The Federal Government has removed Professor Maureen Orubide Etebu as Vice Chancellor of the Nigeria Maritime University, Okerenkoko, Delta State, and dissolved the Governing Council of the University chaired by Minister for State, Petroleum, Mr. Timipre Sylva.
The Government also approved the dissolution of the Governing Council of the University of Port Harcourt, Rivers State led by Professor Mvendaga Jibo.
Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu announced the dissolution of the councils in a terse statement on Thursday in Abuja.
Adamu, however, did not state the reason for the dissolution of the two Governing Councils but a statement from his office which was made available to newsmen by the Director, Information, Mr Ben Bem Goong said, the dissolution of the Governing Councils of the two Universities “takes immediate effect”.
Prof Etebu was first appointed in 2015. Sources told Classic International Magazine that since her failed governorship bid, she has been lobbying to have her tenure extended, using Timipre Sylva.
Recall that report had it few days ago that in May 2019, Prof Maureen Orubide Etebu, VC Nigeria Maritime University, through the office of the Accountant General, and one Chris Maiyaka of the National University Commission, diverted N3.4billion take off funds of the Nigerian Maritime University, Okerenkoko, Delta State.
Not done, Prof Etebu also allegedly took another N100million donation from the Delta State Government as grant to the University and kept in her UBA account.
Prof Etebu, a former Commissioner in Bayelsa is a close associate of Timipre Sylva, Minister of State, Petroleum, who allegedly shared part of the looted N3.4billion.
Sources told Classic International Magazine that Prof Etebu was Sylva’s preferred candidate for the Bayelsa Governorship on the banner of the All Progressive Congress, APC, before the emergence of David Lyon.
Investigations revealed that she had channeled most of her share of the N3.4billion into her failed Governorship bid.
But when contacted, Sylva denied knowledge of the looting, saying he is not aware of it.
Sylva is the Chairman Governing Council of the Nigerian Maritime University.
“I am the chairman of the Council. She was the Vice Chancellor. No, I am not aware of any N3.4billion neither I’m a partaker. It will be nice to know what evidence links me, please,” Sylva said in a text message to pointblanknews.com.
Sources close to Prof Etebu claimed that it was a collective decision to domicile the N100million from Delta State in her account because of the challenges withdrawing money from a TSA account.
On all other curious payments to the VC, her close associates claim they are all refunds to her for her personal money she had used in performing her job since she was appointed in 2015 by the President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration.
Financial documents of over 1oo pages obtained by belonging to the University showed curios withdrawal. For instance, on February 23, 2018, N1,405,000.00, N640,000.00, N912, 090,00, N90,000,00, and N500,000.00 totaling N3,547,000.09 was withdrawn and paid to Prof. Etebu as Duty Tour Allowance.
On March 21, 2018, N3,990, 000.00 was also paid to Prof Etebu as out of pocket allowance and duty tour allowance refund. While on March 21, 2018, two payments of N4,416,500.00 and N5,568,780.00 totaling N9,985,280.00 was paid to the Vice Chancellor as Air Ticket from 2015-December 2017 and Duty Tour Allowance from May 2015 to December 10, 2017.
When contacted, an official of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, who wish to remain anonymous said that the commission is still investigating Prof Etebu for financial crimes.
A close associate of the embattled VC told Pointblanknews.com that the Prof Etebu has been a guest of the EFCC and have showed documents to exonerate herself from any wrongdoing.
The Department of State Security, DSS, is also said to be working on petitions it received alleging financial crimes at the Maritime University.