•Project begins in UNN, OOU, Salem
The Acting Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), Nta Ekpo, yesterday said the commission has raised a 12-man panel to conduct a system review of malpractices in the nation’s universities.
He said the panel, headed by a former Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission (NUC), would begin with a pilot project at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN), Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU) and Salem University in Lokoja, which is privately owned.
Ekpo, who spoke at a joint briefing with the NUC Executive Secretary, Prof. Julius Okojie, said ICPC’s preliminary investigations had uncovered “utter disregard or failure of regulatory systems.”
Ekpo said: “The ICPC is inundated daily with petitions alleging corrupt practices and abuses in most of our tertiary institutions.
“These petitions highlight flagrant abuse of processes in student admissions, examinations, appointment and promotion of staff, manipulation and falsification of academic records, sexual harassment, victimisation of applicants, students and staff, syndicated plagiarism, delay or non- payment of gratuities and pension, non-adherence to bidding processes in the award of contracts, bastardising accreditation processes through deception, running un-approved study centres, affiliates and programmes, establishing and operating un-approved and consequently illegal universities, etc.”
The ICPC chairman said the system review was not intended to usurp the functions of any Visitation Panel.
Ekpo added: “I wish to inform Nigerians that ICPC intends to invoke its statutory mandate derived from Section 6 of its enabling law to undertake a comprehensive Systems Study and Review of the university system.
“A broad view of corruption in the university system was taken and three universities are being sampled.
“They were selected for a pilot study to reflect Federal/State/Private university as well as North/West/East characteristics.
“The exercise will commence from July 23 simultaneously in the three sampled universities.
“The institutions concerned have been accordingly informed.”