Babcock University Lands In Alleged N46Million India Medical Trip Scam - THE ENCOUNTER NEWS


Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Babcock University Lands In Alleged N46Million India Medical Trip Scam

Michael-Azeez Ogunsiji
ABEOKUTA - 48 final year medical students of Babcock University, Ilisan-Remo, Ogun State have accused the institution of swindling over N46million naira meant for students' medical training trip to India. 

Crisis erupted in the school when the management of the institution asked the affected students of the department of Medicine and Surgery of Benjamin Carson School of Medicine in the institution to pay N962,700 each for a training trip to India which was not eventually organised for the students. 

It was further gathered that after the whooping amount was paid into the coffers of the school, the journey became impossible as the India embassy failed to grant the students the visa. 

The issue then became a public mess when parents and students insisted on refund, which the school failed to oblige as the time of filing this report. 

Speaking to THE ENCOUNTER NEWS, some of the affected students who pleaded anonymity confirmed that the money was paid into the school account. 

THE ENCOUNTER NEWS exclusively gathered that, the students paid the charged sum into the institution's Diamond account number: 0027464169 with the name CHMS.

They explained that, the school management announced in May this year that they should pay their final year school fees in the tune of N3million naira. 

They further narrated that, their parents have resolved to deduct the 'extorted' India training fees from their final year tuition fee, but the management threatened to prevent any students who fails to pay the tuition fee in full from writing the final year examinations. 

However, the final year examinations is expected to commence 16th of July 2019.

One of the students who narrated the incident said, "They told us around October 2017, that we have to make payment for our trip to India for a training and they collected about N962,700 from us, although, I don't know how many people paid but we are 48 in the class. 

"From January last year we started going to the Embassy, of which the first batch is suppose to go on the 5th of March but after going to the Embassy three times, two days to the set date, we received a message that the Visa was not gotten and the traveling has been postponed indefinitely (because they didn't give us a date). 

"After a while, we resumed back to school without getting any useful response from the school, So January this year, when we resumed, we were supposed to pay our school fee but we refused to pay because we still have our money with the school. 

"On 12th of January, the management called an impromptu meeting with our parent, but they were unable to attend because of the short notice.

"Since then, we haven't heard anything from them up till today when we got a message from the management that we have to pay our school fee because because they are yet to get the money back and If they get it, it would be paid into our accounts. But we know fully well that the possibility of we getting the money back may be very slim because we graduating and leaving school next month next month and coupled with the fact that a lot of us doesn't stay around here." She added. 

Another victim of the alleged extortion also also corroborated her colleague saying "When it was time to pay our school fee,  we demanded for the refund of our trip fear for the medical training but the management were just tossing us around with no official statement or specific date for the refund of our money instead they told us to pay our school fee else we would not be allowed to write our final year examinations which is suppose to come up in July 16, 2019.

"We pay N3, 000, 000 per annum for final year students, I have paid N1.8million, my parent then said for us to pay the balance of N1.2 million the school should refund our money for the India trip to complete the school fees."

When contacted for his reaction, the Deputy Vice-chancellor of the institution, Prof. Iheanyi Chukwu Okoro described the incident as unfortunate and regrettable.

Professor Okoro explained that, the India medical training trip is an annual orientation for the institution's final year medical students.

According to the Deputy VC, the school management had successfully took three set of the students in the last four years to India for the same exercise, saying the recent incident was unfortunate.

"It is unfortunate incident which the University management is sad about. The India medical training trip is an annual orientation for our final year medical students and we have successfully took three sets of the students in the last four years to India for the same exercise, it's just unfortunate that this fourth set was unsuccessful. 

"The truth of the matter is that, there was slight changes from India embassy for medical training in India which the India embassy did not inform us earlier. It was about a week to the trip that we got to know about the new changes, whereas, we have incurred some expenses on Visa processing, agent fees, and airline ticket.

"When we couldn't get through the India embassy, we applied to Medical Council of India and council said each student must pay 9000Rs andwe paid N1.734 million for the 48 students from the university's coffers, after, we waited for another three months, we had to called off the trip because the exams is closed by. 

"But as I talk to you, we have credited the students this morning the sum of N405, 077 and the airline operator had promised to refund the sum N203, 000 for each student, but they are yet to credit the school account. Once we received the money from the airline operator, we shall equally credit the student's account which will make the total refund to N608, 000 from the N962,700. So, there's nothing shady about the whole process," the Deputy Vice-chancellor averred.

Meanwhile, as at the time of filing this report, some of the affected students who spoke with our reporter denied receiving refund of N405, 077 from the institution.

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