Group petitions minister over dismissal of ATBU lecturer

Adamu Adamu, Nigeria's Minister of Education

A Rights Group, Prison Inmate Development Initiative (PIDI-Nigeria), has petitioned the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu over the dismissal of a lecturer with the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University (ATBU) Bauchi, Dr Idris Abdullahi.

The petition, which was signed by a Human Rights Defender in the Organization, Olayele Awujoola, on behalf of the Executive Director of PIDI, a copy of which was made available to, faulted the dismissal of Dr Abdullahi saying his dismissal for exposing sharp practice in the University was arbitrarily done.

PIDI said a complaint was brought to its office sometimes in June, 2020 by one Dr Idris Abdullahi, who before his dismissal, was a staff in the department of Accounting and Finance, of the Institution.

The petition reads: “The said Whistle Blower (Dr. Abdullahi), was dismissed by the A.T.B.U, Bauchi on the 27th April, 2018 for defamation of character, smear campaign/false allegation against the university in an open letter to the President which was published in BluePrint Newspaper dated 8th November, 2017.”

According to the petition, the dismissal of the complainant followed a publication that three different Bachelor degrees were awarded in the same discipline to one Mustapha Isah who is still having a pending case of exam malpractices at the University.

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It also claimed that the whistle blower, had exhausted all internal mechanisms to see that the right thing was done by the University management but all his efforts proved abortive after he exposed the anomaly.

The petition said Mustapha Isah was awarded with Bachelors degree in Technology, Bachelor degree in Banking and Finance in 2011 and the three bachelor degrees were issued by one N. L. Abdullahi without the name of the recipient been in the list of graduating students for the 2011/2012 session.

The petition stated that Bachelor of Technology, Banking and Finance in 2013 was also issued by the Senate on 28th February, 2013 for the 2012/2013 to same person.

The petition said: Sir, as stated above, the said Mustapha Isah was awarded with the following 3 bachelor degrees as follows: Bachelor of Technology, Banking and Finance in 2011, issued by one N. L. Abdullahi but his name was not in the list of graduating students for the session of 2011/2012.

“Bachelor of Technology, Banking and Finance in 2013. Issued by the Senate on 28th February, 2013 for the 2012/2013.

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Bachelor of Technology, Banking and Finance in 2011, issued by the defector Senate of A.T.B.U. Bauchi on the 11th October, 2018.

“It may interest you to know that the said Mustapha Isah sued the Whistle Blower over the said publication but the suit was dismissed in favour of the Whistle Blower due to the inability of the said Mustapha to established his claim before the court.”

The rights group gave seven days ultimatum to the management of ATBU within which to reinstate the whistle blower to a position equal to his colleagues who were in the same level before his dismissal or face legal battle.

PIDI while faulting the disengagement of Dr. Abdullahi from work, said that the management of the institution never invited the Whistle blower in it’s investigation to hear from him before taking such action on him.

The organization also accused the University management of deciding to sweep the issue of the exam-malpractice under the carpet which according them is an act capable of sabotaging President Muhammadu Buhari’s anti corruption crusade.

According to PIDI, the offence for which the Whistle Blower was dismissed were not included in the terms of reference giving to the constitutional committee that investigated the matter and accused the University management of sabotaging war against Exam malpractices and using selective justice in dealing with students caught in the act.

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It said for ATBU to have supported and endorsed the award of 3 different Bachelor Degrees on the same discipline to Mustapha Isah, it is an open invitation that will encourage crime and tarnish the image of Education system in Nigeria.

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