to court.”
Omolade accused the Rector of giving double promotion to his wife, Mrs. Edaogbogun when she was deemed not to be promoted in July 2017 due to what the Junior Staff Appointment and Promotion Committee described as ‘inadequate qualifications’.
He alleged that Mrs. Edaogbogun was promoted from CONTEDISS 7 to CONTEDISS 9 and was backdated to January 2017, while the financial benefit started from January 2018.
Omolade also accused the rector of appointing his son, Mr. Goodness Edaogbogun, without approval by the governing council as lecturer.
He also alleged Edaogbogun of plagiarism in one of the papers he submitted while seeking to be appointed as rector of the institution.
But the Rector, in an interview with OSUN DEFENDER on Wednesday, said: “There is nothing like nepotism and undue promotion. Presently, my wife is still an Accountant II on Level 8. So, I don’t know how the double promotion took place. Even with regards to the HND (Accounting) she had in 2003 and now a certified Chartered Accountant, ideally, she should have been on a higher level but we are still waiting for the promotion to come.
“If I had wanted to use my position as Rector, it should have been on a higher scale. Even her mates are now on level 14 but she is still on level 8. I don’t understand where they got their own information from.
“Initially, she was employed with ND in 2013 and at that time, she was given EO. They did not even look at the years of the ND. When this evaluation came, I was not the Rector then, she was migrated to level 6. After three years, before I became rector, she was recommended for promotion and she was promoted to 7.
“Later, she obtained a degree in Accounting in 2017 and requested for conversion just like others. While we were looking at it, we said those of them that had HND from year 2000 that were placed on level 8 but should be placed on level 11; we sought to put them on level 9. About 5 of them were fixed on 9 while my wife was put on level 8.
“One of the root causes of the crisis was the improper placement which was why we went into it. In fact, some with ICAN, ANAN, were upgraded to level 11 from levels 3, 5 and so on.
“All those injustice were corrected. Those people who were rejoicing because they were victimizing them are not happy seeing them being liberated. They were behind the allegations and just for ostentation; they cited my wife’s case.
“My son was employed just like others in the Innovation Technology Centre established by the school. That Centre is to churn out genuine technology every month. In such situation, you need special knowledge officers. We brought someone from OAU, Ile-Ife, Adeleke University and other universities to handle specific units in the Centre.
“My son is an expert in Theoretical Atmospheric Physics. Meanwhile, we had a weather station donated to us by the state government that had been locked up for four years prior to that time. So, we have to invite him to man the station, to help us analyse the data and sell data to his colleagues who are still using the data for their research too. That’s why he was brought in.
“I even had to beg him to come. The council interviewed him, found him worthy of appointment and appointed him lecturer II. He was not the only one appointed lecturer II, Mr. Saka was also given senior technologist, Kasali was given Lecturer III because of their year of graduation.
“So, all they are saying is mere sensationl; all in sheer attempt to whip up sentiments.”
However, OSUN DEFENDER learnt that the State Security Service has commenced investigations into the matter.
A credible source in the polytechnic told the medium on Wednesday that the management of the institution had been contacted by the SSS for reports on the employment and promotion of the rector’s wife and employment of his son.
But a source in the Osun command of the SSS said the security agency could not make comment on its investigation.
According to the source, the Ministry of Education has also waded into the matter, adding that the Governing Council of the polytechnic would soon speak on the matter.