A Civil Society group, Centre for Public Accountability (CPA), has petitioned the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), over alleged graft in the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETfund).
It dragged the Executive Secretary of the fund, Dr. Abdullahi Baffa, before the anti-graft commission alleging abuse of office and improper contract award.
The group led by its Executive Director, Comrade Olufemi Lawson, in a petition submitted on Tuesday at the Lagos Office of the EFCC, called for thorough investigation of its allegations.
A copy of the petition, he said, has been sent to President Muhammadu Buhari, Minister of Education, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Chairman, Senate Committee on Tertiary Institutions, its House of Representatives counterpart, Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Bankers’ Committee of Nigeria and the Federal Inland Revenue Services (FIRS).
The group accused Dr. Baffa of violating several provisions of the laws; guiding the operation of TETfund especially the aspect stipulating that TETfund; shall ensure that funds generated from education tax are; utilized to improve the quality of education in Nigeria without direct contract awarding.
CPA also alleged that the TETfund boss issued instruction to public owned universities to reserve 20 percent of all contracts on the intervention fund provided to them by TETFund for “stakeholders”.
We strongly believe that these “Stakeholders” are none other than Dr. Abdullahi Baffa himself, his cronies and immediate family, many of who he has used as fronts, in executing the numerous illegal contract being awarded to several higher institutions in clear violation of laid down procedures.” the petition further stated.
We are; worried, that rather than focusing on the primary objective of the establishment of the fund, Dr. Baffa has converted the agency to a market of political patronage; and contract bazzar, to the extent that many intervention projects are; no longer advertised as stipulated by law.
“Indeed, what Dr. Abdullahi Baffa has been engaging in is; contrary to the spirit and letter of the anti-corruption war of the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.
It is disheartening that Dr. Baffa is working in opposite direction to the cardinal policy thrust of Mr. President by promoting abuse of Office and corruption, in such a sensitive organization.”
The group called for thorough and credible investigation of the allegation by the anti-graft body without minding whose ox was gored.