The recent appointment of controversial erstwhile Rector of Imo State Polytechnic, Umuagwo, as Coordinator of Schools by Governor Hope Uzodinma, despite damning scandalous reports of alleged financial recklessness, abuse of office, maladministration, fraudulent alteration of record of service, sit tight syndrome and unmerited tenure elongation, has elicited mixed reactions and kept tongues wagging in several quarters, as regards what government is upto.
A cross section of Imo people who reacted to the development on condition of anonymity, expressed concern over Governor Uzodinma’s alleged attachment to and unholy alliance with the Rev Father turned school administrator,Wence Madu and wondered the rationale behind “saddling a man with such questionable track record with the responsibility of over-seeing, schools in the state, including the School of Nursing at the Federal Medical Centre, Owerri, that is being relocated to Mbaise, School of Nursing, Amaigbo, School of Nursing, Okporo, Orlu and the University of Agriculture and Environmental Science, Umuagwo, among others.
“How can a man whose alleged fraudulent activities, actions and inactions as Rector of Imo State Polytechnic have not been thoroughly investigated by government, be saddled with such enormous responsibilities, thereby giving the impression that he is a sacred cow or a cat with nine lives. The recent appointment of Rev. Fr. Wence Madu as Coordinator of Schools has blurred, undermined and cast a question mark on the anti corruption crusade of the Hope Uzodinma government that seems to have ignored the lamentations of the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnic (ASUP), Imo Poly chapter, media reports of monumental fraud against Rev. Fr. Wence Madu, inspite of the fact that some of them were published with overwhelming evidence that will aid though investigation”.
The Nigeria Watchdog Newspaper that has always exposed details of Dr. Wence Madu’s alleged excesses, in it’s September 15th 2020, edition gave details of how Fr. Wence Madu, allegedly connived with some of his aides and staff of Imo State Polytechnic, to share the
N40m among his relations and loyalists, contrary to why the loan was given without following due process.
The committee set up by the Board of Imo Poly Microfinance Bank, comprising Bernard D. Orjiakor as chairman, Imo Poly Registrar, Mrs Susan Njemanze, as member, and Dr. Desmond Echeta, as member, in its report, about the
N40m loan, noted that, “though the loan was guaranteed for and authorized in February 2017, there was no plan to recover them until Rev. Fr. Wence Madu’s tenure was about to elapse in 2019, almost 2 years later, for fear of probe”.
It also noted that “the names given as executives of the cooperative societies by the Imo State Ministry of Commerce and Industries via a letter dated 27th February 2017 were discovered to be different from the bank authorizing signatories, implying that the whole process was fraudulent and aimed at fleecing the polytechnic”.
The report, further stated that, “selected loyalists, friends and well wishers of Rev. Fr. Wence Madu were handpicked and told to fill the bank opening account forms as signatories to the said cooperative societies”.
“The account opening forms were said to have been filled after the distribution of the fund, just to fulfill all formalities. That was why the forms were all filled haphazardly filled and not properly processed by the handpicked siblings, friends, relations and loyalists of Rev. Fr. (Dr) Wence Madu, while the names used as executives of the cooperative societies were different from the names used as authorizing signatories”.
Other concerned Imolites who spoke on condition of anonymity, said, “aside other numerous allegations of financial imprudence against Rev. Fr. Wence Madu, report of the committee that looked into the 40m MSME loan granted to cooperative societies, through Imo Poly Microfinance Bank which made startling revelations of how Rev. Fr. Wence Madu disbursed the money to his siblings, friends and associates, including his congregation, the Claretian missionaries, at the expense of Imo State Polytechnic, that is presently refunding the loan and accruable interest at the rate of
N2m monthly is enough to sanction, investigate and make him accountable by alerting anti graft agencies, instead of appointing him to a position of responsibility”.
The committee, thereafter, recommended that the former Rector, Wence Madu, who supervised the obtaining and disbursement of the controversial loan, as Chairman and the Managing Director of ImoPoly Microfinance Bank, Mr. Polycarp Nsoha be held accountable for what it referred to as “misappropriation, shaddy and questionable circumstances surrounding the
N40m in loan”.
“Some concerned citizens of Imo State are wondering what will be the fate of the schools that Rev. Fr. Wence Madu has recently been appointed to coordinate, “considering his alleged activities, antecedents, and track record as Rector of Imo Poly, that he allegedly, left worse than he met it, in virtually all ramifications”.