The Nigerian government has sued an American institution, University of Alabama to court over an alleged mishandling of scholarships meant for students’ rent, books and food.

The university was also accused of charging the students for accommodation they did not use and lessons they did not take.

According to BBC, University of Alabama denied the allegation, telling local media it had “adhered to and complied with every instruction and direction given to the university by the Nigerian government regarding that agreement.”

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The institution admitted the Nigerian government was owed $202,000, but said it had been deposited into an account.

However, Anthony Ifediba, who represents the students, told Montgomery Advertiser he believes the university might have withheld as much as $800,000.

“I hope it will sober the Alabama State University up, and its new president, to realise that what these students are talking about is very serious and it’s having an adverse effect on them legally and I’d imagine public relations-wise.” He said.

He added that the university was paid about $5m by the Nigerian government, which was meant to cover tuition and living costs for all the students.

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