By Dayo Johnson
GOVERNOR Olusegun Mimiko of Ondo State Tuesday attributed the delay in the payment of the year 2008/2009 scholarship and bursary awards to students of the state origin to a large scale fraud discovered in the system.

He, however, assured the students of the state origin in various tertiary institutions in Nigeria yet to collect their cheques that payment would begin from next Monday at the office of the State Scholarship Board, Akure.

A statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Kolawole Olabisi expressed regret over the stoppage of the payment to the students by the State Scholarship Board.

Olabisi said the Governor was reacting to demand for the lifting of the embargo on payment by students of the Obafemi Awolowo University, OAU, Ile-Ife who made a passionate appeal to him during a courtesy call.

The statement added that the governor regretted that it was unfortunate that students themselves connived with some unscrupulous officials to print fake identity cards, letters of admissions, among others to rip off government.

“I want to appeal to our students to desist from this unwholesome practice. Some of you have connived with unscrupulous officials to siphon millions of naira from government through the printing of fake identity cards, admission letters and letters of attestation from local government of origin among others. “This money would have been used for more students rather than going down the drain because some fraudulent people wanted to benefit where they did not sow.

“When we discovered this racketeering, despite efforts to stem it by the State Scholarship Board, we had to put an embargo on the payment to allow us to streamline the system and stop further fraud in the system. But now that we have done this, we will commence the payment of the remaining scholarship from next Monday,” the governor assured.

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