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FGC Ijanikin students suspended over parents’ petition to EFCC

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The management of the Federal Government College in Ijanikin, Lagos, has suspended three students, a punitive action allegedly triggered by their parents’ daring move to petition the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission over the financial dealings of the Parents Teacher Association.

According to Vanguard, one of the affected parents, Mrs. Falilat Oluwashogbon, revealed the genesis of the issue, stating, “When the PTA chairman presented the financial report, some of us raised questions about how some funds were spent. For instance, the salary of PTA teachers was said to have increased to N23 million from less than N15 million the previous year, even though no new teacher was employed, and no salary increment was implemented for the teachers.”

The discontent arose during the Annual General Meeting in 2022 when discrepancies in the financial records were pointed out. 

Oluwashogbon explained, “There were a lot of discrepancies in the records. They also said they spent over N1 million 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.”

Surprisingly, those who raised concerns found themselves removed from the communication group shared by parents, the principal, and some teachers. 

The portals of their children, who are students at the school, were also blocked. In response to the lack of resolution, the disgruntled parents decided to take the matter to the EFCC.

Pius Sodje, another parent and a lawyer, recounted how his child narrowly escaped being barred from sitting for the previous year’s WAEC and NECO examinations. Sodje mentioned, “Apart from some of the things that Mrs. Oluwashogbon 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, countered the parents’ claims, stating, “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.” 

Tokede dismissed the allegation of mismanaging over N80 million, emphasizing that all expenses and incomes were duly accounted for.

Regarding the suspension of students, Tokede defended the action, citing regulations from 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.”

As of now, teachers and management at the school have chosen to remain silent on the matter, with a representative of the PTA stating that the association plans to release its official position on the issue soon.

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