The sacked Executive Secretary of the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TeTFund), Abdullahi Baffa, said he was forced out of office after the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, accused him of collecting bribes from tertiary institutions.
PREMIUM TIMES reported the sack of Mr Baffa on Monday by President Muhammadu Buhari. No reason was given for the sack. The president replaced Mr Baffa with Suleiman Bogoro, who was earlier sacked from the same position in 2016.
Mr Baffa told BBC Hausa on Wednesday that Mr Adamu sent his closest contractor to him to accuse him of three things.
“He mentioned the first, the second; and the third one he said I distributed over N200 billion to tertiary institutions.
“(He said) even if I used to collect at least 10% as kickback, I am supposed to have gotten at least N20 billion for myself.”
The sacked official then denied that he never got any kickbacks from any institution that TETFund distributed money to.
“I want to say here now that I have never asked any institution to give anything as kickback and if there is, let that school come forward.
“If they bring any evidence indicting me, I’m ready to accept death punishment,” Mr Baffa said.
He said Mr Adamu on several occasions accused him of insubordination for addressing press conferences without his consent.
Mr Adamu could not be reached for a reaction to Mr Bichi’s allegations. A spokesperson for the education ministry, Ben Goong, could not be reached on his known telephone number as at the time of this report.
Also, the Minister of State for Education, Anthony Onwuka, declined comment after our reporter introduced himself and his organisation. Mr Onwuka did not also reply a text message sent to his phone.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This story has been updated with the exact translation of the Hausa statement of Mr Baffa during the interview. He did not accuse the minister of demanding bribe but said the minister accused him of collecting bribe from government institutions.