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FGC Ijanikin Suspends Students Following Parents’ Petition to EFCC

FGC Ijanikin Suspends Students Following Parents' Petition to EFCC

The administration of the Federal Government College (FGC), Ijanikin, Lagos State, has taken the step of suspending three students indefinitely. This action comes in response to their parents’ decision to submit a petition to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). The petition revolves around concerns regarding the management of funds by the Parents Teacher Association (PTA) within the school.

The suspension does not extend to a fourth student who had already graduated before the punitive measures were implemented. The controversy arose when parents, appearing on a Television Continental (TVC) program in Lagos, disclosed their inquiry into the utilization of approximately N23 million by the PTA. This financial scrutiny led to their perceived rebellion and subsequent punitive actions against both parents and their children.

Mrs. Falilat Oluwashogbon, one of the affected parents, recounted that the issue originated in 2022 during the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the PTA. During the presentation of the financial report, questions were raised concerning the allocation of funds, particularly the reported increase in the salary of PTA teachers from less than N15 million to N23 million. This increase was questioned as there were no new teacher hires or salary increments for existing staff during that period.

“There were a lot of discrepancies in the records. They also said they spent over N1m as a sitting allowance for PTA exco. They also said they spent N1 million on sports when each student pays N1,000 per term for sporting activities. The situation led to some parents raising eyebrows about the spending and they refused to accept and adopt that report.

“Surprisingly, those of us who raised concerns about how the funds were being spent were removed from the Telegram group that parents, the principal and even some teachers belong to. The portals of our children, who are the students there, were blocked. When we waited for some months and nothing was done to redress the situation, we petitioned the EFCC.”

Another parent, Pius Sodje, a lawyer, said his child barely escaped being prevented from sitting for last year’s WAEC and NECO examinations.

Sodje said: “At the AGM, the leadership of the PTA threw a figure at us as what they spent and which they wanted us to adopt. We said no. Apart from some of the things that Mrs Olushogbon mentioned, they said they spent millions of naira on preparatory classes by students. This is not necessary; we pay N500 per child per term for prep classes. I asked for an explanation, but none was given.”

The Chairman of the PTA, Mr Shola Tokede, who also appeared on the programme, faulted the claims by the other parents.

Tokede said: “The problem started from the time we had an election in 2021 for a new exco of the PTA. Some of those levelling these spurious allegations lost out then. Mrs Olushogbon wanted to contest the chairmanship of the body but was disqualified because she didn’t meet the set criteria. In a setting like that, it is not everybody that will be in support or against it.

“As for the allegation that the PTA mismanaged over N80 million, only the accusers know where they got that figure from. We didn’t mismanage anything. All the expenses and the incomes were duly accounted for.”

Asked what he has done or is doing to defend the rights of students suspended for not committing any offence, Tokede said it was based on the regulations laid down by the Federal Ministry of Education.

“I am not the one running the school and I am also not the owner, there is a memo from the Federal Ministry of Education that any parent who goes to court over any issue relating to their children’s schools would have their children suspended until the matter is withdrawn or settled in the court.”

Teachers, mgt keep mum

When our correspondent visited the school on Friday, no teacher was willing to speak on the matter, saying they were just civil servants and that the Federal Ministry of Education is looking into it.

A man, who simply described himself as the Public Relations Officer of the PTA, said the association would soon come out with its position on the

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