The last has not been heard of the troubles bedeviling Anambra-based Catholic Institution, Tansian University.
Barely one week after billionaire businessman, Chief Rommy Ezeonwuka threatened to sell the school, a Turkish contractor, Engr. Cemhan Kucuk, has come out to say that the University duped him of ₦430 million.
Kucuk, who spoke with journalists in an interview, claimed his enterprise has been ruined through alleged acts of vindictiveness, wickedness and total suppression, leading to mounting debts after the Management of Tansian University in Anambra State dubiously refused to pay him for road contract he executed for the University over 8 years ago. The Catholic University instead, issued him a dud cheque.
The contractor who spoke in Abuja said his firms, Delta Plant Ltd and Leocen Investment and Development Ltd, are now heavily indebted to commercial banks due to the N430,000,000 loan obtained since 2015 to execute the road project in the University that had turned into a protracted debt with unmentionable interest accumulation, all due to the University’s refusal to release payment.
He said the failure of the University, now under the care of Catholic Diocese of Ekwulobia headed by Cardinal Peter Okpalaeke to honour payment after the demise of the founder, Msgr. John Bosco Akam without any reason.
Engr. Cemhan Kucuk, who recounted his unkind experience since 2015 said Tansian University, awarded him the construction of internal roads, culverts and drainages at the University and also the link roads leading to the Chancellors’ Residence. He said the university requested him to source for fund to execute the projects which he graciously agreed to despite being a Muslim and upon completing the project, the university management became inordinately evasive. He said after several visits, he was issued bounced cheque.
According to him, “in 2015, the management of Tansian University, Umunya, awarded our company, Delta Plant Production Ltd the construction of internal roads, culverts and drainages at the University and also the link road leading to the Chancellors’ Residence at the cost of N430,000,000.
“The management of the university begged me that they needed the projects executed as part of the mandatory infrastructural requirement for securing NUC Permanent Operational Licence and further pretended and fraudulently presented they will pay as soon as the projects are completed.
“We had an agreement. I mobilized machines, equipment and manpower to the site. I duly and fully funded and executed the contract, and same was duly acknowledged in a letter of recommendation/appreciation dated 25th November, 2016 issued by the University upon presentation of certificate of completion signed and endorsed by Tansian University in 2016.
“After several visits and inordinate evasiveness in respect of the payment, my company was issued a dud cheque for the sum N100,000,000.00.
“This gives me a bad perception about Nigerians. It is a negative factor that is foiling the progress hoped for by the Nigerian people as regards nation-building. I am a Muslim,” he lamented.
Also, in a petition addressed to the Turkey Consulate in Nigeria, Economic and Financial Crime Commission, and the National Universities Commission, titled: “Petition Against Tansian University, Umunya, Anambra State For Corruption, Criminal Breach Of Trust, Unlawful Enrichment, Conversation Of N430,000,000 And Obtaining By False Pretenses Perpetrated Against Delta Plant Ltd and Leocen Investment and Development Ltd, Turkish contractor, Engr. Cemhan Kucuk, narrated how he was strung along for up to a year with the solicitation of large contracts to be awarded his company, which turned out to be fraud.
According to the petition dated September 3, 2023, the counsel, Lexsquires Legal Practitioners & Consultants, said, “apparently, to perfect the scam, the University stressed the urgency of the road, which was awarded our client’s company which subsequently executed same with N430,000,000 and according to specification of the contract. It was after the due execution of the contract that our client discovered that the whole scheme has been a scam from the very beginning.
The petition reads In parts:
“Our client was strung along for up to a year with the solicitation of large contracts to be awarded his Company, Leocem Investment And Development Ltd in the University. Apparently, to perfect the scam, the University stressed the urgency of the road, which was awarded our client’s company which subsequently executed same with N430,000,000 and according to specification of the contract. It was after the due execution of the contract that our client discovered that the whole scheme has been a scam from the very beginning.
“When the offer of the contract was introduced, it consisted of more than just a simple business opportunity for our Client, as there were follow-up letters and supporting documentations to convince our unsuspecting client that the contract is genuine. At last, our client realized that some of the document were blatant and transparent while some are subtle and complex.
