The Vice-Chancellor of Nnamdi Azikiwe University is in trouble for mis managing the funds meant for the administration of the school.
Boniface Egboka is currently being investigated by the Economic and Financial Crimes
Commission (EFCC), for the mismanagement of
billions of naira meant for the institution.
Among the offences apart from squandering money meant for the school Dr Boniface Egboka is also allegedly responsible for siphoning school money through the award of bogus and inflated contracts to fronts and cronies; selective bidding; and fraudulent contract cost variations.
He is being investigated by the crime commission but has since being released on administrative bail.
According to http://www.Premiumtimes.ng,
“History of Investigation
A group of lecturers of the university, in March this
year, petitioned the EFCC, slamming a litany of
allegations including fraud, abuse of office, inflation
of contract, using fronts to get contracts, and high
handedness against Mr. Egboka.
The EFCC confirmed that it was investigating the
allegations against the University boss. Wilson
Uwujaren, the commission’s spokesman, said that
the petition was already being investigated by its
Enugu office, adding that the lecturer has already
been invited for interrogation and had made
statements to investigators.
Independent investigations of the allegations by
icirnigeria.org indicate that Egboka might be in deep
trouble except he can explain many actions he took
which bother on misappropriation of funds.
Violating due process
Our investigations revealed that the vice chancellor
spends university funds like his own personal
resources without recourse to rules and regulations,
awarded contracts without due process and without
open tenders, an infraction that earned him a query
from the Bureau for Public Procurement, BPP in April.
For example, in October, 2011, on a trip to America
with other officials, Mr. Egboka ordered for two 2011
Toyota 4 Runner jeeps worth N27 million for himself
and the Pro-chancellor of the university, who was also
on the delegation. He made the order without any
bidding and without the approval of the tender’s
board and in spite of the fact that he already had a
Prado jeep as official car while the pro – chancellor
used a Toyota Avensis. He also claimed to have
committed the institution by making a deposit from
his own pocket.
Upon returning to Nigeria, the VC tried to perfect the
purchase by causing the registrar of the institution to
award a contract for the purchase of the vehicles.
Since the contract could not be awarded to a foreign
company, Mr. Egboka directed that it be awarded to
a local firm, Grech Resources Limited.
Going through the motions of a contract award, the
bursar wrote an award letter to the company
claiming that the tenders’ board at its 30th meeting
held on Wednesday, October 12, 2011, approved the
award for the supply of the two vehicles.
However, the bursar refused to release funds for the
purchase because there was no proof of tender,
forcing the V.C. to write an undertaking where he
explained the irregularity attending the purchase.
Vice Chancellor exhibited nepotism
Investigations also showed that the vice chancellor,
without due process and against regulations,
selectively awarded contracts or just merely invited
whosoever he wanted and handed contracts out to
In many of these cases, the contracts were awarded
to family members. Apart from that, variations were
illegally granted to the companies, raising costs
For example, in August 2011, Porras and Oliva, a
company allegedly owned by Mr. Egboka’s son–in–
law, got a contract for the renovation and furnishing
of the university auditorium for N20 million. The
contract was awarded through selective tendering
and given to Porras and Oliva which quoted N2million
in spite of the facts that there were lower bids.
However, halfway into the job’s execution, the
company requested for a variation of N80 million in
the contract sum which was granted at the sum of
N58 million. In a letter written to the company on
December 5, 2011, the registrar of the university
stated that the tenders’ board at its 35th meeting of
December 2 approved the sum as “completion sum”
for the project, thereby granting more than hundred
percent variation cost.
A series of violations
Porras and Oliva got several other contracts without
going through due process. These include an N8.4
million contract for the reticulation of the university
foundry; N5.2 million for furnishing of the VC’s office,
and a N5.9 million contract for the fencing of the
Another questionable contract was the one awarded
to Regibel Limited, another company which is alleged
to be a front for the VC. The company was awarded
the contract for the construction of a 676 metre road
for N92.6 million. Apart from the suspected inflated
contract sum, icirnigeria.org learnt that Mr. Egboka
developed a relationship with the company which
makes him give directives to it to execute projects
running into several millions.
For these projects, there were no tender or
agreement between the parties. Acting on the VC’s
directive, Regibel executed the projects and sent a
bill to the management which is rubberstamped,
approved and paid.
On December 14, 2011, the university management
got such a bill for the sum of N122 million for the
construction of a 7.1 kilometre walkway. No details
were provided about the exact location of the
There was never any tender process, agreement or
any other document concerning this walkway
contract. But the university approved and paid the
company the money it asked for.
In the same manner, on December 16, 2011, Regibel
sent another bill of engineering measurements and
evaluation for N78 million for the construction of a
412 metre road – the Joy Emordi Road – which it built
based on a directive from the VC. There was no
bidding or agreement before it got the contract.
Again, it was paid the full sum it demanded.
Inflating contact costs
Unilateral variations in contract costs appear to have
become the hallmark of project execution in Nnamdi
Azikiwe University. There is virtually no contract that
does not suffer an upward review in costs.
The contract for the construction of the Art Faculty
complex is a good example of this. Initially awarded
to Chyfon Limited for N559 million, the cost was later
adjusted to N625 million. More upward variations to
the contract sum were to follow however.
On December 22, 2011, N7.6 million was granted to
the contractor, being variation resulting from
“relocation of library”. The same day, another N9.6
million variation was granted for the use of vitrified
tiles instead of terrazzo in the construction work.
Yet again, on February 27, 2012 another N73 million
variation was granted the contractor for “evaluation
and assessment fluctuations”.
