For quite some time now, tongues have been wagging in the state as to whether Zenith Bank was an accomplice in the massive fraud perpetrated in ADSU over the past 16 months. Although there were prevarications in the past over this issue, now we have incontrovertible evidence at our disposal and can state categorically without mincing words that Zenith Bank has not creditably acquitted itself of the accusation and would hardly wriggle out as an accomplice in the massive fraud.
From our months of enervating investigations, scores of interviews in Mubi, Yola and Abuja and the abundant evidence at our disposal, all the fraudulent acts carried out through the bank were done via counter cheques and not original cheques that are readily available in the Bursary Department of the university. From our sources with adequate knowledge of banking operations, we learnt banks have standing orders on the withdrawals of huge amounts which demand either the presence of mandatory signatories in the banking hall when using counter cheques or calling the attention of signatory “A”(the Principal) to the transaction. However, in all the cases of fraudulent withdrawals made so far, no action was taken in this regard as Zenith Bank allowed the criminal withdrawals to take place without any precautionary measures and all the dastardly acts were perpetrated in November, 2014, making the university to lose a whopping sum through unauthorised, fraudulent and criminal withdrawals.
On November 4, 2014, for instance, four withdrawals were made using counter cheques amounting to N30. 250 million while three criminal transactions were conducted the next day, November 5, 2014, still using counter cheques amounting to N20. 720 million. The fraudulent acts continued on November 7, 2014, with three withdrawals amounting to N21. 167 million and November 12 when four illegal transactions were conducted totalling N27. 503 million. On November 13 and 19, 2014, the sums of N7, 200, 550. 00 and N7, 170, 500. 00 were illegally cashed respectively with counter cheques. In all these illegal withdrawals, the signature of the present Vice Chancellor, Dr. Moses Z. Zaruwa, was forged to effect the financial malfeasance and criminal acts.
From our analysis of these fraudulent acts using forged signatures of Vice Chancellors in ADSU, both past and present, the sum of N366 million was clearly looted. This is quite apart from contributory pension funds of university staff that were virtually depleted, the University Cooperative fund that was misappropriated, unaccounted revenues from ADSU Guest House, Abuja, and ghost workers’ syndrome that is currently being exposed in the university.
In spite of all these brazen fraudulent and criminal acts, the Adamawa State Government did not deem it necessary to thoroughly investigate and sanction the corrupt practices. This unsavoury development prompted the Nyako Support Group, led by Alhaji Adamu Namtari, to accuse some top government officials in the state of benefitting from the looted funds. How can top functionaries of ADSU with these dismal records be allowed to remain in office to continue to rape the scarce resources of the budding Ivory Tower? Why should some people make sacrifices and build institutions while others destroy them with impunity and go unpunished? If the hands of Adamawa State Government are tied, is the same thing happening with the anti-graft agencies? Why has it taken them so long to act? Or, is Adamawa State insulated from the current anti-corruption war in the country?
At INDIGO, we must make it abundantly clear that we are only playing our watchdog role as stipulated in section 22 (2) of the 1999 constitution as amended; we must hold public office holders accountable to the people of Nigeria. We are therefore driven by patriotism and love of our dear state and country and will continue to blow the whistle when necessary. All those making insinuations to the contrary and feel defamed or slandered by our anti-corruption crusades, should seek redress through the due process of law. We are ready to meet them in the law courts.
Meanwhile, Zenith Bank has not acquitted itself creditably well as a public liability company and therefore has questions to answer on its despicable role in the fleecing of ADSU’s limited funds. Its official that mismanaged the University’s various Accounts should prepare adequately for the day of reckoning when he’ll be summoned to explain his brazen dereliction of duty that cost ADSU a whopping sum. Surely, his sins are too weighty and grievous and therefore unpardonable.
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