Editorial + Letter


Now That EFCC Has Exonerated Agbaso
For the past eight months now, Imo State citizens have been inaundated with the controversy which climaxed the sudden abandonment of some Government awarded road contracts in the state.
Unfortunately, accusing fingers were raised against the then Deputy Governor of Imo State, Sir Jude Agbaso who also doubled as the Commissioner for Works and Urban Development.
Worried at the scandal which the entire scenario had on the State Government, the State Governor, Owelle Rochas Okorocha who at a point was convinced that his Deputy had in a hand in the abandonment of the contract directed the State House of Assembly to investigate Sir Agbaso.
The story had it that of the N1.3billion paid to the contractor, Mr Joseph Dina, that Sir Jude Agbaso demanded and indeed collected the whooping sum of N458 million as gratification from the contractor thereby making the contractor to abandon the jobs for lack of sufficient fund.
With this disclosure, the heavens were let loosed as both government and Imo people expressed shock at the actions of the then Deputy Governor. All efforts by both the Deputy Governor and his brother, Chief Agbaso to exonerate themselves from the allegation hit the brick walls.
This however, prompted the setting up of a House of Assembly probe panel headed by Hon Simeon Iwunze to investigate the culpability of Sir Agbaso in the allegation.
Apparently, the panel which was set up by Justice Njemanze hurriedly did their bid and forwarded their report to the House of Assembly who in a commando style impeached Sir Jude Agbaso from office having found him guilty as charged.
Worried that the image of the Agbaso has been dragged to the mud, the embattled Agbaso petitioned to several relevant security agencies in the country including the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for his proper probe on the allegations.
At last, fortunately just few days ago, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) wrote to Sir Agbaso where it said that there is no single evidence in their investigation to show that the former Deputy Governor benefited from the alleged missing funds.
According to the EFCC, the total sum of $5,538,830.00 USD was found to have been remitted to the personal accounts of Dina in Dubai and Lebanon.
What an irony? If all we hear now is only but the truth, it leaves thousands and ten questions to be answered by Governor Rochas Okorocha and Chief Ben Uwajumogu’s led House of Assembly who appears to be an accomplice in the entire drama.
Could it mean that the Governor in connivance with some of his aides deliberately set the bubble trap for Agbaso to get him out of the way?
Whichever way the matter is looked at, the unanswered question for Governor Okorocha remains, what actually happened to Imo State N1.3billion?, where is Joseph Dina of famous JPros Group and the controversial N458 million?
These and many other questions need explanations because according to Archbishop Anthony Obinna, the money presently in control of Governor Okorocha is Imo money and not his pocket money.

ASUU, Federal Government And The education Sector

Education no doubt is the best foundation any nation, whether developed or developing can give to it’s citizens. But Nigeria as a nation pay little or no attention to the educational sector. Little wonder why graduates of Nigerian universities are regarded and labeled half baked graduates as stated by a lecturer in one of the tertiary institutions in the South-Eastern part of the country.
Education in Nigeria has continued to dwindle on per seconds billing and the stakeholders in the sector, instead of rising up to the challenges and tacking the dwindling fortunes of education in our society, have decide to play with the intellectual minds of the Nigerian populace.
The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) under the leadership of Dr. Isa faggea embarked on an indefinite strike on the 1st day of July 2013, to press forward the demands of asking the federal government to fulfill the agreement reached in 2009 and the leadership of the union then.
This very agreement in 2009 has done more harm than good to the education sector as this is not the first time ASUU is embarking on such a long industrial action at the expense of Nigerian under graduates. It will be recalled that in 2010, the union embarked on a long industrial action that lasted for 6 months (July-December).
It is now obvious that the same episode that played out in 2010 is exactly what is repeating itself now at the expense of the students, even thou the federal government has issued an ultimatum, warning striking lecturers to go back to the class rooms or loose their Jobs. An act which most people has described as an empty threat. The big question now is how far can this so called threat go? Even thou some of the institutions are now reopening one after the other, some are hell bent on adhering to the instructions of the national leadership of ASUU while the unfortunate students of these institutions still seat at home aimlessly with most of them taking to all sorts of crime because of idleness.
Why then will our education sector not dwindle when some degree programmes which ordinarily should have been done for four years is done for close to five or even six years? When this schools reopens, these students who has been at home for six months now are lectured for just one week and examinations conducted? I wonder how on earth this students are expected to come out with good grades except if they are all genus which obviously cannot be.
In as much as ASUU is demanding for what according to them is their right and trying to compel the federal government to fulfill the 2009 agreement with the union, the should put to cognizance the plight of these students most of whom are long due for graduation and the impending doom this long and over stretched industrial actions is bringing to our education sector. The federal government on it’s part should try and listen to the yarnings of ASUU and bring to an end this monster called strike and avoid future occurrences for the growth and betterment of our educational system so as to produce fully baked, qualified and employable graduates. To before warned, is to before harmed. I rest my case!
By Ikechukwu Ucheoma