The tales of ghosts working or benefitting from the national coffers now seem to be daily news with the government of the day as many Nigerians are left to wonder why this particular administration is so connected with ghostly matters. This is as investigations have revealed that the 2017/2018 academic session deployment of Presidential Amnesty Beneficiaries to Nigerian universities was clouded with massive fraud and irregularities with no fewer than 747 ghost beneficiaries discovered in the program.
A reliable source from the Amnesty Office speaking on the condition of anonymity confirmed that the new Coordinator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme, Prof Quaker Dokubo, on assumption of office set up various committees to look into the current composition of all sectors of the Amnesty Programme during which it was discovered that the most recent deployment of Amnesty Beneficiaries to Nigeria Universities, totalling about 1,061 delegates in 10 Universities was marred with jaw breaking irregularities.
The committee which was setup to investigate the deployment SecretReporters learnt was also amongst other things tasked to find out how the 1,061 students were deployed to the various institutions, whether they are beneficiaries of the Presidential Amnesty Program (PAP), and to also ascertain if their deployment followed due process.
Reporting their findings, the revelation uncovered by the committee was alarming as out of a total of 1,061 delegates/students that were deployed to 10 Universities, only 314 were found in the database of the Presidential Amnesty Programme showing a discrepancy of 747 ghost delegates.
Further investigations also revealed that the former Head of Education in the Amnesty office, Major HK Mowarin (rtd), during the hand over process by the former Coordinator of the programme, Gen Paul Boroh (rtd), purportedly compiled names of vulnerable youths and sent them to Universities without following due process.
The requirements for consideration in the deployment of delegates/students to Universities or training facilities in the reintegration component of the Amnesty Programme as stipulated requires that first, there must be a budget for the deployment, the delegate must be a beneficiary and his or her record must be in the database, the authorisation must be from the Special Adviser after management has given approval and most importantly, the letter of Sponsorship/Scholarship award to each delegate/student must be signed by the Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta and not by proxy.
SecretReporters discovered that in the case under review, none of the conditions stated above were met as the whole process was initiated, and executed by the then Head of Education, Major Kesiena Mowarin (Rtd) with no other motive than to embezzle funds.
As contained in a letter by Horsefall Macpepple for (Niger/Delta) NDWatchdog Vanguard, and seen in the table below, out of a total of 1,061 students who were deployed to 10 Universities in Nigeria none has a scholarship award letter duly signed by the Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta & Coordinator, Presidential Amnesty Programme. It was also observed that out of the 1,061 students deployed, only 314 students could be found in the database of the Presidential Amnesty Programme yet without a letter of sponsorship.
|2||BENSON IDAHOSA UNIVERSITY||26||3||23|
|3||EDWIN CLARK UNIVERSITY||112||35||77|
|8||MICHEAL &CECILIA IBRU UNIVERSITY||87||19||68|
|9||UNIVERSITY OF AFRICA||50||49||1|
|10||WESTERN DELTA UNIVERSITY||56||3||53|
The financial implication of this wanton act of looting means that with an Average Tuition which is ₦1.3million per person, an In Training Allowance (ITA) of ₦70,000, and Book Allowance of ₦40,000, the deployment of the 747 ghost beneficiaries cost the nation a whooping sum of One billion, fifty three million, two hundred and seventy thousand Naira (₦1, 053,270,000.00) for the 2017/2018 academic session. A total of ₦4,213,080,000.00 for a four years academic program.
Furthermore, it was also discovered that some of the Universities were claimed to be charging way more than what was advertised and submitted to the National University Commission as at the time of the said deployment.
More worrisome is the fact that while some folios in the file that have to do with this process were removed, some files were totally missing as there was no record of the deployment in the Office of the Special Adviser on Niger Delta. The list of the said deployment containing the beneficiaries was also nowhere in the Office of the Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta & Coordinator, Presidential Amnesty Programme as at the time of this report.