By Uchechukwu Ugboaja
The Convener of a civil society organisation known as League of Civil Society Groups have insisted that President Buhari must fight institutional corruption in Nigerian universities to record any success at all in the all important crusade against corruption in Nigeria.
He made this statement during his group’s press conference addressing the current issues of alleged administrative impunity and victimisation of one Mr. Peter Agi the University of Calabar Bursar by the University Management headed by the Vice Chancellor Prof. Zana Akpagu over the Bursar’s act of whistle blowing of alleged corruption and fraudulent financial activities in the University system.
The Convener and Director of the group Barr. Kamaldeen Adefila, a human rights lawyer and civil society activist who spoke to press men challenged the University of Calabar authorities to publish the report of the findings of all the security agencies including the EFCC and the Nigeria Police who on different occasions upon the invitation of the University Management investigated Mr. Agi but found nothing in him, yet the school management insisted that he should remain suspended.
According to Barr. Adefila who criticised the impunity in which Mr. Agi was removed demanded that the victim be restored back to his position with immediate effect because retaining a consultant for the collection of the university’s finances is a blatant act of corruption as the Bursar’s office is the legitimate office which should be furnished with all the details of collections and remittances rather than a consultant who is only accountable to the V.C. “We condemn in strong terms the actions of the university management in terminating the appointment of the Bursar, whose only crime is his insistence on due process in the stewardship of a federal institution funded with tax payer’s hard earned money.”
We also wish to put it on record that the Vice Chancellor in promoting this nefarious agenda which is in clear violation of a subsisting order of the National Industrial Court Uyo, ‘restraining the University of Calabar from interviewing or employing any person or persons as Bursar pending the determination of motion on notice filed and served on the University of Calabar,” he said.
The group which boasts of over 300,000 members across the country urged the VC in the spirit of the rule of law to retrace his steps and do the needful by allowing the Bursar resume his rightful functions in the eye of the laws of Nigeria. The group insists that in the spirit of fairness and equity the security agencies should extend their investigations to to the office of the Vice Chancellor and other members of his management because there is need for the VC Prof. Zane Akpagu to account for how the University of Calabar TETFUND monies were spent amongst other financial issues deliberately shrouded in secrecy. President Muhamadu Buhari as the nations no one anti-corruption crusader must not allow this victimisation to stand as he has also promised to reward every act of whistle blowing that leads to fiscal recovery by the EFCC or relevant agencies in the country.
It is on record that University of Calabar has been bedevilled by several challenges in recent past which range from violent students protests including cult clashes that have caused the University Management to shut down the school resulting to loss of academic time and lives as well. We hope this will not lead to another major crisis again.