FCE Potiskum Provost Engaged in Messy Scandals

By Mike Odeh James

• How the Provost frustrate Staff from accessing TETFUND Grants  

• Offers To Give a Staff N400, 000 instead of N1,050, 000 sent by TETFUND.

• Emblezzles Furniture Allowance of N6,million by converting into monthly salary. 

Apart from the allegations of financial misappropriation, several staff of the College DH spoke to also alleged that the Provost did not go through with his PhD program .

Documents obtained by DH showed that in 2014, Madu with two other staff of the institution were given over N1 million each to do PhD programs which was supposed to be rounded up by 2017.

.The program was which funded by TETFUND has a terminal date of three years for PhD students.

 while the two others rounded up their programs long ago, Mr Madu is yet to either round up his program or has been unable to round up doctorate degree program nearly six years after.

Further more, it was stipulated that, a candidate who did not complete his program must refund the money collected.

Many of those interviewed claimed that Mal. Madu did not refund a dime to TETFUND despite the fact that he did not complete his studies.

Mr.Yakubu Moses, one the stakeholders at FCOE Potiskum, further explained,

“Yes he didn’t complete PHD program after collecting TETFUND intervention sponsorship. 

“That too is another infraction. Going by their regulations he is suppose to refund money collected, he added

According to Mr.Moses, the Provost  received  one million fifty thousand naira, money accessed in his name from TETFUND. The money was paid into  his account as college deputy provost then by former provost Dr Abdulkadir shettima.

“Until now, Madu cannot produce any evidence to show that, he has completed the PHD .

“Neither can he claim to have refunded the funds he collected”, he added 

Investigation by DH also showed that many people who were due for the TETFUND allowances to enable them to go for either Masters of Doctorate  degrees were denied or have their funds cut by the provost. In most cases, TETFUND had paid the monies to the school so that would be beneficiaries would access the funds.

So the questions are why is the Provost denying his staffs the opportunity of furthering their education and who is accessing the funds that had already being paid to for staffs to go for further studies .

CASES OF WITCH HUNTING, WITHHOLDING OF FUNDS MEANT FOR TRAINING

According to one of the victims,Mr. Rosemary Usman  ( not her real name ),

“I got admission with Usmanu Dan Fodiyo University in the 2009/2010 Academic sessions. and l was given sponsorship by tetfund 25/11/2011; the then deputy provost Mal. Madu Muhammad refused to allow  collect the money that TETFUND had sent to me for my training allowances.

” when I asked him why he said because my admission was Mphil not PhD. 

Mrs Usman further explained ” But when I enquired from the University, the university authority  made it clear to me that it has never happened.

” So, when I came back to the deputy provost Mal Madu Muhammad to give him the feedback of my enquiry from the University,he still insisted that I should either get a different offer of admission read PhD direct or I should wait until I got upgraded to PhD status. 

But to my dismay, even after the upgrade, despite the fact I have furnished them with a progress report and a photo copy of a memorandum, which I collected from post graduate school UDUS. yet I was denied the money.

What is more disturbing was the fact TETFUND had sent the sum of N1,050, 000 to the Federal College of Education Potiskum on behalf of Rosemary Usman .

Further disturbing was that the money could be accessed and was accessed by those in charge of the school account, yet the intended recipients do not get a dime . 

The most intriguing part of it was that Mrs.Usman was not the only staff denied the use of funds already sent to the school account in their names.

At least, four names were mentioned to DH .

All of them were said to have being denied access to the training allowances sent in their names .

DH learnt that certain changes made by Mahmud Yakubu in 2007 when he was the Executive Secretary of TETFUND, allowed the beneficiary institutions of TETFUND training funds to

accessed monies of  individual beneficiaries of their respective institutions in their names inorder to Ensure correct usage and a avoid misappropriation of the past committed by respective chief executives of our tertiary institutions.

The Mahmud Yakubu change also made it possible for heads of institutions to merge unaccessed funds for for years.

These changes had become a wild card or blank cheque for some provosts to indiscriminately hold on to staff training funds, manipulate the funds and victimize their staff as well.

Many staff of FCOE Potiskum alleged that this was exactly what the head of the College, Mal Muhammad Madu did and is still doing .

According to Mrs Usman, after being denied the funds  meant for her for years, she decided to confronted the Provost.

Once again, the provost decided to play hard and deceptively offered her what was entirely strange and out of the rules and regulations guiding the TETFUND training allowances.

Mrs Usman explained ;

” In the year, 2017 when I saw that I have gone far and have done an internal defense for the PhD program, I decided to write to the management under the leadership of Mal.Madu Muhammad; 

She explained further,

” I wrote dated 11-January,2017.

After I wrote requesting for the payment, to my surprise again I was given an offer of N437 000 simply because I attached copies of my registration receipts I made with the University, for transparency.

 so, they went and calculated that I spent only N400, 000 and therefore offered to refund N437,000 to me whereas they had accessed N1, 050, 000 in my name 

 “I was provoked by the last three words in the letter so I decided  to write a complaint letter to the Minister of Education on16-March-2017

Documents seen by DH showed that Mrs Usman was given the sum of N1,050,000 by TETFUND for her training.

