By Chibuzo Ukaibe, Abuja
A coalition of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) on the platform of Development and Peace Forum (DPF) has rubbished allegations of a contract scandal levelled against the minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, describing it as a mischievous attempt to score cheap political points.
The coalition led by Chief Akinsola Atobatele and Igwe Ndu, frowned at the allegation by a group and urged the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to dismiss the petition.
According to a statement by leaders of the coalition, “We have taken our time to monitor and review the trending reports on the frivolous allegations bothering on the contract awarded for the construction of perimeter fencing at the Federal University, Gusau, Zamfara State, in which the distinguished and reputable Hon. Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu was mischievously linked by the sponsors of the malicious petition.
“We wish to express regrets over the content of the petition and wish to state unequivocally that the Minister whose activities we have been following since he assumed office will not descend so low to be involved in the alleged scandal.
They said that the minister is known to live a simple people-centred life such that he cannot be enticed with filthy lucre.
“What we heard that entices him are books since he is a voracious reader and of course, a good attribute for a Minister of Education. He is not enticed with counting ill-gotten money.
“We make bold to say that the choice of Malam Adamu Adamu as a member of President Muhammadu Buhari’s cabinet, was done based on his hard-earned reputation and level of trust reposed in him over the years by Mr. President.
“Knowing fully well that relevant security agencies scrutinised his person before appointment as Minister and continue to regularly scrutinise him, we are bold to say that Mr. President would not have appointed him into his cabinet if he had any doubtful record throughout his career
“For any discerning mind, one could imagine the percentage of the N3 billion total contract sum that would be given to the Minister, knowing fully well that the Minister has over the past six years superintended over budget worth hundreds of billion naira on yearly basis, without blemish or fraud
“We also wish to ask the petitioner how he and his co-travellers came to the conclusion that the Hon. Minister was involved in the kickback of N260 million and N108 million allegedly paid directly to the Vice Chancellor in two tranches?
“We wish to also observe that the integrity of the Minister can be attested to by the Committee on Pro-Chancellors and Committee of Vice Chancellors of Federal Universities. Members of this body can attest to the Minister’s impeccable character, as one who cannot be induced or influenced in the bid of discharging his statutory service to the nation. A member of the Committee of Pro-Chancellors wishing not to be named at this stage, confirmed that Malam Adamu Adamu never gets involved in any procurement process in federal universities,” the Coalition stressed.
The Coalition added that: “Perusing through the syndicated communication addressed to the Minister of Education, it had in no way linked or indicted the Minister of any misdeed, hence our curiosity to probe the intendment of the report linking the Minister with the purported contract scandal.”
To this end, the Coalition urged the anti-graft agencies to dismiss the petition which has emanated from a non-credible source(s) meant only to mislead the public and impugn the integrity of the minister.