Nigerian Accountant-Pastor in £4m Biggest Education Fraud in UK




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An accountant at a chain of academies championed by Michael Gove is at the centre of a fraud investigation after £4 of school ended up his personal accounts.

Nigerian-born Samuel Kayode is said to have spent much of the cash on an extravagant lifestyle and buying a string of properties.

The 57-year-old part- pastor was told by the High Court to pay £4.1 back to the Haberdashers’ Aske’s chain of academies more than a year ago.

He has failed to do so, and is feared most of the cash has been transferred to Nigeria.

The case, kept secret for almost years, is believed to be Britain’s biggest ever education fraud.

Although Kayode was arrested October 2012, police have yet to charge him with any crime.

Critics of academies – state schools which have control of their own finances – say the massive loss of cash calls that entire system into question.

Questions were also asked about whether Mr Gove – who lost his job as Education Secretary last week – took close enough interest the case.

The vast sum of money is the Haberdashers’ Aske’s Federation Trust in South London.

is named after 17th century silk merchant Robert Aske who left much of his wealth to create an educational charity fund run by the Worshipful Company of Haberdashers.

The Haberdashers’ Aske’s public schools for boys and in Hertfordshire were founded with his money.

Three Haberdashers’ Aske’s state secondaries in London – Hatcham College, Knight’s Academy and Crayford Academy – are run by the trust as a separate charitable wing funded by Mr Aske’s endowment. They were often referred to by Mr Gove in speeches. [eap_ad_1] Kayode went to work at Hatcham in 1997 and rose to become accounts manager for the whole chain.

He was paid £57,000 a year, and told colleagues of his work as a pastor in the Christ Apostolic Church, South London, peppering his conversations with ‘praise the Lord’.

In October 2012 emerged that a large sum of money was the academies’ .

Kayode’s assets and those of his Grace, who died aged 53 last year, were then frozen.

It appeared that huge sums of school money had been paid into a bank account in Nigeria and a company called Samak, which is said to be run in Nigeria by Kayode’s Yoni, although he denies any wedding has taken place.

The trust launched a High Court case to reclaim the cash but the accountant denied wrongdoing and claimed ‘all transactions had been authorised by the finance director’.

However, the judge found in the trust’s favour last July and ordered Kayode and the estate of his to pay back more than £4 plus interest.

He remains at large and is facing any charges, although he is due to speak to detectives again this week.

A Metropolitan Police spokesman would say only that a man Lambeth was on police bail.

Adrian Percival, chief of Haberdashers’ Aske’s Federation Trust, said: ‘The civil case found in favour of the federation and we are trying to recover the money that has been taken from us. We are obviously shocked and saddened.’

But furious parents say Haberdashers’ Aske’s has tried to hush the scandal up.

Jill Rutter, who has several children at the Hatcham academy, said in an online blog: ‘The fraud strikes at the heart of the educational establishment and shows that the current system and the freedom afforded to academies is working. Ultimately it is our children that suffer.’

Kayode’s boss at Haberdashers’ Aske’s, chief finance officer Paul Durgan, is now working for a academies chain.

He said: ‘Sam Kayode completely had me taken, like everybody else. Nobody from the police or school has spoken to me.’

via@DailyMail[eap_ad_4]