DH, sought an interview with the Provost through his Personal Assistant to clarify why Mrs Usman was offered the sum of N437,000 instead of N1, 050,000 but was unable to get them to respond.

According to Bako Abdul of the Committee For Democracy, the actions of the Provost seems very fishy and borders corruption.

Abdul added that he is still studying relevant documents at his disposal and after that, he would seek for the intervention of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC in ascertaining the level of corruption perpetrated by the provost .

Succour finally came the way of Mrs Usman after the College of Education Association Staff Union COEASU complied a list of the infractions committed by the Provost and to it the Executive Secretary of National Commission for Colleges of Education, NCCE Bashir Usman Haruna.

Haruna then called Madu and told him pointblank that the Provost had accessed Mrs Usman’s funds already and there was no need to hold to keep holding on it. 

He therefore ordered him to pay Usman the stipulated amount .

DH learnt that the Provost was unable to pay Mrs Usman immediately but paid her in instalments meaning that the fund was not lying fallow but had been used up .

Imagine, if those in charge of management of the TETFUND decided to withhold the training funds of about 4 persons, it would amount to over N4 to N5 million which is being illegally with held by the Provost and the figure could rise depending on those that choose to speak out 

If one thinks that withholding and misappropriating funds meant for training of staff is the menu on the table, then one is dead wrong. 

Another way which the provost is said to witch hunt the staff of the Institution, is to hold on to their release letters if the staff secured a higher and better appointment.

According to sources, Madu would refuse to sign letter of release till the staff cough of huge amount of monies which are said to be as the result of loans or grants obtained by staff .

However, the staff are complaining that the Provost is using that to witch hunt them and to illegally enrich himself. 

Abubakar Mannir, a staff of FCOE Potiskum got an employment offer from a Federal University, he was so elated but the bubble was busted when Madu told him that he would not sign his release paper till Mannir pays certain amount to the coffers of the school.

.According to Madu, Mannir and three others who also got better appointments were owing bonds to TEFTUND which had not been repaid .

Madu insisted that until the paid every dime collected from TETFUND as training allowances, they can not resume at the new places of employment.

Mannir told Desert Herald that, they pleaded with the provost to allow them to resume and them they would pay .

According to Mannir, 

“We told him that since FCE Potiskum is a Federal Institution and the  University where we secured employment is a Federal institution, there should be no problem as we can easily transfer our payment, but he refused .

“We then begged him to use the monies FCE Potiskum is owing us to offset the bonds to TETFUND, he refused.

Mannir went on, 

.” We begged him to allow us pay in instalments, again he refused.

“As for me, I rallied around and coughed out the N1.5 million that TETFUND gave me.

” Some of my colleagues paid N1.050,000 depending on how grants they access, mannir added .

.According to those that DH interviewed, instead of paying directly to TETFUND, Madu gave them FCE Potiskum’s bank account and ask them to pay into it. 

Some of then reasoned that, the cash may not get to TETFUND and therefore requested that DH find out from TETFUND if their repayments got to it.

An insider also revealed to DH, the case of two hardworking staff,Peter Bulus of integrated Science Department and Samson Bunza of Biology Education, after applying for TETFUND Scholarship for PHD.

They after waiting in vain, the duo opted for self sponsorship after learning that the Provost was not favorably disposed to allowing them access TETFUND grants .

While the Provost was busy ensuring that the institution does not loose money to staff, documents obtained by DH revealed that  he converted six million naira furniture allowance meant for him into his monthly salary .

According to the document, the six million comes once in 4 years , however, the provost disregarded that caveat and merged it to his salary per month.

An Executive member of COEASU who spoke to DH said:

” The six million was paid to him by federal government directly, but he decided to draw half a million everymonth from monthly approved appropriated college allocation .

” It means he is drawing money monthly from the college monthly Grant illegally since it has not been approved and appropriated in the college budget.

The COEASU Executive explained how the provost was able to manipulate the process of obtaining the allowance to his favour. 

He also revealed that the provost was not drawing six million but twelve million in yhr process .

” . It means payment of N6m once in four years has been converted to  annually . 

“That means double payment 6m collected for once in 4years and then N6m annually but drawing it monthly 500k .

This is a very serious financial misappropriation, he said .

” All payslip and his statement of account for the 4 years period is with ICPC because on invitation by ICPC that time it requested by them”.

DH correspondent was reliably informed that based on his records of financial misappropriation, the Independent Corrupt

Practices Commission,ICPC invited to explain how he conducted the finances of the Institution.

DH also learnt that he was let off the hook due to the intervention of powerful sons Abd daughters of Potiskum.

Nonetheless, all the staff spoken to are of the opinion that corruption, large-scale corruption is will going on at FCE Potiskum and the perpetrator remains the head of the institution.

Next week, DH will  bring the concluding part of this report  

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