Tuesday, August 23, 2016

University Of Calabar Suspends Bursar Over Alleged Fraud

The University of Calabar authority on Monday suspended the bursar, Mr. Peter Agi, over allegations of fraud, forgery and threat to life.

It would be recalled that academic and administrative activities in the university were interrupted for a few hours last week, following a protest by different groups comprising students and workers in support of the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Zana Akpagu, on the one hand and the bursar, on the other.

Following the development, an inquiry was immediately set up by the management of the institution to look into issues that led to the protest.

In a letter of suspension signed by the Registrar, Mr. Moses Abang, the management of the institution alleged that the bursar had been found guilty of impersonating the vice-chancellor on the e-payment platform of the Central Bank of Nigeria, among others.

But, in a swift reaction, Agi said he was not aware of his suspension, adding that he was currently on sick leave with the knowledge of the management of the institution.

However, the letter of suspension read in part, “In an emergency meeting held today, August 22, 2016, the management considered recent developments on campus, especially your arrest by the Nigeria Police vide letter no. AB:3621/CRS/DFA/VOL.T/123 of August 17, 2016, on allegations of fraud, forgery and threat to life. It has become imperative that you step aside as Bursar and clear yourself of these allegations.

“Furthermore, management observed that you have been impersonating the vice-chancellor on the CBN e-payment platform by making final approvals and payments, a duty that is the responsibility of the vice-chancellor, who is the Chief Accounting Officer of the university.

“Again, you absented yourself from office without requesting any of your deputies to act for you, thus creating a vacuum in the administration of the Bursary.

“You deliberately refused to purchase an official car for the deputy vice-chancellor (administration) eight months after he was appointed into office. You have ignored several council and management directives on this.

“You bluntly refused to pay TETFUND contractors who have successfully executed jobs and rendered services to the university, even when such contractors have been cleared for payments. The consequence of this is that while other universities are already making progress and accessing the 2015 allocation, the University of Calabar cannot exhaust the 2013 allocation to qualify for the next tranche.”

The letter noted that the actions of the suspended bursar clearly manifested an orchestrated and a deliberate design to bring the institution to ridicule.

The letter therefore directed Agi to hand over immediately to Mrs. Atim Mensah, who is the most senior deputy bursar, while Mr. Joseph Odum should take over the previous duties covered by Mensah.

But Agi said, “I am not aware of any suspension. I have not been queried. I am aware of the guideline and rules on procedures in the appointment, suspension or otherwise of any principal officer of the university. I am currently on sick break and I wrote a letter to that effect copying all principal officers. So, for anybody to announce my suspension without the set rules amounts to nothing. I am still the bursar.”