Big fraud in Federal Polytechnic Ukana *Over One Billion Naira missing
*Union calls for immediate seek of Bursar, Rector
*How Ekpenyong Ntekim nominated a morally bankrupt man for the finance job
A financial fraud of earth shaking tremor is currently rocking the Federal Polytechnic, Ukana located at Essien Udim Local Government Area.
THE INK newspaper can report on grounds of authority that principal players like the Rector Prof. Balama J. Obomanu and the Bursar, a nominee of Barr Ekpenyong Ntekim Mr. Sunday. Okpo have connived to run the institution aground even as Senior staff of the institution say findings reveal that the duo as at the last count have diverted over One Billion naira funds of the institution into their private pockets.
It was gathered that in the past four years of the establishment of the institution, TETFUND had contributed at least 500million naira while capital votes for the institution is to the rate of about or more than 400million naira.
The Akwa Ibom State Government is said to have also made a contribution of about and over 20million naira to the coffers of the institution. These and many other sources of revenue into the school is what we gathered are funds the duo are not able to account for.
The financial recklessness and mismanagement of funds by the Rector and the Bursar had catapulted into a frightening dimension that other members of staff fear if something is not urgently done about the financial rascality employed by Prof. Balama Obomanu and his partner in crime Mr. Sunday Okpo that the institution will collapse and Akwa Ibom State will be the victim of a failed institution.
In order to save the institution, the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics, ASUP, Federal Polytechnic Ukana chapter had in a strong worded petition addressed to the Chairman of the institution’s Governing council reported the Rector and the Bursar.
In a petition headlined Report of Criminal breach of trust, misappropriation of funds, stealing and abuse of office against the Rector and Bursar of Federal Polytechnic, Ukana and leaked to THE INK reporter from a dependable source in the office of the Executive secretary National Board for Technical Education, Kaduna.
The petition endorsed by Inyangetoh, Jude A and Ariyo Anthony as Protem Chairman and Secretary respectively. The many sins of Prof. Obamanu and Sunday Okpo include but not limited to illegal deductions from Staff salaries for more than two years now.
The duo have also been accused of deliberate placement of staff on CONPCASS 1 Step 2/CONTEDISS 7Step 2 entry level instead of the NBTE recommended CONPCASS 2 step 2/CONTEDISS 8 step 2.
About 18 more allegations have been leveled on the duo including refusal to pay yearly step increment in salaries for more than two years now, deliberate refusal to release monthly pay step to staff for more than 2years now, abuse of procurement process in the course of execution of capital projects.
Other allegations leveled against the Rector and Bursar include award of TETFUND projects to cronies without due process, introduction of ghost workers into the nominal roll of the Polytechnic contract staff, deliberate refusal to implement the recommended and approved polytechnic salary structure for all staff.
One of the most frightening allegations made against the Rector and the Bursar is the fraudulent parade of two different sets of nominal rolls, one that meets the expectation of government and NBTE and the other said to be used by the duo for defrauding members of staff.
THE INK further gathered that the young polytechnic receives more than 2million naira monthly as over head cost but that the Rector and Bursar claims they are only given a party 600 thousand naira, per month. Other high ranking allegations made against the Rector and the Bursar are tremendous.
Meanwhile, acting on the contents of the petition from ASUP, Fed polytechnic, Ukana, the Chairman of the institution’s Governing Council Prof Sylvester Ike Udabah had directed the disciplinary committee of the institution headed by Dr. Frank Etim to look into the allegations against Prof. Obamanu and Bursar Sunday Okpo.
But the investigations by the committee into the matter seem to be dishonest as the Chairman of Governing Council. Prof. Sylvester Udabah and Chairman of the investigating committee, Frank Etim seem to have been bribed and have all decided to give the Rector and his cohorts a clean bill of health despite what members of staff of the institution say overwhelming evidences against them.
THE INK gathered that Sylvester Udabah had while negotiating a soft landing for the Rector and Bursar brought his son Chukwuebuka Nnamdi Udabah for employment into the institution. Without any advertisement placed and a vacant position in the institution, the Rector accepted Udabah’s son and offered him employment. Sources hinted this reporter that a lot of money must have also exchanged hands with Udaba being the receiver.
Those following up the issues contend that with such display of favoritism and clannishness by the Rector and the Chairman Governing council, there is no way justice would be delivered by the disciplinary committee.
Top sources also informed THE INK reporter that the chairman of the investigating committee who is an Oronian like the Bursar had since sold out and had decided to cover up for the accused and fraudulent polytechnic staff .
A member of staff of Federal Polytechnic, Ukana told our reporter on condition of anonymity that all the documents tendered by ASUP as evidences against the Rector and Bursar were all referred to the Bursar with an advice that the finance man should go look for a defense for them.
It was quite worrisome for some lecturers in the institution that an allegation of such grave magnitude would be treated with kid gloves by the Governing council leadership.
An angry staff said when the petition from ASUP was received, a fresh committee should have been set up to handle the matter and investigate.
Our source said directing a disciplinary committee to investigate the matter is an affront on due process. But however added that where the disciplinary committee was directed to handle the matter, the first thing to have been done was to have directed the accused persons to step down for proper investigation.
However, the compromised committee is said to have sat on the matter on 24th, 25th and 26th of January and thereafter proceeded on recess. The committee is said to have been rigged and induced heavily with funds to an extent that evidences presented by ASUP were ignored and discarded by the committee. Till date, Chairman of both the Governing council and disciplinary committee are yet to make statements on the matter.
This has however forced anger amongst members of staff of the Polytechnic who are spoil for war with the belief that if something is not done to arrest the declining situation of financial recklessness in the institution, the worse may be happening soon.
The Rector of the polytechnic when contacted refused to comment on the matter. He neither picked his calls nor replied to sms sent to him. The Bursar on his own when contacted said,’’my friend just drop that thing and go away. What business do you have with that?
Protem Chairman of ASUP, Inyangetor Jude acknowledged sending a petition to the governing council. He however declined further comments after saying that the council has started investigating the matter.
The Chairman of the governing council could not be reached for comment. His MTN line was switched off as at press time last night.
The Chairman of the disciplinary committee Dr Etim Frank on his own maintained that his committee is not yet done with the investigation and cannot at the moment speak to the press. And however promised to speak when he is done.
PRO of the institution Manasseh Umoette said, he is not privy to the said petition stressing that it was a mere speculation until the governing council determines the veracity or otherwise of the issues raised.