… mobilises for a mega protest at the National Assembly
As part of efforts by civil society organisations (CSOs) to partner and collaborate with the current administration to fight corruption in line with the renewed hope agenda of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Network for Truth and Justice, NTJ has reacted to widespread allegations of corruption and misappropriation against the Rector, Federal Polytechnic Nassarawa Toto, Nassarawa State, Alh Alhasan Abdullahi
The CSO which prides itself as anti-corruption champions and watchdog had launched an independent and thorough investigation into the heinous allegations which emanated mostly from the Polytechnic community and the Alumni who were frustrated by the magnitude and audacity of looting that has been ongoing in the institution under the notorious leadership of Alhassan Abdullahi Ahmed and his collaborators.
In a widely distributed press release in Abuja over the weekend by the National Coordinator of Network for Truth and Justice (NTJ), Comrade Richard Oduma Richard, a copy of which was seen by our correspondent, the group stated that it was impossible to remain silent in the face of grievous allegations bordering on misapplication of the institutions funds meant for capital projects, mismanagement of TETFUND allocations, diversion of school IGR, contract scams, embezzlement of staff benefits as well as the mismanagement of the institution’s Microfinance Bank by the rector.
According to the release, “we have acted in line with our mandate as a CSO and discovered that the Rector of Federal Polytechnic Nassarawa Toto, Alhassan Abdullahi Ahmed, has not just resisted accountability using veiled threats to silence our investigations which have failed. We have evidence suggesting he used looted funds siphoned from the institutions coffers to acquire over 15 estates and guests houses within Nassarawa State and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
“It is also on record that the Rector criminally conspired with the institution’s Micro Finance Bank management to divert the funds meant for the running of the bank, the rector is also known for promoting and supplanting his stooges in key positions within the polytechnic over more qualified staff to conceal these criminal actions.
The indiscriminate award of contracts to cronies , the diversion of institutions micro finance bank funds for suspicious ransom payments, including the purported kidnapping of the NASSPOLY Microfinance Bank Manager which many believe was prearranged to conceal the extravagant loot ongoing in the bank. This among many are the barefaced criminalities that has been unearthed by our clandestine investigations”.
The CSO maintained that the inability of the Rector to account for the proper utilisation of all funds accessed by the Polytechnic between 2015 till date is suspicious and a clear indication that his tenure is marred with series of sharp practices relating to the award of contracts, research grants, and scholarships.
“It is on record that the Rector of Federal Polytechnic Nassarawa, Mallam Alhassan Abdullahi disregarded procurement laws and allocated contracts to his companies and those of his cronies without the intent of executing them. Similarly, a lot of fictitious names were included on the payroll of the Polytechnic and served as a conduit for siphoning funds for the embattled Rector. He also went as far as awarding TETFUND grants and scholarships to non-existent staff to cover for his broad daylight theft of funds meant to develop the institution and provide welfare to the staff and students. This type of corruption has no place in the present administration and we must fight it to finish”, the statement added.
In further disregard of the financial Regulations Act 713 which states that ‘Personal Money shall in no circumstances be paid into a government account, nor shall any public money be paid into private bank account’ our findings revealed that this rule was flagrantly disregarded as it reflects in our findings ”
Cases of multiple payments for”out of pocket” expenses abound in the institutions record books under the current leadership of the institution.
As a way of ensuring that the petitions are brought before the National Assembly and the voices of Nigerians who are concerned about the rot in Federal Polytechnic Nassarawa are heard, the CSO announced plans to hold a mega protest in collaboration with other stakeholders and CSOs at the National Assembly Complex on Wednesday, the 13th of December, 2023 to “pass a strong and clear message that corruption cannot thrive in Nigeria under the watch of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.The group insisted that the 10th National Assembly must act immediately to effect the sack of Alhaji Alhassan Abdullahi to pave way for his immediate prosecution”.