Rectors of Federal Polytechnics in Nigeria have refuted allegations that they were asked to give bribes by members of the House of Representatives Ad-hoc Committee Investigating Alleged Job Racketeering and Mismanagement of the Integrated Personnel Payment Information System (IPPIS) by Federal Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).
The denial was made at their appearance at the committee, yesterday in Abuja
It was a sequel to a Premium Times report of how some members of the panel had asked Vice-chancellors of universities and heads of tertiary institutions to pay a certain amount of money as bribes into a bank account in order to give them a soft landing.
Members of the committee were also reported to have been engaging in extortion of money from heads of federal ministries, departments and agencies, including those of tertiary institutions across the country.
But the Chairman of the Committee of Federal Polytechnics’ Rectors, Engr Yahaya Mohammed who spoke on behalf of the polytechnic rectors who were present at the resumed hearing of the investigative hearing said they had at no time interfaced with any member of the panel and also denied being given any account number to pay bribes as alleged.
Mohammed, who is also the Rector of Federal Polytechnic, Kaura Namoda, Zamfara State, said this when the Chairman of the ad-hoc committee, Yusuf Adamu Gagdi asked him to speak on the allegations of bribery and extortion levied against members of the committee as reported.
“This is our first time interfacing with the committee. All of us came to Abuja yesterday. Chairman, we are not in receipt of any account number or account name by any member of this committee. I will say under oath that we have not received any account number from any member of this committee.” Engr Muhammed said.
The Rector also told the committee that the Federal Polytechnics were short-staffed due to the fact that they had not been employed for long.
The Chairman of the committee, Hon. Yusuf Adamu Gagdi said that he has written to the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) and other investigating agencies to investigate the account number allegedly released to heads of tertiary institutions for the payments of bribes as reported, and ascertain anybody linked same.
He said that he and the committee members would not be blackmailed to shy away from doing their job.
“I have already written to the ICPC to investigate that account number that was published by PREMIUM TIMES; the owner of that account and whether there is any transaction by vice-chancellors, rectors of polytechnics, and leaders of tertiary institutions in the country.” Hon Gagdi said.
He also threatened that the committee may take legal action against the online medium over the publication which he said was to “blackmail and discredit” the committee.
Vice Chancellors of Federal Universities are expected to another appearance before the panel on Friday.
Trending Video Of The Day;
Photo Credit: Getty