A former militant leader in the Niger Delta, ‘General’ Israel Akpos, has called on the Interim Administrator, Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP), Col. Milland Dixon Dikio (rtd) to investigate an allegation linking the Novena University to PAP’s scholarship fraud.
Akpos said Dikio should as a matter of urgency raise an independent panel to probe the allegation or invite the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to look into claims against the university and its Vice-Chancellor.
The ex-warlord in a statement in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, said there were claims that authorities of the university partook in admission racketeering in the scholarship process amounting to billions of naira.
He said in the interest of transparency and accountability, Dikio should swing into action to probe the matter to give Novena an opportunity to defend itself and reedem its image.
Akpos said Dikio should handle the issue in a similar way it cleansed the contract process as part of his reforms and anti-corruption war.
He said: “We are aware that Dikio visited the university and met with the school authorities led by the Vice-Chancellor. We gathered that while Dikio is desirous to probe the allegation, some persons in Novena are mounting pressure on him to drop the idea.
“If Dikio succumbs, we will take him on this because it has to do with public funds and everybody involved in spending it should not be above investigation.
“We have supported and applauded Dikio’s anti-corruption fight in the last one year, especially his efforts to block identified financial loopholes and corrupt practices affecting the implementation of the programme and this is the time for him to sustain it not minding whose ox is gored.
“We call on him to go beyond his internal probe and invite anti-graft agencies to dig deeper into this allegation”.
Akpos said it was curious that out of the about 15 higher institutions partnering the amnesty office, only Novena was called into account.
He also challenged the Vice-Chancellor to boldly come out and give his institution a clean bill of health.
He appealed to Dikio not to compromise his ongoing reforms of the amnesty programme describing the interim administrator as the shinning example to public office holders in the country.