The Kano State Government has demanded an apology from the management of an American university, East Carolina University (ECU), over a controversial ‘appointment’ to Governor Abdullah Ganduje as a visiting professor of e-governance and International Affairs in the institution.
The state government also asked the university to sanction Victor Mbarika, a lecturer of International Center for IT and Development at the school, who communicated the ‘appointment’ to Mr Ganduje on November 30.
Before now, the chief press secretary of Kano State governor, Abba Anwar, told journalists on Tuesday that his principal was appointed by the university through a letter communicated to him by Mr Mbarika.
PREMIUM TIMES was, however, curious that such university could honour a governor who was caught on video taking bribe from a contractor in 2018.
Our correspondent sent an email to the institution to authenticate Mr Ganduje’s appointment.
In response to our mail, ECU said the letter Mr Ganduje got from a member of its faculty was unauthorised.
The school also shared a rescinding letter sent by the university Interim Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, B. Grant Hayes, to Mr Ganduje with PREMIUM TIMES.
“It has been brought to my attention that you received a letter from a faculty member dated November 30, 2020, that appeared to offer an unpaid appointment in the “International Center for IT and Development” at East Carolina University College of Business.
“I must inform you that the letter you received from Dr. Victor Mbarika, on November 30, 2020 does not convey an authorized offer of appointment or establish any position of scholar or professor at East Carolina University (“ECU”). Only the Chancellor, myself, or another official identified in ECU’s published statement on Delegation of Contracting Authority for the Division of Academic Affairs may authorize or sign appointment letters under which faculty are employed.”
Many Nigerians on social media attacked Mr Ganduje for not properly verifying the ‘appointment’ given to him before addressing the press.
The state government got angry over the embarrassment, and called on ECU to punish its official for “attempting to embarrass the governor and the good people of Kano state.”
The government in a statement by the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Usman Alhaji, said they were saddened by the uproar stirred up by this controversial appointment that attempted to embarrass Mr Ganduje.
He maintained that Mr Ganduje did not solicit appointments in any university or institution of higher learning within and outside Nigeria.
The government also said Mr Ganduje is shocked over the content of the letter from the Office of the Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs of the University, admitting an error in conveying the message notifying the appointment.
Mr Mbarika, who signed the controversial appointment letter, is yet to respond to speak on the matter.
Ganduje: controversial character
Long before the controversial appointment, Mr Ganduje was in 2018 involved in corruption scandal when caught on video taking money in dollars from a contractor in the state.
While the reporter, Jafaar Jafaar, who published the report on Daily Nigerian, defended the video’s authenticity before the Kano State house of assembly, Mr Ganduje frustrated the probe of the scandal.
The governor got a court injunction to stop the probe.
The governor sought re-election in 2019 and was re-elected despite the bribery scandal.
The scandal earned Mr Ganduje an alias name “Gandollar.”
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