Education Ministry: Minister of State, Nyesom Wike in Mega Bribery Scandal, Principals Cry Foul

Nyeson Wike, Minister of State, Federal Ministry of Education

The activities around the disbursement of federated funds to the ministries, department and agencies of the federation may have found a new veiled sharing formula unbeknown to the drafters of the original guidelines for the distribution formula of allocation funds. Information available to 247ureports.com obtained through sources employed at the federal ministry of education in Abuja reveals the sordid practices of financial crimes through contentious bribery – in scales never witnessed before at the federal ministry.

As gathered, the Federal Minister of State at the Ministry of Education, Mr. Nyesom Wike may have elevated the simple coded act of bribery within the state ministries into a new quantum leap – that has caught the Principals of many of the federally owned secondary schools across the nation – crying foul behind the protective covers of their offices away from the Minister of State.

As a caveat, the Minister of State is saddled with the responsibility of overseeing all the federally owned secondary schools while the Minister of Education is responsible for the federally owned tertiary institutions. Through this arrangement, Nyesom Wike manages all the federal government secondary schools – including the authority to discharge or transfer school principals.

For this reason, Nyesom Wike exerts considerable authority over the school principals.

The new plot unleashed by Wike on the Ministry narrated to 247ureports.com by frustrated but frightened school principals who have to present themselves to the Accountant General of the Federation to collect the quarterly allocations accorded to them by the Federal Ministry of Finance for the upkeep and management of the various federal government secondary schools – consist of a catch-22 which asked each of the school principals for percentage kickbacks from the allocated funds. Typically, the Minister of State is said to demand a 15% kickback from the released monies through the principals.

With the recent disbursement for the 4th Quarter ending December 2012 to the federal government owned education institutions to the amount N16.7billion [N16,706,314,319] by the federal government through the office of the ministry of finance, the Minister of State, Mr. Wike summoned the principals of the schools his [Wike] care for a closed door meeting at the federal secretariat in Abuja. The meeting saw the Minister of State tell the various school principals that the percentage returns expected from them have increased from 15% to 40% [- equivalent to an increase from N2.5billion to N6.68billion for the 4th quarter of 2012 alone]. This did not seat well with the school principals. The range of monies released for the 4th quarter to each school [numbering about 70] span from N11.6million to N82million.

[see documents below]

Two of the school principals spoke to 247ureports.com – stating that the 40% demand came as a catch-22 affair – where they found themselves unable to fight-back at the Minister of State – who has the complete authority to sack them without pension or access to the other accumulated gratuities. “Because of this, we go back to the school without enough money to do anything tangible or meaningful” said one of the school principals while adding also that the corruption at the Minister’s office was “too airtight and concretized” to evade the prying  eyes of investigators – “who will talk?”

The school principal pointed to the dilapidating infrastructures that litter the school compounds of federal government colleges across the country as symptomatic of the illegal deductions [forced bride] made at the office of the Minister of State quarterly.

Cursory inquiry performed by 247ureports.com reveals what appears to be the reason behind the aggressive illegal deductions by the Minister of State – who was a one-time head of the Jonathan presidency campaign – while he served as the chief of staff to the Rotimi Amaechi administration in Rivers State. The upcoming 2015 electoral season is reported to have a direct cause to the behavior of the Minister. The Minister, according a source within the Ministry, has expressed interests of joining the gubernatorial contests of 2015 – and may have begun amassing the ‘necessary’ financial war-chest. Another more authoritative source shared a differing view – he indicated that the monies being amassed were for the Jonathan 2015 re-election campaign. 247ureports.com is not certain.

But the Minister of State has not been entirely unfamiliar with financial crimes. It is recalled that while he served as the chief of staff to the Rivers State government, he was arrested by agents of the then Economic and Financial Crimes Commission [EFCC] over allegations of embezzlement and money laundering of over N2.5billion. He was arrested and detained at the detention cell of the EFCC for a period of 4days before being arraigned in court.  However following the arraignment by the Farida Waziri-led EFCC, the case “walked away” and was never brought up again. This was months before President Jonathan appointed him one of the heads of his campaign organization.

Efforts to reach the Minister failed.

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