Sacked TETFUND boss accuses minister of demanding N200 million bribe
• Confession affirms graft in Buhari’s govt, says PDP
Sacked Executive Secretary of the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND), Dr. Abdullahi Baffa Bichi, has said his removal from office was connected with his refusal to offer an alleged N200 million bribe to a minister in the government of President Muhammadu Buhari. His appointment was terminated on Monday by the Federal Government which cited no reason for the action.
Subsequently, government reinstated Prof. Suleiman Bogoro who was relieved of the job by this same administration in 2016 for alleged high-handedness.During a BBC Hausa Service interview monitored yesterday in Kano, Baffa alleged that the minister had sent a contractor demanding 10 per cent of N20 billion from the N200 billion meant for disbursement to tertiary institutions across the federation.
He claimed: “ The minister has demanded kickbacks from me. He sent a contractor for that purpose and even had the strength to dictate the amount of money. By his estimation, he said even if I deducted 10 per cent from each institution, I would have collected at least N20 billion.
“I want to assure you that I have never collected a single naira from any institution as he thought, and if he or anybody has evidence to prove against me, I will be willing to accept the death penalty.”Baffa said the minister had accused him of inaccessibility, insubordination and talking to the press without authorisation.
Denying the allegations, he claimed to have spent more time at the Federal Ministry of Education as a technical assistant than he did at TETFUND, wondering why the minister was against him.Efforts to reach the ministry for reaction were futile, as the Director of Press, Ben Gong, ignored calls put to his mobile phone, including a text message.
At first, the line was said to be on another call. After about 12 minutes, it connected and rang out without a response from the receiver’s end.The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday said Baffa’s confession had further exposed “the seething corruption in the Buhari presidency.”
In a statement by its national publicity secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, the party noted that the revelation did not come to many Nigerians as a surprise, as it had vindicated its position that “the Buhari presidency is inherently corrupt and thrives on concealments, deception, beguilement, propaganda and lies.”
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