-Nebo Accused of shortchanging members

By Martin Opara

The last may not have been heard about the Prof. Chinedu Nebo led Visitation Panel, constituted by former Governor Emeka Ihedioha, to look into the affairs of Imo State University (IMSU), Owerri and make recommendations, as a member of the panel, Dr. Nwaimo, has made shocking revelations about how some politicians and academics who felt threatened by Prof. Ikegwuoha’s rising profile, made mouth watering offers, aimed at inducing them to blackmail, ridicule and discredit the erudite Professor of Political Science, for no just cause.

Dr. Nwaimo, also disclosed that though, the chairman of the panel, Prof. Chinedu Nebo had earlier stressed the need for them to doctor the panel’s report, some of them, in line with the dictates of their conscience, rejected the offer because they did not see why they should do that. 

Speaking further to our reporter on phone, Dr. Nwaimo maintained that there is nothing hidden about the issue, as he was on air last Tuesday, explaining how Prof. Nebo diverted the sum of N9m Governor Uzodinma gave members of the panel at the end of the exercise.

Meanwhile, a member of the panel, Prof. Francis Ukaigwe of the Department of Geology, University of Port Harcourt, in a letter dated 27th August 2020 addressed to the Chairman of IMSU Visitation Panel, accused Prof. Nebo of insincerity, double standard, greed and inability to be above board, “hence his, is the only Visitation Panel on IMSU that is enmeshed in financial scandal, acrimony, infighting and negative controversy”.

He stated that, though, he was not present at the report submission ceremony, he was informed by others that the panel was given an additional assignment to prepare the plan of implementation strategy by the Governor. Hence, the chairman, constituted a committee of three, comprising professors, John Nwankwo, C.I. Ogbonna and C.C. Ekenna who were charged to prepare a draft within one week for all members of the panel to deliberate on and prepare  a white paper, therefrom.

“We waited endlessly for you to call us to come for deliberation on the draft produced by the committee of three, not knowing that they had co-opted three other members of the panel, with whom you all shared the N9,310,000 that was given to all members of the panel, while those of us who are not in your good books were given a pittance of N50,000 each, which have already sent back to the source that paid it into my account”.

According to him, “the Visitation Panel had come and gone. The implementation panel report is another cup of tea anywhere in the world. Imo State University has had 4 Visitation Panels since inception, including yours. There are presently three white papers to show for them and the Prof. Nebo led panel should not be different”.

Continuing, the erudite professor of Geophysics averred that, “Imo State parades the largest number of professors, than any other state in Nigeria. It is obvious that you connived to divert the 9,310,000 to your pocket. Had you known much about the ICPC Act, you would have been more circumspect. Your claim that Mr. Chidi Duru signed the voucher in error is porous and watery. Who would have signed it, but him?”

In a letter he also addressed to the Governor, dated 27th August 2020, captioned, “implementation strategy plan, Re-Imo State University Visitation Panel”, Prof. Ukaigwe, told the governor, that, on submission of the panel’s report in May, 2020, “you further charged the panel to produce the implementation strategy plan. The chairman, Prof. Nebo, there and then, constituted a committee of three, which comprised, Profs. C.I. Ogbonna, John Nwankwo and C.C. Ekenna, to produce a draft within a week for the panel to ventilate issues raised and properly address them”.

Along the line, the chairman, claimed that it was an assignment you personally gave to him, hence he chose those to work with from the panel and shared the N9.310m given to the panel with them. The purpose of this communication, is to verify the veracity or otherwise of his claims”.

Some people who commented on developments arising from the Prof. Chinedu Nebo Visitation Panel on IMSU, expressed concern about the unpleasant controversy that has trailed the panel’s activities, stressing that it is an ill wind that will blow no one good.According to them, the unpleasant controversy and unfolding revelations are likely to negate the essence of the panel’s assignment and dent the image and reputation of the actors in the show of shame.