Prof. Greg Nwakoby of the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka (UNIZIK) has revealed how his refusal to bribe the screening panel N60 million cost him the chance to become the vice chancellor of the university despite emerging the best out of the nine professors screened for the position.
In a petition before the Senate, Nwakoby, a deputy vice chancellor in charge of administration of UNIZIK, said he came first with 89.65 percent out of other eight vice chancellorship candidates that sat before the Vice Chancellor Selection Exercise headed by Alhaji Buhari Bala and supported by the chairman of the University Council, Air Vice Marshall Larry Koinya.
Other professors that sat for the screening before the Vice Chancellor Selection Exercise with their scores during the interviews were Prof. Ben Osisioma (79.4 percent), Prof. Ifeoma Enweani (65.5 percent), Prof. Ikechukwu Oluka (66.15 percent), Prof. Azubuike Nwankwo (73.9 percent) Prof. Joseph Ahaneku (80.65 percent) Prof. Nwabueze (64.4 percent) and Prof. Okechukwu Ikpeze (76.3 percent).
Members of the Vice Chancellor Screening Panel include; Alhaji Buhari Bala, AVM Larry Koinya, Senator Fidelis Okoro, Prof. Amobi Illika, Prof. C.C. Egolum, Dr. Nte Mbam from the Federal Character Commission, Omotora E.B from the Federal Ministry of Education and Peter Egah also from the Federal Character Commission.
According to him, the university advertised the vacancy for the position of vice chancellor on December 24 2013 and 34 candidates were shortlisted. Nine of the nine candidates were invited for interview on May 22 and 23 2014, in which he came top with 89.65 percent.
“On May 24 2014, I was invited by Senator Fidelis Okoro and Alhaji Bala Buhari at Finotel Hotel, Awka, because I also lodged in the same hotel. On entering the hotel room of Senator Fidelis Okoro, they made a demand N30 million respectively (i.e. N30 million for each of them totaling N60 million) from me as a condition for returning me as the Vice Chancellor. Senator Fidelis Okoro claimed that he would use part of his own share to settle Barrister J.M. Aseh, whereas Alhaji Bala Buhari would settle the chairman of the Governing Council.”
“I refused their demand and insisted that as I came first in the interview and screening I could not do such a thing. They told me that Prof. Joseph Ahaneku had made the offer to them but that as I was the best that it was easier to support me. I still refused their offer,” he added.
“On May 26 2014, the council chairman reconvened the meeting of the Council which started by about 1 pm. Before the meeting, Senator Fidelis Okoro told me that Senator Pius Anyim, the Secretary to the Government of Federation (SGF) had directed that Prof. Joseph Ahaneku should be appointed the Vice Chancellor and that Anyim had also appointed one Senator Ben Collin Ndu to replace Chief John Nwodo so as to ensure his bid succeed. Chief John Nwodo was appointed a member of the Governing Council sometime in April 2013 but did not come for the inauguration and had never attended the council meeting since then.”
The professor noted that after the Vice Chancellor Screening report, the announcement of the outcome of the screening was postponed.