Ex-VC fails to return 6 official vehicles worth N95m

A FORMER vice chancellor of Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike, Abia state, has failed to return six pool vehicles, amounting to N95 million, the 2020 audit by the Office of the Auditor-General of the Federation (OAuGF) has revealed. 

According to the report, released in December 2023 and made available to the public recently, the university’s former vice-chancellor did not return the vehicles despite the expiration of his designated term of use. 

The vehicles were expected to be returned after the vice chancellor’s term.


Read Also


 

While the OAuGF did not explicitly mention the name of the vice-chancellor in the report, Francis Otunta, a professor of Mathematics, served as the university vice-chancellor during the period captured by the audit.

Otunta died in a car accident a few weeks after he left office.

According to the audit report, the cars are three black Toyota Prado Jeeps, two black Toyota Corolla Salons, and one Lexus Jeep with different registration numbers.

The OAuGF noted that the action by the former vice chancellor was in contravention of the provisions of extant regulations.

Citing the Paragraph One of the Establishment Circular Ref. No. SGF. 19/S.52/V/720 dated 20th February 2017, which states that “as part of measures to curb this undesirable practice by officers, permanent secretaries and chief executive officers of ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) are henceforth to ensure painstaking and strict clearance of retiring officers who should be made to submit all government properties in their custody before their final disengagement from service…”

Similarly, paragraph 112 (I) of the Financial Regulations (FR) 2009 gives the accounting officer power to ensure the safety and proper maintenance of all government assets under his care.

Furthermore, paragraph 2001 of the FR 2009 states, “The accounting officer shall be responsible for ensuring that there are effective controls in the use of government vehicles.”




    While attributing the risk to the loss of public assets and diversion of government assets for personal use, the Auditor General’s Office recommended that the National Assembly request the vice-chancellor justify the illegal possession of government vehicles.

    It also stated that the vice-chancellor should be made to remit N95 million to the treasury and forward evidence of remittance to the National Assembly public accounts committees.

    The report emphasised that the failure of the former vice chancellor to carry out the recommendations should warrant sanctions relating to gross misconduct and non-payment for the use of government property in paragraphs 3129 and 3113 of the FR 2009.

    In addition to the vice chancellor’s infractions, the OAuGF exposed 21 other scandals and abuse of office within the university between January 2018 and December 2019. 

    Usman Mustapha is a solution journalist with International Centre for Investigative Reporting. You can easily reach him via: [email protected]. He tweets @UsmanMustapha_M

    Join the ICIR WhatsApp channel for in-depth reports on the economy, politics and governance, and investigative reports.

    Support the ICIR

    We invite you to support us to continue the work we do.

    Your support will strengthen journalism in Nigeria and help sustain our democracy.

    If you or someone you know has a lead, tip or personal experience about this report, our WhatsApp line is open and confidential for a conversation

    5 COMMENTS

    1. I do not believe the late Prof took the cars, the new management did the stealing knowing that the dead stay dumb and never tells his side of the story.

    2. This laissez-faire attitude to issues of government is part of what has kept Nigeria where it currently is.

      Years after the VC has left office and years after he’s no longer alive to answer for himself, you suddenly remember he’s in possession of government assets.

      The auditor general should be made to pay for the depreciation of those vehicles if they are eventually recovered from the dead man.

      Very unserious set of people!

    3. This laissez-faire attitude to issues of government is part of what has kept Nigeria where it currently is.

      Years after the VC has left office and years after he’s no longer alive to answer for himself, you suddenly remember he’s in possession of government assets.

      The auditor general should be made to pay for the depreciation of those vehicles if they are eventually recovered from the dead man.

      Very unserious set of people.

    4. This laissez-faire attitude to issues of government is part of what has kept Nigeria where it currently is.

      Years after the VC has left office and years after he’s no longer alive to answer for himself, you suddenly remember he’s in possession of government assets.

      The auditor general should be made to pay for the depreciation of those vehicles if they are eventually recovered from the dead man.

      Very unserious set of people.

    5. How this info helps the current school situation is what I don’t understand. Write about recent news not some rubbish that is of no use to the internet community or anyone at large. You could write about how force men opened fire on people’s children two days ago or the destruction of school property or the hike in fees or the insecurity that has automatically developed around the school premise?
      Why waste good pace to enlighten the world on what’s actually going on?

    LEAVE A REPLY

    Please enter your comment!
    Please enter your name here


    Support the ICIR

    We need your support to produce excellent journalism at all times.

    - Advertisement

    Recent