Asaba Federal College Of Education refuses to respond to FoI request

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Federal College of Education (Technical), Asaba has declined response to a Freedom of Information (FoI) on ongoing projects in the institution.

The Human and Environmental Development Agenda (HEDA Resource Centre) had written an FoI letter to the institution, requesting detailed information on a few ongoing projects.

These include the Academic Staff complex, Home Economics complex, and ICT complex.

FoI is a legal instrument recognised by Nigerian laws to request any information related to any public institution in the country.

Provost of the college, Dr (Mrs) J.E Anene-Okeakwa, declined response to the FoI request.

HEDA also asked the institution to give a breakdown of the projects, amount allocated and expended as well as procurement contract stage documentations.

In response, the provost of the institution through a law firm said it would not be able to provide required information as HEDA did not state the reasons for requesting such information.

“The projects mentioned in your letter are projects awarded and supervised by TETFund. The details about the contract and the financial outlays are handled by the said TETFund.

“The college might not be able to supply the information requested by your letter, especially as the reason for the request is not stated in your letter. More so, the college will have to obtain clearance from Tedfund,” the response to the FoI request by the institution reads partly.

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FCE (Tech) Asaba, however, added that it will require time to liaise with the supervising authority “to be able to have sufficient information to pass on to you”, directing HEDA to send the request to Tedfund.

A whistleblower, Mr Ameh Joseph had recently exposed massive corruption at the college.

Joseph, who was Head of Physical Planning Division of the college, was fired after he sent a petition to the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission revealing a series of corruption happening in the institution.

Joseph said his appointment was terminated on May 13, 2020 on account of petitions to the ICPC in a bid to silence him.

He also indicted the ICPC for revealing information to the institution, which eventually led to the termination of his appointment by the college.

However, the institution, in defence, stated that while it is true that some members of the management of the college were invited by the ICPC for an alleged corruption in the college, Dr Anene-Okeakwa was not part of the officers invited by the ICPC because the alleged corruption did not take place during her regime.

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