MASERU — National University of Lesotho (NUL) Vice-Chancellor Professor Adelani Ogunrinade has been fired, the Sunday Express can reveal.
Ogunrinade’s fate was sealed at a NUL Council meeting on Friday that ended his tumultuous three-year stint with the university.
The 56-year-old professor has been on suspension since last August to allow for an investigation into allegations of financial embezzlement levelled against him.
Ogunrinade, who was on an annual salary of M526 995, had challenged his suspension in the High Court.
His suspension was supposed to end tomorrow, ironically the day he is now likely to receive his expulsion letter.
Two council members who were in the meeting but chose to speak to the Sunday Express on condition of anonymity said Ogunrinade would be given his dismissal letter tomorrow or latest on Tuesday after the NUL Chancellor King Letsie III and the Attorney-General have been informed.
“He (Ogunrinade) is yet to be served with the letter informing him of his expulsion,” said a source.
“The council has however decided to give him his terminal benefits and avoid unnecessary court cases.”
The council chairman, Dr ’Molotsi Monyamane, however professed ignorance about the development when contacted for comment.
“I do not know anything about the vice-chancellor’s expulsion and we have not discussed it,” he said.
Ogunrinade told this paper he was unaware of the council’s resolution to dismiss him.
“I’m not aware of that and I am not going to comment about it,” Ogunrinade said on Friday night.
Ogunrinade was suspended after allegations that he had embezzled funds from a United States-based organisation, WK Kellogg Foundation.
At that time the council said the suspension was meant to give the university time to carry out investigations into the damaging allegations surrounding the administration of the US$800 000 grant.
A subsequent audit revealed that Ogunrinade had paid himself M100 000 as honorarium for “project management”.
The audit said he should not have paid himself that fee without consultation and approval from the council.
In any case, the report said, the honorarium meant that Ogunrinade was actually paying himself for responsibilities already covered by his salary as the vice-chancellor.
WK Kellogg Foundation pulled the plug on the project after the allegations surfaced.
Ogunrinade was last year also accused of extravagance when it emerged he had paid himself more than half-a-million maloti in allowances while on international trips that were allegedly not authorised by the council.
Some of the trips, the audit alleged, were fictitious.