On the 8th of March, 2024, in response to concerns regarding the integrity of the bursary nominees, a verification committee was setup by the Board of Trustees Member, EMOIMEE- Host Community Development Trust (HCDT) for ONNA Local Government Area, Mr. Clinton Akpan. The committee was led by Hon. Patrick Ifon, former member of the House of Representatives, alongside esteemed members of the Watch.

Our methodology of verification encompassed a thorough examination across five key columns:

Student Name Identification: Scrutinize entries for duplicates, discrepancies, or unclear information.
Institution Verification: Validate institution names, flagging errors or unknown entities.
Department/Course Evaluation: Assess course details for accuracy and relevance.
Registration Number Analysis: Examine registration numbers for duplicates and adherence to formatting standards.
On-Site Verification: Conduct visits to some schools to confirm student details and identify any inconsistencies.


STUDENTS NAME VERIFICATION: Our scrutiny revealed 30 instances of duplicate names, which necessitated further investigation.
INSTITUTION VERIFICATION: We identified 20 entries with erroneous or unspecified institution names, a matter demanding clarification.
DEPARTMENT/COURSE EVALUATION: Upon review, 94 entries displayed discrepancies in the level of study or listed programs, warranting attention.
STUDENT REGISTRATION NUMBERS ANALYSIS: Analysis uncovered 644 entries with irregular registration number formats, constituting a significant portion of the list’s content.
ON-SITE VERIFICATION: Through on-site visits to 4 tertiary Institutions within the state, we ascertained that 263 entries out of 539 were non-students, indicating a substantial misallocation of funds.

The data gleaned from the verification of the four schools visited underscores a concerning revelation: approximately N52,600,000.00 out of the allocated N191,000,000.00 budget for the Bursary Scheme, equating to 27.5% of the total budgeted sum, would have been wrongfully appropriated into the pockets of a few individuals.

If the findings from the verification of four schools within Akwa Ibom State have revealed such significant instances of fraud, ineligibility, and wrongful appropriation amounting to approximately N52,600,000.00 it stands to reason that the total amount would undoubtedly escalate when the data from schools outside Akwa Ibom State are factored into consideration.

Regrettably, our findings indicate that approximately 70% of the submitted entries contain inaccuracies, highlighting a systemic issue in the bursary allocation process. Therefore, we assert the following recommendations with utmost urgency:

LIST DISPOSAL AND FRESH COMMENCEMENT: Given the pervasive errors, we advocate for the complete invalidation of the current bursary list. To ensure transparency and adherence to standards, a new process should be initiated under the oversight of the consultants appointed to the TRUST for ONNA Local Government Area.

TOTAL REVIEW OF ALL THE PROJECTS: In light of the disconcerting disclosure concerning the misappropriation within the startup initiative (Bursary Scheme), coupled with the identification of several fraudulent projects outlined in the development agenda, it is imperative to initiate a comprehensive review of all the projects within ONNA Local Government Area.

Concurrently, we advocate for the immediate suspension of fund disbursements earmarked for projects within ONNA Local Government Area until a thorough investigation is undertaken by both regulatory authorities (NUPRC), and the Settlors, (NNPC/MPN JV).

This proactive measure is crucial to forestall any potential misallocation or diversion of resources and to safeguard against the exploitation of public funds by entrusted custodians.

BOARD REPRESENTATION REVIEW: To effectively actualize the overarching goals and aspirations outlined within the framework of the TRUST, as delineated by the regulatory body (NUPRC) and the Settlors (NNPC/MPN JV), it is imperative that individuals of unimpeachable integrity spearhead the guidance and oversight of developmental initiatives.
However, the deficiency in transparency and probity by ONNA Representatives in the EMOIMEE –HCDT in the discharge of their duties fails to reflect the broader interests of the community they purportedly represent.
The recent discovery of irregularities within one of the designated projects outlined in the comprehensive five-year development plan, specifically the disbursement of Bursary payments to students of ONNA Local Government in Tertiary Institutions under the EMOIMEE-HCDT NNPC/MPN JV, underscores the severity of this issue. If such malfeasance can infiltrate a project as ostensibly straightforward as student bursaries, it raises grave concerns regarding the integrity of the entire developmental agenda.
It is reasonable to surmise that the presence of fraud within this singular project suggests a systemic vulnerability within the entire spectrum of initiatives outlined in the development plan.

The individuals responsible for the fabrication of fraudulent entries within the Bursary nominees, must be held accountable for their actions, else it might jeopardize the fundamental objectives and principles upon which the TRUST was established, and thus necessitates immediate reassessment and remedial action.

INDEPENDENT INVESTIGATION: We urge NUPRC, NNPC/MPN JV, to conduct an independent investigation into our findings and take decisive disciplinary action in accordance with established protocols. Such measures are imperative to uphold the integrity of the TRUST and deter future misconduct.

In conclusion, the integrity of the TRUST hinges upon the integrity of its appointed representatives. Therefore, it is incumbent upon us to ensure that those entrusted with the responsibility of guiding the developmental trajectory of ONNA Local Government embody the highest standards of probity, transparency, and accountability. Only through such measures can we truly realize the transformative potential of the TRUST and foster sustainable development for the benefit of all stakeholders involved.

If our demand goes unheeded, we will not hesitate to commence legal proceedings promptly to address our concerns.

We remain committed to supporting these efforts and ensuring accountability and fairness in all endeavors.

Yours sincerely,

Edet Edet
National Coordinator

Ifiok Itiaba
National Secretary


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