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Published On: Fri, Apr 25th, 2014

Delta State Bursary Fraud: Whistleblower Arrested in UNILAG

Delta State Commissioner for Higher Education, Prof Hope Eghagha

LAGOS APRIL 25TH (URHOBOTODAY)-The whistleblower of a scam being perpetrated in the Delta State Students’ bursary and scholarship scheme, Mr. Ambrose Ezenweani, SaharaReporters has learned, was framed for a police arrest this afternoon.
Ezenweani said he was on his way out of the University of Lagos (UNILAG) campus, and a car obstructed him, directly in front of the Federal College of Education at Akoka. He said the occupants of the car wanted to force him into their car, but he resisted. The altercation caused a small crowd to gather. He said afterwards, the car occupants claimed they only wanted him to join them at the Police Station for some undefined explanations. After his long resistance not to join them in their car, he said, a taxi was called. He said, upon the intervention of passers-by he jumped into the taxi, and headed straight for the Sabo Police Station to find out first hand why he was mysteriously summoned.
He is currently being detained at the Sabo Police Station. SaharaReporters learned later, and student sources in UNILAG said, his statement was recorded by police officials there, but they continue to detain him on so far unannounced charges.
Ezenweani identified some of the occupants who were forcing him into their car. He said they included the Senior Special Adviser to the Delta State Governor on Education, accompanied by some eight other men. He alleges that the attempt was to abduct him. That abduction he believes is because he had learned earlier in the day through some sources, that the Commissioner for Education in Delta State, Mr. Hope Egbhagha, was sending some men to Lagos on his insistence.
Ambrose Ezenweani is an ex-president of the National Association of Delta State Students Union (NADESSTU) in UNILAG. He had led a series of protests since he left the school, alleging that Mr. Eghagha was instrumental in the fraud being perpetrated in the scholarship and bursary schemes.
Recently, Ambrose Ezenweani had circulated the official list of Delta State Students in UNILAG, and compared that with the published list by the Board, after the bursary report was released but students of his school did not benefit from some of the financial programs. The ex-student accused that the board had generated about 23,000 fake names, and bank accounts, to siphon-off the bursaries funding’s, while denying the genuine students at the school their benefits.
He said he had called public attention of the board’s questionable financial practices several times. Those practices also occurred while he was student leader at the institution, but the board and the Commissioner, Mr. Hope Eghagha, had continued to parade their fake student list every year to perpetuate the scam.
Ezenweani had also invited the Economic And Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to take a look, and investigate the scam, but it has yet to yield any results.
Ambrose Ezenweani had also accused the EFCC of being influenced to compromise the investigation of malpractice he had helped bring attention to.
Asides from UNILAG, where only a few of the students are said to benefit from the bursary, and several others, were replaced with fake names. Saharareporters also learned from students at the Adeniran Ogunsanya College of Education (AOCOED,) that no student is known to have received assistance from the bursary at all.
What is odd about this latest twist in this on-going story is that Sabo police officials have not formally announced the charges Ezenweani is being held on. There is no update on the status of on-going investigations into the matter, and Ezenweani’s supporters are puzzled as to why he was arrested, and also, why he was arrested now.
Source: Saharareporters

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