Facts have emerged why governor Ifeanyi Okowa sacked the registrar of the Delta State Polytechnic, Ogwashi-Uku, Mr. Collins Onyenwenu and the institution’s bursar, Mr. Ughwusuena Edadogwaye. According to investigation carried out by HardReporters correspondent, the duo were fired over employment fraud and ghost workers racketeering.
Our correspondent gathered that the institution’s registrar in connivance with the bursar and few other staff in the account department of the school have been perpetrating the fraud since 2013 until luck ran against them last year followed by their recent disengagement by the state government.
An impeccable administrative staff of the institution who pleaded for anonymity, confided that “The registrar, Mr. Collins was caught in the act following the discovery of three ghost workers names in the institution’s payroll. He in connivance with the school’s bursar, Mr. Edadogwaye and other staff have used the three names of these ghost workers to defraud the Polytechnic to the tune of over N100 million since 2013. Apart from these three names, the registrar also carried out an employment characterized with fraud.” our source said.
Giving the names of the three ghost workers as Mr. Best Osafia, Mr. Holy Onyenwenu, the registrar’s cousin and one Miss Mercy, an inside source, in the department of Account in the Polytechnic, disclosed that the names have been in existence on the payroll of the Polytechnic for the past three years, disclosing that “During the administration of former governor Emmanuel Uduaghan, the school carried out employment and Mr. Onyenwenu collected huge sums of cash from over 200 applicants which were later laid off by governor Okowa.”
Another source revealed that following the disengagement of the over two hundred newly employed staff, “Mr. Onyenwenu was kidnapped last year. During the employment, the registrar took bribes of between N150, 000 and N200, 000 from the applicants and when Governor Ifeanyi Okowa came on board he dismissed many of those employees who have already been issued appointment letters. There were also issues of ghost workers traced to the registrar and others too.
“The names of the three ghost workers aroused the suspicion of some staff of the polytechnic when it was discovered that there was no such staff in both the academic and non-academic staff unions of the school. I can authoritatively tell you that these three names were ghost workers which the Registrar employed and used to defraud the state government because these names have never been to this institution.
“He has been able to cover up for these three ghost workers, by using his position and also the cooperation of some staff in the polytechnic audit, many of whom came into the system through his assistance.
Some staff of the institution had in the past made inquiry to ascertain the identity of the three ghost workers, but had to step down after a female clerical assistant in the Admin Department reported the matter to the Registrar.
“In institution elsewhere, managements carry out periodical staff audit by biometric and it has helped to screened the staff and identify ghost workers. But here in Delta State Polytechnic Ogwashi-Uku, the story is different. Every now and then, we hear of names of staff who we don’t even know and have never met in both academic and non-academic meetings. This is the sad story of the Ogwashi-Uku Polytechnic” our source lamented.
A lecturer in the Mass Communication department, also accused the registrar and the bursar of perpetrating fraud in the institution, “The Registrar tactfully planted his loyal relatives in the polytechnic’s Admin and Records Units to ensure his fraudulent activities are kept away from public scrutiny. Registrar was able to succeed in his fraudulent activities because the system failed to live up to its responsibility of entrenching transparency and accountability.”
Confirming the sack of the registrar and the institutions’ bursar, during a press conference in Asaba, the Commissioner for Higher Education, Mr. Jude Sinebe said the recent disengagement of the registrar and bursar of the Delta State Polytechnic, Ogwashi-Uku, was as a result of the subversion of due process in the employment of staff for the polytechnic by the affected officers.
“The officers went about the employment without getting the approval of the State government which took place in 2013. They did not act alone. Others civil servants were involved, some 11 others. The affected officers were asked to resign also to forfeit all their retirement entitlements” saying that the measure was to guide against impunity and deter others from carrying their job without observing due process.
The commissioner however used the opportunity to explain that the Delta State University (DELSU) was able to generate N2 billion but that the figure had fallen to N1.6 billion as at last year, adding that no tertiary school paid a kobo to government but “Government on a monthly basis provide subvention to higher institutions in the state. The State Government had spent over N500 million on accreditation of programmes in DELSU, N30 million was also released for the last convocation done in the school.” Mr. Sinebe said.
It would be recalled that the registrar of Delta State Polytechnic, Ogwashi-Uku, Mr. Collins Onyenwenu, was abducted by unknown gunmen in June, 2027 and regained his freedom four days later after allegedly paying a ransom of N5 million.