The Executive Secretary of Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TetFund) Dr Abdullahi Bichi Baffa has been sacked.
Baffa, whose sack came as a surprise to staff, was informed of his sack Monday 21 January when the immediate past Executive Secretary of the Fund, Suleiman Bogoro came to the office with a letter of resumption, according to a source who did not want his name mentioned.
Bogoro has since resumed control over the affairs of the fund as he is right now seated at the office.
A statement from the Ministry of Education, signed by Deputy Director of Information, Bem Goong said: “The Federal Government has approved the re-instatement of Professor Suleiman Elias Bogoro as the Executive Secretary of the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND).”
According to the statement, Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, said the re-instatement of Prof. Bogoro was with immediate effect, with the same terms and conditions as it were in his previous appointment and as stipulated in the TETFUND staff conditions of service.
Prof. Bogoro was the Executive Secretary of TETFUND between April 2014 and February 2016.
Why I was sacked from TETFund – Baffa
But Abdullahi Bichi Baffa, on Wednesday 23 January said that the minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu orchestrated his sack for his refusal to give him bribes.
He said the minister rose against him for his refusal to pay 10 percent kickbacks to contractors working for the minister.
In an interview with BBC Hausa Service monitored in Abuja, Baffa said the minister had written to President Muhammadu Buhari, asking for his sack.
“On Friday night, I was informed at the Presidential Villa that the minister of Education came with a letter reporting me to the president,” the ex-TETFund chief said.
He said that was not the first time “Adamu Adamu reported me to the president, requesting my sack but the president stood his ground and refuse to remove me.”
Baffa said his sources at the presidency told him Saturday night that he was going to be removed.
“I asked what was my offence? They alleged that the offences were inaccessibility, insubordination and speaking to the press without the minister’s permission,” Baffa said.
He said the allegation of inaccessibility was unfounded because the minister knew that I spend more time in the ministry as his technical adviser than in the TETfund office.
He said he has “no regret” for disobeying “the minister’s directives because I cannot sabotage my country.”
He alleged that some “eight months ago, Mallam Adamu Adamu sent one of his biggest contractors to tell me that the minister was angry with me for three reasons.
He claimed that the minister was angry that “TETfund disbursed over
N200 billion to universities without remitting the 10 percent kickback, which amounted to N20 billion.
He said he never asked for a kickback from any university. “If any university shows proof of collecting kickback from them, let me be sentenced to death,” he said.
When contacted, a deputy director with the ministry of education, Mr Bem Goong said neither the minister nor the ministry would talk about any issue with Bichi. “We will not join issue with Baffa under any circumstances, whatsoever,” he said.