Investigations reveals at the Adamawa State University (ADSU), Mubi, following the botched attempt by a shady group to unseat the new Vice Chancellor via a petition, have revealed that the institution has been embroiled in massive fraud for a very long time. Evidence of these shady deals has continued to emerge in the wake of the alleged petition and accusations and counter-accusations.
The group had in a petition to the Executive Governor of Adamawa State, His Excellency Senator Mohammed Umar Jibrilla, copied to the State House of Assembly, sought the suspension of the newly appointed Vice Chancellor, Professor David Joshua Shall, quoting sundry allegations against him, chief amongst which were that the Vice Chancellor had embarked on religious cleansing in respect of one of the major religions in the state; donated N10 million of state funds to the candidate of a political party during the last gubernatorial election and bought a car valued at N13 million for the former Council Chairman of the University, General Haladu Hananiya (rtd), and auctioned same to him for mere N150, 000 barely a week later.
Other allegations include frivolous expenditure of the sum of N17 million which was used to facilitate the conclusion of the studies of about 1, 500 final year students in Yola and Numan over a nine week period during which the lecturers were housed in a hotel in the wake of the closure of the university due to the attack and takeover of Mubi by insurgents last year as well as the massive destruction visited on the university itself.
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However, in a swift reaction by another group, the “Concerned Stakeholders of Adamawa State University,” these allegations were debunked and the petitioners described as the beneficiaries of illegal largess of the previous Management who were not only trying to unseat the new Vice Chancellor and install one of their own in order to not only restore their old privileges, but also cover up various unveiled fraudulent acts and atrocities committed by the previous management. The petitioners were also challenged to provide documentary evidence of any of the allegations enumerated above. The group also absolved the Vice Chancellor of any wrong doing in respect of procurement of a “car gift” as alleged by the petitioners citing collective responsibility by the Council to buttress their argument, since it was the Council that approved the procurement.
\The Adamawa State House of Assembly had at a recent sitting tabled and adopted the petition against the Vice Chancellor and directed its Committee on Public Petitions to investigate the claims of the petitioners and report back. The state legislature however threw out the petition for lack of merit following the investigation of its Committee on Public Petitions.
In another development, another group opposed to the continued stay of the Vice Chancellor in the University led by one Maiwanki had subsequently petitioned the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) against the Vice Chancellor seeking his indictment and prosecution over the procurement and premature auctioning of the former University Council Chairman’s car.
Things however took a turn for the worst in the university when a visiting team of EFCC Investigating Officers uncovered three secret Bank Accounts which the Bursary Department refused to disclose and handover to the new Vice Chancellor through which a hefty sum of money was withdrawn. Further investigations have also revealed that the sum of N72 million was secretly removed from the Zenith Bank Account of the University in quick succession from the 4th of October over a period of three days after the resumption of the new Vice Chancellor without his knowledge and for no known purpose, using Counter Cheques, presumably to mask the withdrawals from future scrutiny or detection.
In yet another confounding incident, the Union Bank Plc, one of the Bankers of the University from which some of the Unions in the University had obtained car loan in 2009 to the tune of N150 million and for which the loan was fully deducted from staff salaries as at July last year, has surprisingly written to the university demanding the payment of N264 million as the outstanding balance on the loan barring which it would take necessary action against the university that guaranteed the loan.
on condition of anonymity, a prominent member of one of the unions involved observed that the previous management had not been remitting the loan deductions which will greatly imperil staff since the Bank can legitimately pounce on their salaries to recoup the unremitted deductions which run into hundreds of millions of Naira. He further observed that, coming on the heels of this scandal, were other deductions made for staff pensions and gratuities over the years which had also not been remitted to their respective pension service providers and could not be traced either. The university community, particularly the pension contributors are destined for serious future hardship unless drastic action is taken to correct this anomaly and seeming massive embezzlement of funds.
The trend of events in the university has become even more worrisome with the discovery that the “auction” of the former Council Chairman’s car was done without the knowledge of the Vice Chancellor, but authorised by the same top official of the Bursary Department responsible for illegal withdrawal of N72 million from the university’s Zenith Bank Account, while the EFCC mercilessly grilled the Vice Chancellor in respect of the allegations on the wrong assumption that he was responsible for authorising the sale.
Meanwhile, the state government has constituted a seven-man Visitation Panel to investigate the alleged maladministration and general challenges in the university. Members of the Panel include a Deputy Permanent Secretary as Secretary, four Permanent Secretaries and the Auditor General as members and the Head of Service as Chairman. It is doubtful whether the panel will exhibit fairness and justice in view of its composition and the close relationship between some of its members and top management staff of the university who are involved in the mindboggling scams in the university.
All attempts made by this reporter to get the comments of principal officers of the university, including the Vice Chancellor, before going to press, proved abortive as they were reported to have travelled out of Mubi, the base of the university.
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