Gov. Wike, Patience Jonathan Fingered In N180bn UBEC Fraud
Few days after it was revealed that Rivers State Governor, Mr. Nyesom Wike did not return the 15 vehicles he took from the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) for his gubernatorial campaign, the embattled Governor has again been fingered in another multi-billion naira fraud at the Commission alongside the immediate past First Lady, Mrs. Patience Jonathan.
The fraudulent activities were said to have occurred in UBEC under the watch of Mr. Wike as Minister of State for Education.
A Lagos-based whistle-blower operating under the aegis of Nigeria Against Corruption Group (NACG) alleged in a statement issued and signed by its National Coordinator Mr. Tayo Olusola that Mr. Wike siphoned billions of naira under the UBE program when he was in charge of the Education ministry.
The statement reads: “Investigation conducted by us revealed that the Rivers governor and the former first lady, allegedly plundered over N180 billion from the UBEC purse using fronts in the commissions office.
“Sources confirmed that UBEC programs and contracts during the tenure of Chief Wike, were used as a facade to loot billions of naira for little or no work done.
“But the man who runs the operations on behalf of Wike and directs which account and fund to privilege is Mr. Hama, the so called SA to the executive secretary of UBEC.
“Sources at UBEC disclosed that, “the SA tag is just a camouflage because the man is the defector Executive Secretary of UBEC.
“The executive secretary, Dr. Dikko dares not take any decision or implement anything without clearance from Mr, Hama who is one of Mr. Nyesom Wike’s enforcers at UBEC.
“Any program or project that does not provide an easy avenue for stealing huge sums of money does not get any attention no matter how vital that project may be to the educational system.”
“Some of the fraudulent schemes used in stealing billions of Naira year in year out are:
Teachings: “Billions of Naira are stolen each year by arrangement of bogus teaching programs in luxury hotels where little or nothing is achieved but billions of Naira are budgeted and wasted as the monies finds its way into private pockets. One of such fraudulent teachings schemes that occurred under Mr. Wike is now being investigated by the EFCC.
“The investigation involves the top management of UBEC and one of the fronts used in siphoning the money but, was not settled according to plan. In the said case, over 100 million was siphoned from UBEC for a fraudulent teaching program but, all that took place was a jamboree in a five star hotel.
Vocational Schools: “Billions of Naira was budgeted for the building of vocational schools but in most cases not much has been done even though huge sums have been disbursed and vanished under the watchful eyes of Mr. Wike.
Instructional Material Funds: “This is the biggest fraud that has been going on since the Jonathan administration came into office. During Wike’s tenure alone, over 60 billion has been on the dubious supply of free text books to students, but, actual amount of books supplied is not more than N5 Billion and the books in usable condition out there in the schools are not up to 200 million worth of books.
“The free textbooks supply scheme is a perfect cover for high yield frauds because billions of naira is budgeted to address a need that does not exist since parents are already providing these books for their wards.
“So nobody is clamoring for the books and nobody complains if they are not delivered. More importantly there is no way of verifying whether the supply was made since there is no standing stock as the books are assumed to be in the hands of the students.
“So each year the actual amount committed to supply of textbooks is about 10-15% of the budgeted amount, just for the purpose of launching the scheme in the states, the rest goes into private pockets. That is why the textbook supply is such a favored project in UBEC because
everyone from UBEC headquarters to the SUBEBS are settled while the student and our education system are short-changed.
“The involvement of the former first lady and Gov. Nyesom Wike made the textbook contractors untouchable. So while our schools remain empty without proper learning, the yearly pillage of government money goes on.”
The group further called on President Buhari to make good his promises to strengthen the EFCC and empower it to investigate and prosecute government officials including former ministers who had stolen billions of Naira during their tenure, expressing confidence that doing so the
president will recover a lot money to run the economy of the country.
Mrs. Patience Jonathan and Mr Nyesome Wike are not new to unholy alliance. Both joint forces during the last general election to criminally suppress the wish of the Rivers people as their thugs went on rampage across the state killing and injuring APC members.