By; JACOB ONJEWU DICKSON
Following the reports by some Nigerian dailies exposing the rot inherent in Federal College of Education Potiskum, Yobe State, the Federal Government through the Ministry of Education has set up a high powered panel to ascertain the facts and degree corruption has permeated the institution.
The Presidential Visitation Panel was set up by the government and it has already been inaugurated in Abuja on Tuesday April 13, 2021.
Empowered to investigate all allegations of corruption and to make appropriate disciplinary recommendation, the panel would visit Potiskum on April 20 to commence work.
However, there are fears in some quarters that those in the corridors of power in the institution could hamper the smooth and honest arbitration of the committee.
According to Musa Sajo, there is another council committee apart from the Presidential Committee,
“The Governing Council for Polytechnics is a walk over for them, since provost is automatically a member and he is the one to pay their sitting allowances, he can easily influence their activities.
“In the case of the Presidential committee,the Minister on behalf of the President is the one funding the panel.”.
However, Usman Bako Abdul wondered “why it took the Federal Government long time to react by setting up a panels and councils when it is obvious that the rot in the polytechnic has been festering for a very long time”.
Abdul added, “there were several allegations of corruption against the Provost of the school for over 3 years and still, nothing was done till now”.
“It is therefore fair for us to say that vigilance by all parties is what should be the order of the day.
A staff of FCE Potiskum, Mr Adamu Sajoh however expressed happiness that the Federal Government has decided to institute the probe.
He expressed readiness to testify against those who are perpetuating corruption in the college.
The College of Education Potiskum has been rocked with allegations of financial scandals and misappropriation of funds and the man at the centre of the scandal is the Provost of the College, Mal Madu Mohammed.
Apart from allegedly illegally transferring N53 million from the Institution’s current account to its business account which he allegedly embezzled, sources also claimed that he had on assuming the post of provost unilaterally upped his salary.
He was also said to have sat on TETFUND scholarship funds meant for staff, denying many of them opportunity to go for further studies while allowing his cronies access to the same funds without them actually going for further studies.
Another infraction of the provost that caused a lot of anger is that, Mal Madu would delibrately delay paynent for individual beneficiaries even after such individuals hsve been granted approval by TETFUND’s board of trustees.
According Usman Ibrahim, “The provost will not compile the names on time and he will not adhere to the stipulated directives”.
Ibrahim further explained, “Instead he will keep files of the beneficiaries for more than one month and in that event UK will deny a beneficiary Visa because time for your programme has elapsed.
“It is with such embarrassing records that prompted staff and stakeholders of FCE Potiskum to cry to the press.”
Mr. Ibrahim also added that as the probe panel visits the school in the next few days, it is their hope that justice is done.