The former acting Registrar of the National Examinations Council (NECO), Abubakar Gana, has described a report in an online platform that accused him of siphoning N368.8 million as nothing but a tissue of lies.
An online news platform, Sahara-reporter, had reported that the alleged misappropriated money was generated during the June/July 2018 registration of Senior School Certificate Examination (SSCE) when Gana held sway as NECO boss.
But reacting to the allegation at the weekend, Gana said he fought corruption to a standstill in NECO and ensured that monies generated by the council went straight to the Treasury Single Account of the Federal Government.
He called on the online medium to retract the publication and tender an unreserved apology in not less than two national dailies within 48 hours or he will seek redress in court.
“Ordinarily, I would not have bothered to dignify the half-truths and fabrications contained in the publication with a response, but for the purpose of setting the records straight,” Gana said in a statement made available to newsmen in Abuja.
“For the avoidance of doubt, I was appointed as Acting Registrar of NECO on May 10, 2018 while the purported incident occurred on December 18, 2017, at least, five months before my appointment.
“It must, however, be put on record that the infractions were uncovered by the Council in 2017 under the watchful eyes of Former Registrar, Prof Charles Uwakwe, but nothing was done to bring the perpetrators to book.
“When I took over the affairs of the Council in 2018, the misappropriation was officially reported to me, a development that led to the setting up of both Management and Board Committees for investigation.
“Upon our investigations, two officials of the Council were indicted and thereby recommended for dismissal. Not satisfied with the outcome of the investigation, the officials petitioned the Senate Committee on Ethics and Privileges in the Eight Assembly, which also found them culpable of misappropriation but however pleaded for leniency, a request that was rejected by the Board.
“How could I have stolen money before my appointment as Registrar?” Gana queried.
While saying under his tenure NECO initiated several reforms, generated N600 million from checking of result, from an initial N30 million, audited itself and dismissed over 100 staff with fake certificates, Gana said “the only sin I committed was to carry out a presidential directive by dismissing the erring staff, who have now made me a target of their campaign of calumny.”