The petitioners allege that the amounts approved for
variation were siphoned by officials of the university
administration. In fact, it is alleged that all kinds of
disingenuous methods are employed by the
administration in December of every year in order to
mop up unspent funds so that money is not returned
back into the treasury. Interestingly, as if to prove
the petitioners right, many of the approved
variations came in December.
The PPP fraud
Another contract unconventionally awarded by the
vice chancellor is the public private partnership, PPP,
students’ hostel project. In January 2010, Egboka
committed the university to a memorandum of
understanding, MOU, with Elmada Consulting Inc., a
company purported to be based in Canada, for the
building of hostels on the main campus.
The MOU which was signed on behalf of the
university by the VC and a Nigerian representative
for the company, states that the institution’s equity
to the project would be 40 per cent while the
company would contribute the remaining 60 percent.
With a total cost of N239, 400,000.00, the institution
was expected to contribute N97, 760,000.00.
There are several curious and suspicious
developments about this PPP arrangement which has
sent tongues wagging. First, the Nigerian
representative of Elmada who signed the MOU on
behalf of the company is alleged to be another of
Egboka’s sons – in – law.
The alleged son – in – law is the sole project manager
of the project which is being executed through a joint
account managed only by him. The VC never
disclosed his relationship or any conflict of interest
that might arise, to the university Senate.
What is more, the only document binding the two
parties together is the MOU. No binding agreement
spelling out details of contractual and legal
commitments has been signed.
Besides, the cost has been reviewed upwards to
N400 million and there are allegations that the
university has solely funded the two – phased project.
When our reporter visited the school’s main campus
in Awka, it was observed that the project had been
The nail on the coffin
However, the project that has gotten Mr. Egboka into
real trouble is the contract for the construction of the
bio sciences and physical sciences faculty complex.
The university lecturer has already been queried by
the BPP over the manner the contract was awarded.
The contract for the construction of the twin identical
complex, housing the faculties of biosciences and
physical sciences, was awarded by selective bidding
to Bechtel Nig. Limited on December 22, 2011 for the
sum of N994 million. In a similar fashion, without
following due process, on February 27, 2012, the
contract for the construction of the central facility
linking the two structures was also awarded to the
same company for N288 million.
For the project(executed at a total cost of N1.2
billion), the VC abandoned all due process such as
open bidding and just called on a contractor of his
choice to execute the project. This jettisoning of due
process irked some members of the institution’s
management who petitioned the BPP, which on April
4, 2012, wrote to the VC demanding that he furnish
the bureau with all the original bid documents in
respect of the contract.
The letter signed by Emeka Ezeh, the bureau’s
director general specifically asked for copies of the
advertisement of this procurement; technical and
financial tenders of all bidders; bid return sheet;
evaluation report of the bid; scope of work; and all
other documents relating to the procurement.
Sources in the university and at the BPP confided
that no such documents exist and the VC has been
unable to provide them to the bureau. Consequent
upon this, the school administration has been forced
to cancel the previous contract and has now
advertised the contract in newspapers, asking for
bids from interested companies.
Our reporter observed that the structures which were
still in foundation level had since been abandoned by
Mr. Egboka’s sins are not limited to financial
mismanagement of the university’s resources as he
has also been accused of administrative
recklessness, abuse of office and not following due
process in appointments; which he allegedly dishes
out to family and friends as he wishes.
Two of the VC’s children, Nkechi Egboka and Dr.
Egboka Chioma Mmazulu, were employed by the
university last year and their names have been on
the payroll since then. While Nkechi was employed as
an assistant lecturer in the department of geological
sciences, Chioma was appointed medical director of
the institution’s medical centre.
However, none of them had resumed work when our
reporter conducted checks in their departments
about two weeks ago.
Also, Uchenna Okeke, wife of the deputy vice
chancellor (DVC), administration; and Godwin Orji,
alleged to be a friend of the DVC, academics; were
employed against laid down rules. Okeke appeared
before the governing council’s appointments and
promotions committee, A&PC, and was found
unqualified for the position of assistant lecturer for
which she applied. However, she was still offered an
appointment as an assistant lecturer after the council
Orji was interviewed for and appointed to the
position of technologist. However, although he never
appeared before the A&PC, as is required in the
appointment of all academic staff, his employment
was unilaterally converted to lecturer by the VC.
Mum is the word
When our reporter visited the main campus of the
university and requested to speak to the VC, he was
said to be out of station. And when he was reached
on the phone to answer questions relating to the
petition, Mr. Egboka declined, saying that “the
matter is under investigation and I cannot make any
comment.” The VC dropped the line and
subsequently refused to take calls from our reporter.
No other official of the university was ready to speak
on the matter. The office of the registrar referred our
reporter to the VC’s office. The couple of lecturers,
who spoke to our reporter on the corruption
allegations against the VC, did so, on the strictest
assurances of confidentiality, as Mr. Egboka is said to
be very vindictive.
He is also vindictive
Several academic and non – academic staff of the
institution who oppose the University head have
been allegedly victimised since the investigations
into his management of the school’s resources
For example, a source told icirnigeria.org of the story
of a professor friend of the VC who had written him
warning him of the consequences of some high
handed actions he took. The professor had
questioned why Mr. Egboka employed six
consultants for the medical centre when requests for
needed staff such as doctors, nurses and
pharmacists had been repeatedly denied. The friend
also warned that the lack of due process in the
employment of the consultant could land the VC in
trouble as it had sent tongues wagging on the
campus. Rather than listen to his friend, the VC
transferred him to the Nnewi campus where he has
been rendered virtually redundant.
Sources in the EFCC said that investigations have
reached advanced stage on the corruption charges
against Mr. Egboka, and that enough evidence might
have been obtained to institute a case against him in