I read with greatest regret the publication to the above effect first published by the Independent Committee on Investigative Reporting (ICIR) in its official website www.icirnigeria.org and subsequently in Premium Times, 247ureports, Sahara Reports and many other social networks and group forum. I consider it regrettable because it is a case of one man’s insincerity tainting the image of an entire university and its people. More regrettable is the University’s official response to this scandal.
The ICIR had reported that when the Vice Chancellor Prof B.C. Egboka was contacted on phone he declined any comment on the ground that the allegations were already being investigated by the EFCC. Why he now chooses to open up after the publication will beat any person’s imagination.
As a staff of the University I feel ashamed at the very puerile language of the learned Professor and the litany of lies he chose to market in his response. I had expected the learned Professor to either keep quiet in due deference to his earlier stand and allow the EFCC come out with their verdict or apologise for his mistakes/misdemeanours. As a key player in the University I am well informed enough to prove that Prof. Egboka’s response is a cocktail of falsehood.
ON HIS STUDENT FIRST PHILOSOPHY
His claim to a student-first philosophy is an irony for a man who in the last three years has increased school fees from between N28,000 – N30,000 to between N70,000 – N100,000. You may visit facebook an reflect on students posting on him.
ON THE PURCHASE OF 2NOS 2011 MODEL TOYOTA 4 RUNNER AT N27MILLION.
The VC’s claim that there was a need to acquire new vehicles if at all it is through does not justify the expenditure of N27million for two vehicles for two officers of the University. As pointed out in the ICIRNigeria report, the Vice Chancellor’s fleets already comprise of a jeep and the Pro-chancellor had a Toyota Avensis attached to his office. This expenditure is a misplacement of priority for a University whose major entrance road is an eye sore and other basic facilities in a state of disrepair.
His claim that the normal process of doing business in a public institution was met and that he never made any deposit for the vehicles is spitting the truth in the face.
See the following documents and be the better judge.
Annexure I: Award of contract for the supply of two (2 Nos) 2011 Model Toyota 4 Runner
Annexure II: Undertaking with respect to two 2011 Model Toyota Runner Nos
ON PORRAS AND OLIVA
He submitted that Porras & Oliva is an alumnus but did not admit that what distinguishes him for favours is that he is his son-in-law. Ordinarily no one will blame Prof Egboka for engaging his son-in-law if he had properly disclosed his interest and ensured that contract jobs to him pass through due process rather than bullying personnel of the Physical planning.
He cleverly did not contest the allegation of flooding him with undeserved contracts but paid attention only to the issue of unsubstantiated contract variation. His reasons for the variation are not entirely true as can be attested to by the following exhibits:
Annexure III: Quotation for the proposed furnishing and renovation of UNIZIK Auditorium.
(Note: the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Admin) declared the proposal the least tender obtained even when it was clear that there was no tender process and no tender analysis).
Annexure IV: Award of contract for the furnishing of UNIZIK auditorium. (Note: Paragraph 3 of the letter of award indicate that the “bills of quantities for the furnishing of UNIZIK auditorium are available for collection at the office of the Director, Physical Plaanning”. This is a breach to contractual procedures. Normally bill of quantities provide guides for tenderers to supply quotations for the job they are tendering for. In this particular instance, the Contract was awarded at a cost and the contractor then was required to obtain the bill of quantities from the office of the Director, Physical Planning. So what was the basis of the costing of the project if the tenderer had no access to the bill of quantities?).
Annexure V: Bill of variation for the renovation of UNIZIK auditorium.
Annexure VI: Re: bill of variation for the renovation of UNIZIK auditorium
If Prof Egboka’s reason for granting the variation is to be accepted while will the scope of work change so much after a contract has been awarded so much so that the variation granted is over 100% of the contract sum. This if at all it is true is a great indictment on the team of Architects and Engineers in our Physical Planning Unit and is grievous enough to earn the relevant officers a query or a reprimand. In this case no such thing happened because there was collusion.
