Fear has gripped the authorities of the Federal Polytechnic, Ekowe, Bayelsa State, following the summon of the institution’s key officials, including the Rector, Dr. Douglas Ekpebu, by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
Ekpebu was invited to appear before the EFCC in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, as part of investigations into alleged financial scam in the polytechnic.
He was requested to come along with the institution’s Bursar, Mr. James Neminebor; Head of Audit, Mr. Denson Ojigbare; Mr. Abadani Woyengikuro; and Mr. Zechariah Owutuamor.
They were asked to appear before the anti-graft agency on January 30 (Thursday).
A letter of invite, dated January 20, 2014, and signed by the EFCC’s Zonal Head, Mr. David Inyang, said the rector and other officials would be interrogated by the Officer in charge of Economic Governance.
The letter, which was addressed to Ekpebu reads in part, “This office is currently investigating a case involving your school in which the need to obtain certain clarifications from you and some of your officers have become imperative.”
The letter also requested them to come along with a list of academic and non-academic employees showing their ages, sex, state of origin among other things from 2009 till date.
The rector and others were also requested to furnish the agency with the list of all contracts awarded and executed by the institution from 2009 to date.
The contract list, according to the invitation, must show “contract sum, contract type, date of award, status, contractors, locations, award letters and bill of quantities.”
Other requirements are “mode of payment, vouchers, cash books, income and expenditure, and cheques from 2009 to date.”
The development came about three months after unknown gunmen, suspected to be assassins, shot and killed a 35-year-old senior employee of the institution, Mr. Frank Moses.
Before his murder, Moses and members of the Senior Staff Association of Polytechnics, Bayelsa State chapter, were engaged in an industrial dispute with the rector and management of the institution over issues bordering on workers unpaid benefits and financial recklessness.
When contacted on the phone, spokesman for the polytechnic, Mr. Biongoli Okpoitari, said he was not aware of the invitation.
He demanded that he be given some time to respond to the enquiry. But as of the time of filing this report, he had yet to respond.