Bribery scandal hits UNIZIK VC’s selection •Nwakoby petitions on how refusal to pay N60m bribe cost him the job •Anyim, senators indicted

Posted by News Express | 1 June 2014 | 5,565 times

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A petition before the Senate by Prof. Greg Nwakoby of the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka (UNIZIK) has revealed how his refusal to bribe the screening panel N60 million cost him the chance to become the vice chancellor of the university despite emerging the best out of the nine professors screened for the position.

According to the petition by Nwakoby, a deputy vice chancellor in charge of administration of UNIZIK, he came first with 89.65 per cent out of other eight vice chancellorship candidates that sat before the Vice Chancellor Selection Exercise headed by Alhaji Buhari Bala and supported by the chairman of the University Council, Air Vice Marshall Larry Koinyan.

Other professors that sat for the screening before the Vice Chancellor Selection Exercise with their scores during the interviews were Prof. Ben Osisioma (79.4 per cent), Prof. Ifeoma Enweani (65.5 per cent), Prof. Ikechukwu Oluka (66.15 per cent), Prof. Azubuike Nwankwo (73.9 per cent) Prof. Joseph Ahaneku (80.65 per cent) Prof. Nwabueze (64.4per cent) and Prof. Okechukwu Ikpeze (76.3 per cent).

Members of the Vice Chancellor Screening Panel include; Alhaji Buhari Bala, AVM Larry Koinyan, Senator Fidelis Okoro, Prof. Amobi Illika, Prof. C.C. Egolum, Dr. Nte Mbam from the Federal Character Commission , Omotora E.B from the Federal Ministry of Education and Peter Egah also from the Federal Character Commission.

He said the university advertised the vacancy for the position of vice chancellor on December 24 2013 and 34 candidates were shortlisted. Nine of the nine candidates were invited for interview on May 22 and 23 2014, in which he came top with 89.65 per cent.

However, in his petition to the Senate President, David Mark, dated May 27, Nwakoby said: “On May 24 2014, I was invited by Senator Fidelis Okoro and Alhaji Bala Buhari at Finotel Hotel, Awka, because I also lodged in the same hotel. On entering the hotel room of Senator Fidelis Okoro, they made a demand N30 million respectively (i.e. N30 million for each of them totaling N60 million) from me as a condition for returning me as the Vice Chancellor. Senator Fidelis Okoro claimed that he would use part of his own share to settle Barrister J.M. Aseh, whereas Alhaji Bala Buhari would settle the chairman of the Governing Council.”

“I refused their demand and insisted that as I came first in the interview and screening I could not do such a thing. They told me that Prof. Joseph Ahaneku had made the offer to them but that as I was the best that it was easier to support me. I still refused their offer,” he added.

Nwakoby stated further in the petition that to his surprise: “On May 26 2014, the council chairman reconvened the meeting of the Council which started by about 1 pm. Before the meeting, Senator Fidelis Okoro told me that Senator Pius Anyim, the Secretary to the Government of Federation (SGF), had directed that Prof. Joseph Ahaneku should be appointed the Vice Chancellor and that Anyim had also appointed one Senator Ben Collin Ndu to replace Chief John Nwodo so as to ensure his bid succeed. Chief John Nwodo was appointed a member of the Governing Council sometime in April 2013 but did not come for the inauguration and had never attended the council meeting since then.”

The professor noted that after the Vice Chancellor Screening report, the announcement of the outcome of the screening was postponed.

Nwakoby said the appointment of UNIZIK Vice Chancellors since inception had always been on a merit, pointing out that it was the case with former vice chancellors late Prof. Festus Nwakor (the first VC), Prof. Pita Ejiofor (second VC), Prof. Austin Ilochi Okafor (SAN) (Third VC) and the forth Vice Chancellor, Prof. B.C.E Egboka.

•Text courtesy of THISDAY. Photo shows Anyim Pius Anyim, who is indicted by Prof. Nwakoby.

Source: News Express

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