Series of interest groups comprising of the host community, students, the Alumni, engineering experts and even staff have jointly filed a petition to President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari against the outgoing Director/Chief Executive of Metallurgical Training Institute (MTI), Onitsha, Mr. Olabode Fakuade over corrupt practices and management ineptitude. The petitioners have equally urged the President to discountenance any recommendation seeking to reappoint Mr. Fakuade as NTI Boss.
In the petition jointly signed by His Royal Majesty, Igwe Chidubem Iweka, the Eze of Iweka III and Engr Steve Nwoha, Mr. Anayo Okolo and Mr. Jude China the representatives of Staff, Alumni and students respectively, the petitioners have in an elaborate document spelt out a litany of administrative wrongs accredited to Mr. Fakuade and have further advanced reasons why his stay at MTI was a sham.
The petitioners have further insisted that, President Buhari should not contemplate the possibility of reappointing Mr. Fakuade owing to his porous administrative abilities and have equally charged the President to consider an expert in regard of the nature of the institute in appointing the next Chief Executive. The petition highlights in part the many atrocities of Fakuade in view of the foregoing:
1. The Director created a conduit for misappropriation and embezzlement of fund named Consult Unit meant to provide special services on special arrangements at a cost. He incorporated an organization to operate this unit to be run by an appointed stooge and opened a corporate account with First Bank Plc: Account Name – M.T.I Consult and Account No – 2011050993. Only the Director and the appointed stooge are signatories of the bank account opened in contravention of the Federal government directive on TSA account. The issue of misappropriation and embezzlement of fund through this illegal account is a subject of pending ICPC investigation and indictment at its Enugu Office.
2. In 2017, a fictitious contract was awarded to VUCO Consult Limited through Metallurgical Training Institute and it was never executed while the contract fee of forty one million, six hundred and eighty five thousand naira only (N41, 685, 000) was paid in full upon directive of the Director.
3. The contract for the completion of rehabilitation of erosion – ravaged internal roads and construction of reinforced concrete box culvert was dubiously categorized as phase 1, phase 2 and phase 3 and awarded three times by the Director to Blue Fortune Limited, a company belonging to his brother, Mr. Bayo Olatoke. In 2016 and 2017, the project was awarded and re-awarded at the cost of fifty four million and seventy five thousand naira only (54, 075, 000) respectively to the said Blue Fortune Limited without due process but it was abandoned after full payment to the company. In 2018, the Director re-awarded it to the same company and paid the contract value in full despite non-execution of the contract in 2016 and 2017.
4. Operation of two separate accounts; at FCMB and first Bank Plc with account number: MTI Consult and Account No. 2011050990 one for student’s contribution to training and the other whose number should be investigated. Investigation of these account would reveal huge embezzlement and diversion of public fund as well as non-compliance with TSA directive.
5. The outgoing Director/Chief Executive was indicted by an audit team from the Ministry of Mines and Steel development which visited the Institute on 25th November, 2019 to investigate the judicious use of the Ministerial intervention of eighty eight Million naira (N88, 000, 000) and Ninety Seven Million Naira sent to the Institute in 2018 and 2019 respectively for procurement of training equipment.
6. The outgoing Director/Chie