A Non-governmental Organization in Nigeria, Every Child Education Advancement Foundation reputed for its advocacy for the promotion of quality education in Nigeria has again raised alarm over plot by the Governor Hope Uzodinma-led government to set aside government whitepaper on Imo state university in favour of Prince Alex Mbata.
Mbata, a former Pro-chancellor of the University was over the weekend alleged to have been elected in a very controversial manner as APC candidate for the Imo East Senatorial Seat ahead of 2023 election.
In a release issued in Owerri and signed by the group’s Director of Publicity, Comrade Dominic Nwankwo, it revealed that there is a clandestine move to set aside the government White Paper in favour of Prince Alex Mbata who was allegedly indicted by the document.
The group advised the state government to desist from such move as she will see the state government as being corruption-friendly and embolden others who are currently feasting on the sufferings of IMSU students.
The Group attributed the deplorable state of infrastructure to failure of past administration to utilize funds made available for execution of TETFUND projects
The statement further stated that it will stop at nothing to see to the implementation of the Whitepaper.
Further speaking, it ageued that it is uncharitable for government to set aside its own white paper simply because it is desperate to field someone as a senatorial candidate, adding that such move will be fruitless owing to the fact that at the time Mbata was screened by the APC to stand in for election., the whitepaper was still valid and subsisting.
Part of the statement read: “We are aware that APC nomination form specifically asked under oath if aspirant is convicted or indicted by government panel. So, if Mbata answered in the negative, he is automatically disqualified going by the electoral Act and other extant laws of the land. Therefore, it is too late for government to institute any suit seeking to set aside the Whitepaper since it is already a public document.
“If the government succeeds, it means that one day it might as well set aside the whitepaper on illegal acquisition of lands by the Okorocha-led government and its cohorts”.
Recall that the group through its lawyer had threatened to go to court on the matter.
The group, stated this in a petition dated May 5, 2022, addressed to the screening committee of the APC, Imo state chapter, by their lawyer, N.O Chukwuezi and Co, of No.100 Okigwe Road, Owerri.
The petition captioned, “The indictment of Prince Alex Mbata by the recently published White Paper on Imo State University Owerri, stated that, “We are solicitors to the Incorporated Trustees of Every Child Education and Advancement Foundation (ECEAF) of No. 47 Okigwe Road, Owerri, Imo State who we shall hereinafter refer to as “our clients” and on whose mandate and instructions we write you this letter.
“Our instruction shows that Prince Alex Mbata was the Pro-Chancellor of Imo State University sometime ago under the administration of former Governor Rochas Okorocha. At the end of his tenure as Pro-Chancellor, a Visitation Panel was set up to investigate the affairs of the University under him as the then Chairman of the University’s Governing Council. After the conclusion of the Panel’s work, Imo State Government accepted its Report and published same on its White Paper of 28th July, 2020. In the said White Paper, Prince Alex Mbata was indicted for.
“Unilaterally changing and replacing the consultants for the University’s TETFUND projects from Three-Dimensions (3-D) to Mayfair Projects Ltd., Abuja without approval and contrary to laid-down procedures by TETFUND, and which change of consultants impeded the project evaluation for earned certificates”.