“Acting under the misrepresentations and pretenses made by the University management, the contractor duly and fully funded and executed the contract, and same was duly acknowledged in a letter of recommendation/appreciation dated 25th November, 2016 issued by the University upon presentation of certificate of completion signed and endorsed by Tansian University in 2016.
“After our client had completed the construction of the internal roads of the University with asphalt, concrete culverts, water drainages, walkways, dual carriageway, as well as the link roads to the Chancery, at the cost of N430,000 (Four hundred thirty Million only), the University management has remained deceptive and unwilling to fulfill its obligation of paying for the services rendered by our client.
“Though the University, in her many deceitful and mocked correspondences to our client, confirmed and acknowledged its indebtedness to our client in the sum of N430,000,000 only for construction of Internal Roads in the University and link road to the Chancellor residence and gave assurance that it would be committed to making the payment. Unfortunately, all the promises including the partial payment into the account of our client were never kept.
“In one of its fraudulent moves, the University issued our client with Access Bank cheque of One Hundred Million Naira (100,000,000 only) dated on 22 January 2020, however, upon presentation, the cheque bounced (See attached)
“Eight years after the completion of the projects, the management of the university has continued to play hide and seek. By their action, the management of the University made it overwhelmingly clear that ab initio, they intended not to pay any dime for the construction work; rather the sham contract, fraudulent misrepresentation and false pretences predicated thereon were ploys to lure our client to spend his hard earned money on the school projects. The university has simply corruptly enriched itself under a fraudulent cover of funding the contract for construction of infrastructure in the University as well as the road leading to the village of one the affiliate institutions.
“Between 2015 and 2023, our client still owes banks, vendors and individuals he borrowed money from to fund the contracts. Our client has appealed in written and word to the University to pay up to enable his liquidation of loans obligations to the banks, yet the University is slippery and keeps avoiding him.
In some of the past numerous meetings between our client’s top management staff held in the chamber of Rev Fr Edwin Obiorah SAN, with the Vice Chancellor of Tansian University, Prof Engine Nwadialor, Mr Innocent Ukeh, Mr Daniel Igwe etc in attendance the above named persons dubiously blocked every mean of legitimate peace resolution even while they have been using the beautiful facilities delivered by our client and his companies till date. This is SAD!
“The banks from where our client accessed facility to fund the project has threatened to recommend our client’s company to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for stiffer sanctions which will impact negatively on the creditworthiness of our client’s company for future loan transactions in Nigeria.
“The continued outstanding of this indebtedness may lead to its classification by the CBN. Where this happens, our clients’ company may be blacklisted with the consequent placing a banks’ loans restriction on the company.
“Because of the debt liabilities and obligations to other several vendors who are owed for about 8 years now, our client and his company has been sued by his vendors, all because of the complicity and fraudulent activities of Tansian University.
“Our client was not only defrauded, but has lost his career integrity, and as well suffered the destruction of the reputation and integrity of his company, especially with its international partners.
“We are of the strong view that the actions of the management of Tansian University in the circumstances stated above clearly constitute criminal offences of Fraudulent Misrepresentation, Corrupt Enrichment, Fraud, Obtaining by False Pretence, Issuance of Dud Cheque among other related offences punishable under the laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. It also funs foul of the Education (National Minimum Standards and Establishment of Institutions) Act, Cap E2, LFN 2004 under which Tansian University was license and being regulated.
“Though, our client has written to the Nigeria’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in respect of the above subject matter, however, our client, as a Turkish resident in Nigeria, wish to further bring same to your attention. Our client implores your to use to good office to champion his cause at the diplomatic circle and engage relevant Nigerian authorities to see that our client does not completely loose his NGN 430,000.000.00.
“While counting on your quick intervention; please accept the assurances of our highest esteem.”
When our correspondent contacted the former Public Relations Officer of the University, Chidi-Peters Okorie, he said he was not in the position to speak on the matter.
All effort to reach the Chancellor of the University, Senator Victor Umeh for his reactions failed.
The University was founded in 2007 by Msgr Prof. John Bosco Akam who died in 2021 and currently under the direct superintendence of the Catholic Diocese of Ekwulobia following legal contest of the deceased last Will.