…Alleged Irregularities, Extortions, Frauds, high-handedness, Violation of Public Service Rules, Ors
…Most Of Those Issues Were Exaggerated – Chairman, SBMC
By Our Reporter
Tensions are brewing at the Federal Science and Technical College, Uyo and will soon snowball into a full-fledged and unrestrained crisis if the demand of stakeholders to remove the Principal of the school, Ms. Dinah Gogo by the Federal Ministry of Education that oversees the institution. In their own words, “we have exhausted all known internal and external mechanisms of negotiation and dialogue and our cry often fell on deaf ear”.
Sources very close to the Principal who pleaded anonymous told Century Newsfront that the school is on fire and added that if something is not done urgently, death would be recorded as they described the school principal as being insensitive, callous and careless over happenings in the school, “our principal does not have human fillings, she does not care about the welfare of the staff, the safety of students, the intervention of parents are nothing to her, basic official rights of staff and laid down rules governing the institution are tactically avoided by the principal”.
Another source who also does not want her name on print extensively narrated to Century Newsfront series of petitions both verbal and written against the untoward behavior and activities of the Principal. She particularly cited a recent petition written by one Mr. Gabriel Bassey, who according to her, is the Maintenance Officer of the College frontally accused the Principal through a written petition of atrocious acts and high level of fraudulent activities where the Principal fraudulently created imaginary and ghost department, uses it as a conduit pipe and free tap to draw funds at will, “for instance, there is no carpentry in this school, no student, no teacher. However, you (madam Principal) decided to introduce carpentry in order to divert the funds excluding those departments (Traders) that have been in existence since the inception of the college”.
In the said petition as narrated by our source, the Principal was accused of committing procurement offenses where she not only colluded with contractors to siphon College money but rigged bids to favour those contractors who tow her line. The petitioner equally accused the Principal of Nepotism as she “transferred work meant for the catchment area such as – digging of pit, fumigation and plumbing works” to people from other states, outside the school’s catchment area.
The petition also stated, “since your arrival in this college, you have refused to release the funds for training and practical. How do you expect the students to perform at external exams when they were not trained on the use of this equipment when they did not carry out any practical work before exams”. According to our source, the petitioner identified other areas such as Violation of Public Service Rule, PSR 030309 explained that the Principal usually “deducts money from staff emolument for coming to Assembly late or other minor offenses is against PSR 030309, which states, “No fine shall be imposed on any officer as a punishment for an offense committed in the course of his or her duties”.
– Misconduct (foul language) PSR 030301, “in addition to this deliberate delay in the treatment of official documents/files. It is in your nature to curse the staff of this College during Assembly. May I remind you Madam Director that the use of foul language, dishonesty and deliberate delay in the treatment of official documents/files amount to misconduct, which violates PSR rule No. 030301. Contracts in Unity Schools are fixed and firm, but you raise a variation of Ten Million Naira to bring a Twenty-Four Million Naira contract to Thirty-Four Million Naira for a project and you took away the Ten Million Naira. This is dishonesty, which is against PSR rule No. 030301 on misconduct”.
Contained in a letter addressed to the Minister, Federal Ministry of Education, Abuja dated, July 27, 2022 christened, “Report of Principal’s (Ms. Dinah Gogo) Wrong Doings In FSTC Uyo, Akwa Ibom State”, jointly signed by Gabriel Bassey, Charles Bassey, Emmanuel Mathew and made available to Century Newsfront states, “We are constrained to write to you for the following reasons: We have tried to see the principal and discuss, but she refused to give us audience. We have even identified some of these problems, put them into writing to her as “Petitions” but she refused to respond or change”.
On the area of Unlawful transfer of funds from Capital Expenditure accounts to a personal account, the petition further explained that the Principal, Ms. Dinah Gogo meddled with the Capital Expenditure Accounts of the School by engaging in “Unlawful transfer of funds”, to Ryte Reazons Limited in favour of one Atarry Moses.
The petitioner raised the issue of suppression of official/call circulars for workshops seminars/trainings, “teachers in this college are not allowed to go for workshops, seminars and trainings even when they are duly approved by Headquarters. A recent example is the ICT training on WEB DESIGNING held at Ibadan for the ICT staff, but none of the ICT staff of this school were allowed to go for that very all-important training. Again VPs are busy attending workshops / training meant for teachers”.
The petitioners while reflecting on students’ ordeals explained that “students of this college pay for stationaries as part of their school fees. They are also made to supply one ream of A4 photocopying paper and one ream of foolscap sheets, a packet of six Jumbo sized toilet papers”.
Other untoward behavior of the Principal among others include, Unlawful delays to treatment of files; poor management-staff relationship; illegal charges on new students on admission into JSS1 and SS1.
Further investigations by Century Newsfront discovered other illegal charges as students in ADF Hostels paid for “painting rusted lockers as a result of putting a bucket of water on it”. Our findings further revealed that students in Hostel Rooms 1 to 24 and Common Room pay a total of one hundred and two thousand, two hundred and sixty five (N102, 265.00) Naira as a penalty among other sundry charges.
Speaking to Century Newsfront, an Ex-student of the school (name withheld by us) said, “the problem of our school begins and ends with our Principal. I actually graduated last year, I often got pissed off whenever I see our Principal talk to my teachers, she addresses teachers as if she is talking to kids, the most annoying part is that she does the same to parents, I only thank God that my parents rarely come to this school because if she had addressed my parents the way I used to see her addressed other parents may be, I could have been dismissed from school because I could not stand and see my parents being so humiliated by her. She is so harsh on people, disrespectful irrespective of who you are, I don’t understand”.
Responding, the Chairman, School Based Management Committee (SBMC), Elder (Obong) Simeon Umoette said that he has not been aware such a thing ever happened in the school. He maintained that his committee is not involved in the day-to-day running of the institution rather, they meet occasionally to discuss issues that are tabled before them in a conventional manner, “most of those issues were exaggerated but it is true there are some allowances which were not able to pay, though we intervened. The truth remains that if there is no money, there is no money, those claims of the DTA were due within the year and the Principal gave assurances to that effect. I hope that you know that the board meets periodically, the last meeting we had was last week, that was when I heard the issue of carpentry and other allegations for the first time. The question is, why didn’t they raise these issues before now?” he queried.
Efforts to meet the Principal, Ms. Dinah Gogo proved abortive as earlier visits and calls by media professionals were not responded to. Though the Principal who claimed busy in court told the Journalists to repeat the visit by 2:30pm being the official visiting hour, surprising, she directed security guards not to allow ‘anybody’ into the college premises except staff members and by the appointed time that the Journalists arrived, they were given the ‘official directive’ and instructions from the Principal hence, could not have access to the Principal. The high-handed disposition of the Principal toward not only the students but staffers, parents including visitors to the school is seen to be unbecoming of a public office holder. Watch out this space for more revealing stories in our subsequent editions.