The dismissal of former University of Calabar Bursar, Peter Agi and its attendant brouhaha is no longer an issue of exclusive discourse as it has become an item in every gathering; it is also no longer news that the dismissal has been touted in various quarters that the bursar was just a product of witch hunt.
Many who have listened to the litany of reasons advanced by Agi are unfortunately aware of the real circumstances that led to his sack nor are they aware that the decision to relive the former bursar of his appointment had followed all laid down disciplinary procedure prescribed by law.
However investigations have revealed that on Monday 22nd August, 2016 Mr. Agi at the bidding of the university management was suspended by the Vice Chancellor. Nonetheless this decision was not until management reviewed petitions from various organs of the institution against him.
These reports were alleged cases of insubordination, delinquency and extremism displayed against staff, management including the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Zana Akpagu.
The untold truth of the matter was that even after the said August suspension, another committee constituted by the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of the Governing Council, Emmanuel Anyawu in order to ensure all characters involved had fair hearing as stipulated by Section15(1c); unfortunately, contrary to accounts of lack of fair trial, Agi flagrantly turned down the opportunity and instead turned in a bogus letter from his lawyer bragging of his invincibility and threatening the authorities.
Documents at our disposal show that the panel on receipt of the mock letter reviewed the Vice Chancellor’s report as well as conducted interviews of all parties concerned including an intensive review of retinue of memoranda of complaints from staff, Unions and university committee upon which the decision was arrived at.
According to the panel’s report the former university bursar’s sack was justifiable owing to a large number transgression ranging from financial to moral contraventions amongst which:
As bursar, Mr. Peter Agi barefacedly issued the irregular transfer of funds without the knowledge, authorization or approval of the Vice Chancellor and in the same distrustful manner, delisted the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Zana Akpagu, from Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) e-payment platform.
He had unilaterally switched to unauthorized software platform (Zellence) for collection of school charges which ran into an excess of over N200, 000,000 (Two Hundred Million Naira) was collected and has remained unaccounted.
Mr. Agi was found to have shortchanged the institution, via the purchase of a different brand of vehicle (Toyota Highlander) instead of duly approved Sienna, at a cost higher than what the Vice Chancellor has approved.
Documents provided also proved that the former bursar had also refused to release Interim Payment Certificate (IPCs) and other payment to TETFUND and NEEDS Assessment Contractors even when funds were available setting back the process of accreditation for several departments in the university.
Unauthorized transfer of funds to undisclosed accounts without approval of the Vice Chancellor
Apart from the financial derelictions the panel’s report also showed that Mr. Peter Agi had been found guilty of flagrant disrespect of constituted authority and irresponsible conduct less befitting of a university bursar including:
Illegal mobilization and bringing of non-staff including thugs and cultists into the University to foment trouble and subsequent refusal to respond to query issued in the wake of the disturbance of the academic activities of the university of Calabar by some hoodlums suspiciously sponsored by Mr Agi on the 15th August, 2016.
The panel’s investigations also found Agi wanting of absence from duty without authorization, even as he demanded members of the University to transact university’s business with him through phone call.
Subversion of University and civil service hierarchy by his autonomous granting of Press interviews without approval by appropriate structures of the university
Various interviews with staff as well as petitions available also accused him of intemperate use of insulting and disrespectful language on staff in both oral and written communication.
This inadvertently proves that against propaganda and general rumour whipped by Peter Agi and his co-travellers, fair play and strict adherence was followed to the latter to ensure that all parties involved had equal access to justice.