Rectors of Federal Polytechnics in Nigeria have refuted allegations that they were asked to give bribes by the House of Representatives Ad-hoc committee investigating alleged job racketeering and mismanagement of the Integrated Personnel Payment Information System (IPPIS) by MDAs.
An online media organisation had reported how some members of the panel asked vice chancellors of universities and heads of tertiary institutions to pay certain amount of money as bribes into a bank account in order to give them a soft landing.
But chairman of the Committee of Federal Polytechnics’ Rectors, Engr Yahaya Mohammed, who spoke on behalf of the polytechnic rectors who were present at the resumed hearing on Thursday, said they had at no time interfaced with any member of the panel, and also denied being given any account number for that purpose.
Mohammed, who is also the Rector of Federal Polytechnic, Kaura Namoda Zamfara state, said: “This is our first time of interfacing with the committee. All of us came into Abuja yesterday. Chairman, we are not in receipt of any account number or account name by any member of this committee. I will say under oath that we have not received any account number from any member of this committee.”
Chairman of the committee, Hon. Yusuf Adamu Gagdi later disclosed that he had written to the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) to investigate the account number allegedly released to heads of tertiary institutions for the payments of bribes as reported, and ascertain anybody linked same.
“I have already written to the ICPC to investigate that account number that was published by PREMIUM TIMES; the owner of that account and whether there is any transaction by vice chancellors, rectors of polytechnics and leaders of tertiary institutions in the country.”
Gagdi also threatened that the committee may take legal action against the online medium over the publication which he said was to “blackmail and discredit” the committee.
Vice Chancellors of Federal Universities are expected at another appearance before the panel today (Friday).