EFCC may probe ex-TETFUND boss’ tenure

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Abdullahi Baffa

* Commission summons agency’s Head of Audit
* I’m ready to face death sentence, says Baffa

THE Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) may investigate the activities of the former Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND) Executive Secretary Mr. Abdullahi Baffa.

It has, therefore, summoned the TETFUND Head of Audit to make some clarifications.

But Bichi, who is yet to hand over to his successor, Prof. Prof. Suleiman Elias Bogoro, said he was ready to face death penalty, if there is any proof of corruption against him.

He said he was removed because he allegedly failed to collect kickback from about N200 billion disbursed to tertiary institutions.

The ex-TETFUND boss was removed on Monday for alleged inaccessibility, high-handedness, disagreement with stakeholders, especially some vice chancellors and insubordination to Minister of Education Mallam Adamu Adamu,

According to a top source, who spoke in confidence, the EFCC was already looking into some issues in TETFUND from 2015, including Baffa’s tenure, to date.

The source said: “We have already invited the Head of Audit of TETFUND for interaction. We have also collected some documents from the Audit Unit and our detectives have commenced preliminary investigation.

“The scope of the investigation borders on the disbursement of funds and utilisation to universities and other tertiary institutions, audit discoveries, alleged diversion of allowances meant for staff over the years and monitoring by TETFUND.

“We may need to interact with some staff of the agency on the award of some contracts without recourse to Tenders Board.

“Our detectives also will interact with some vice chancellors of universities, rectors and provosts of other higher institutions on some TETFUND disbursements and projects.”

A reliable source in TETFUND said: “Yes, our Head of Audit was invited by the EFCC but we have nothing to hide in this agency. Most of the funds we are managing are grants meant for higher institutions and scholars.

As at press time, Baffa stood his ground that he was not corrupt in office.

He told BBC Hausa Service that he would not mind death penalty, if found guilty of corrupt practices while in office.

He said in part: “Allegation of inaccessibility is unfounded as the minister knows that I spend more time in the ministry as his technical aide than in my TETFUND office.

“I do not regret my refusal to obey the minister’s directives because I cannot sabotage my country.

“The fact is that since I started this job, I have never demanded a single kobo from any university.

“If any university shows proof of collecting kickback from them, let death sentence be passed on me.”

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