The ongoing investigation into the allegations of fraud labeled against the former bursar of University of Calabar, UNICAL, Mr. Peter Agi has again revealed shocking details of how Agi allegedly defrauded the university to the tune of Two hundred million Naira (N200,000 000) by operating a secret school fees portal.
Findings showed that, at the beginning of 2014/2015 academic session, Agi unilaterally without recourse to higher authorities ordered banks to stop accepting school fee charges through GUCCI Interswitch platform which the university have a subsisting ten years agreement. He brought Zellence which was new and strange to the university authority.
Ordinarily, decisions such as this are made by the university management and subject to ratification by the governing council. But Agi in his desperation and tendencies for usurpation in outer disregard for higher authority arrogated the powers to make the decision to himself. More surprising was the fact that it was shrouded in secrecy until the then VC, Prof. James Epoke uncovered the development.
This discord lasted for three months. Even when the council ordered that it should be reverse to the original portal, Agi was unwilling. Although, he later reluctantly obeyed, he failed to account for or give details of the collections he made from the unauthorized, secret and illegal platform. During one of his appearances before the council according to my sources, he was said to verbally confirmed that he collected over N200 million from the secret portal.
But when asked to give details or account for the money, he blatantly refused. In fact, he ignored several letters sent to him to update the original portal with the details of what he collected from Zellence.
Even when he was issued a query, he bluntly ignored and failed to respond. This development prompted the first attempt of his removal. But the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of council, Immanuel Anyawu who at the time was still a close ally of Agi invited Epoke and management staffers to Owerri where they were persuaded to drop the plans to remove him. Of course, it was suspended and Agi failed to transparently account for the money till his last days in the university.
The big question peoples have continued to ask is, if such move was carried out with good intentions, what stopped the bursar from consulting the management and the governing council before advancing? As a financial expert, if he lost confidence on the existing platform, he would have briefed the authority or seek approval to make such changes but since none of these were considered, the suspicion that he was on a mission to defraud the university cannot be completely obliterated. With this revelation, it’s malicious, mischievous and wicked for anybody to insinuate that the current VC is unduly persecuting the ex-bursar.
Rather than vilify the VC who has sacrificed his friendship with Agi to fight for the soul of UNICAL, relevant stakeholders and interested parties should verify whether the allegations against Agi have substances or not. President Muhammadu Buhari in his independence speech in 2015 said that, he is not on a mission for vendetta or after anybody.
People should not fear him but the consequences of their actions. This means that, only your actions can determine what you get. While it’s a truism that nobody is a saint, but the fact that the former VC failed or lacked the will to make Agi face the consequences of his actions does not legalize his misdeeds or stop the incumbent from calling for justice. Contrary to insinuations that the current VC, Prof. Zana Akpagu is witch-hunting Agi, investigations have proven that most of the crimes the Governing Council used in nailing the disgraced bursar were committed during the Epoke regime.
It will be recalled that in a letter sent to the panel set up by the university apex decision making body to investigate the matter, Epoke alleged that he attempted severally to axe Agi but failed due to the cover provided by the Pro-Chancellor.
The chairman according to impeccable sources broke his tiers with Agi and supported his latest travails because of the glaring evidences against him. Also, the undermining of the committee set up by council to investigate the matter pitched the chairman against his protégé son, Agi.
If the chairman who covered Agi up from being removed under Epoke has now sanctioned his removal then those vilifying Zana and others who orchestrated Agi’s sack are against the growth and development of the university. More facts will still come your way as the investigation is still ongoing.