On Regibel Construction Company
Prof Egboka described the allegation that contracts were awarded to Regibel without proper tendering as baseless and false and went ahead to provide the three companies that quoted. Again as a key player I want to state that none of the jobs awarded to Regibel were advertised. Indeed quotations by COTABS Engineering Ltd and Adama Benjo Nig Ltd were procured to support the claim of selective tendering offered to EFCC in the cause of their investigation. As reported by icirnigeria contracts were awarded to Regibel by Executive fiat. Two instances as here documented will suffice:
Annexure VII: Construction of walkway within the school premises. (Here the company submitted a total of N122,141,500.85 as the bill of Engineering measurements and Evaluation for the Construction of 7.1km walkway which construction it had already initiated at the directive of the Vice Chancellor, Prof B.C. Egboka).
Annexure VIII: Re: Construction of walkway within the school premises. (This document reveals that the Tender’s Board rubber-stamped the outcome of Prof Egboka’s directive granting the contractor the award in his own cost and terms).
Annexure IX: Construction of Senator (Dr) Joy Emodi Road. (Again acting on Prof Egboka’s
directive Regibel submitted a bill of Engineering Measurements & Evaluation and the Tender’s Board rubber stamped granting Regible the same cost it pleaded and in his own terms.
Again I implore you the readers to examine the attached documents and be the judge.
On Elmada Consulting Inc.
It is interesting that Prof Egboka admitted that the Project Manager of Elmada Consulting is his son-in-law. Unfortunatley at the onset of the project he failed to disclose this fact. The scandal this project represents is best told in the current Auditor-General’s report of the University’s financial transactions which has directed that Elmada refund about N46million to the University.
On the nail on the coffin
The icirnigeria report described this project as the nail on the coffin. The project which was awarded at a total cost of about N1.2 billion like many other projects did not pass the due process test as revealed by the following documentations.
- The first tranche of the project awarded at the cost of N993,906,690.00 was overvalued by about N200million. (See Annexure X)
- Barely two months into the project the contractor requested for and won an extra award of N288,307,464.27 for an additional work, a central vein wing adjoining the two Faculties and hosting some common facilities.(See Annexure XI)
The lid was let off the boiling kettle when the Bureau for Public Procurement (BPP) requested for the bid documents. (See Annexure XII). As Prof Egboka admitted the University was advised to initiate a fresh process (obviously because the process that threw up the first awardee, Betchel Nig. Ltd was a fraud), though he did not disclose who gave the advice. In initiating a fresh process the Invitation for Pre-qualification of Tender was advertised on the Friday May 25, 2012 edition of Daily Sun.(See Annexure XIII). Again the advertisement was for only wing A and C, omitting the wing B central vein for which a an additional contract of N288,307,464.27 was earlier awarded. The question is why leave off wing B when it is clear that as the central vein of the complex adjoining wing A & C the foundation must of necessity be laid the same time with the other wings?
A major worry is that so far over N400,000.00 million had been disbursed for the project (even though the work so far done is not commensurate with the amount). Given the scenario will the rubber-stamp Tender’s Board be fair in its pre-qualification assessment? The answer is no and the indicators are all there. So far attempts are being made not to prequalify the strong contenders who are likely to endanger the re-award of the job to Betchel Nig Ltd.
I do not want to take Prof Egboka up on his submissions on other issues for very obvious reasons. It is however very clear from the above facts that Prof Egboka indeed has a case to answer and has demonstrated clearly that he is a liar and cannot be trusted. It is most unfortunate that rather than purge himself of his obvious iniquities he is engaging in name calling, and creation of imaginary enemies. To add insult to injury he has chosen to speak in the most indecorous and uncivilized language unbecoming of somebody of his status.
I do not desire that Prof. Egboka be crucified after all most Nigerians in position of authority has done worse than this, but I want him to repent and learn to be a Vice Chancellor in the real sense of it. He should lead by example. He should learn to be a leader rather than a boss; he should learn to respect other principal officer’s and their opinions; he should learn that staff and students are people to be cared for not properties to be used.
For now he should know that he has lost his moral authority and the best option for him will be to refund all he has embezzled and resign his appointment as the Vice Chancellor.