enate panel grills ministerial nominee on tenure as VC
Four different groups had petitioned the Senate, demanding the withdrawal of his nomination on allegations that he had been indicted by a White Paper issued by the state government sometimes in 2005.
Specifically, he was accused of awarding contracts unilaterally without a recourse to the Governing Council of the university as well as withdrawing funds from the universityâ€™s purse to buy a bus for himself.
Anwuka was also accused of being nominated by Governor Rochas Okorocha because he is an in-law to the governor.
In his defence, however, the nominee told the committee that he was aware of the petitions, but had not seen a copy, though he could answer questions based on their contents.
Anwuka said, â€œI brought some documents to justify my explanations and had handed them over to the committee. I was the Vice Chancellor of Imo State University from 2000 to 2005, before I went on sabbatical.
â€œA visitation panel was constituted to probe the varsity when I was on sabbatical but they saw nothing incriminating against me. I inherited N40,000 but left over N840m at the expiration of my tenure.
â€œThey later came back and raised issues over vehicle given to me as parting gift from the university, being my entitlement. I was supposed to collect a N4.8m 406 Peugeot car but I requested for a N3.8m 13-seater bus, which was cheaper than the car they wanted to buy for me.
â€œI had exhibited financial discipline in order to encourage sincerity. There was no written directive to the bursar on my intention to exchange the Peugeot 406 for the bus because I was not in the country.â€
â€œAnwuka explained that the Body of Vice Chancellors of the Nigerian universities agreed on gift of vehicles for outgoing Vice Chancellors.
He also said the contract for the repair of the perimeter fence of his residence, which collapsed when he travelled to South Africa, was a verbal instruction to the universityâ€™s bursar since the N800,000 cost was within the N1m he could spend as vice chancellor.
The ministerial nominees added, â€œThey also accused me of being too big to teach the undergraduates. There was a directive that some of us be retired but we went to court to challenge the order and there was a judgment that nullified my indictment of the White Paper.â€
On the allegation that he was an in-law to the governor, he said, â€œI am not a nominee of the state executive but a nominee of the President of Nigeria; so the issue of power sharing being obstructed does not exist.
He said, â€œOn being the in-law of the Imo State Governor, the governor made me the Director-General of the campaign organisation. He once asked me what position I wanted after the election.
â€œHe announced me as the Secretary to the State Government. It was towards the end of my tenure that my son in the United States, a medical doctor, saw the daughter of the governor and informed me that he would want to marry her and it happened.
â€œI am my own person and my own self. I couldnâ€™t have turned down President Buhariâ€™s offer because my son married the daughter of a governor.â€
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