From Abdul Hassan, Zaria
A N26 million fraud is rocking the Federal College of Education (FCE) Zaria.
The money was meant as registration fee of 1, 128 students in the institution.
Raising the initial alarm, the institution’s bursary department said it discovered that more than N26 million tuition paid by students in some banks in Zaria were not credited to its accounts.
Some students, who spoke to Daily Sun declined to be named for “fear of victimisation.”
“I personally paid my money at the bank’s main branch in Sabon Gari, but, to my greatest dismay, they said my money did not drop into the FCE account.
“As I am talking to you now, my name is not captured as a registered student and I am not the only person affected.
“Over 1,000 students are now facing similar problems, and all categories of students are affected,” one of the students said.
Another student said he also paid through the same bank and added, “I have the deposit slip and the registration slip with me. Yet, they said I have not registered.
“The story is all over the campus, that a group of sacked staff has made an open vow to make the place ungovernable.
“We, as students, don’t know their reasons but it is not fair. We are also other people’s children just the way they have their own children,” lamented a female student who said the fight is affecting the integrity of the college and hampering productivity.
The Registrar, Dr Jibril Lawal confirmed the incident but allayed worries of perceived complicity of management.
“Management has since constituted a committee under the chairmanship of the bursar, Mohammed Sani-Uwais, to thoroughly investigate the mater and report back,” he said.
On his part,Sani-Uwais said his vigilance was responsible for the discovery that payments made by 1, 128 students were not credited into the institution’s TSA account.
He added that 82 other students also had irregular records of payment.
“Ninety-nine per cent of the student paid their money through the bank’s (name withheld) branch in Sabon Gari, Zaria.
“This is a serious issue and as such, we reported the case to the police and they advised us to c set up an administrative committee to investigate the matter, which we did.
Spokesperson of the Kaduna State Police Command, ASP Aliyu Usman confirmed that the case was reported to the Zaria Area Command and full investigation hasbegun.
“One of the prime suspects had been arrested and investigation is still on-going,” he assured.
Another anonymous source disclosed that a syndicate of students and some low-cadre members of staff of the College are strongly believed to be involved in the scam.
‘One of the boys in whose account about N7 million was said to have been found was charged to court and remanded in prison for over two weeks,” the source said.
As the issue of the missing fees lingers, a war of vendetta is also believed to have been waged against the management of the College.
investigation revealed that certain members of staff were at some point found wanting for various infractions and dismissed, following due processes of referring them to relevant disciplinary committees and subsequent approval of the Federal Ministry of Education.
It is these sacked individuals that later regrouped and are making things difficult for the management through chains of petitions and other forms of distracting propaganda.
It is also noteworthy that there have been several allegations of gross misconduct against a retired high ranking officer of the college which are currently being investigated by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
The group of sacked members of staff are therefore believed to be working in concert with this retired officer who holds a grudge over the non-payment of some monetary claims which the management said were frivolously inconsistent with existing financial guidelines.
Most students are in the picture of this and view the activities of this aggrieved group as counter productive.