Despite a Court of Appeal decision in April stating that the Freedom of Information Act is applicable to all states in Nigeria, Adamawa State University, Mubi has refused to disclose its education and TETFUND allocations of the University to members of the public for scrutiny.
An appellate court in in March had ruled that Nigerian states had no powers to reject requests filed under the FOI Act, especially on information around public expenditure.
Penultimate week, civic organisation, The Finder Multimedia, filed an FOI request to the Vice Chancellor, Adsu Mubi, Prof. Kaletapwa Farauta George asking for a breakdown of the 2017, 2018 and 2019 TETFUND allocation to Adsu Mubi and the profile of all the companies that benefitted from the contracts and finally evidence of adverts placed by the university before the contracts were awarded.
The State University, through its Acting Vice Chancellor, Prof. Kaletapwa George Farauta refused to accede to the request. Mohammed Suleiman, the chief operating officer at The Finder Newspaper, said the acting Vice chancellor’s decision not to obey our request shows insincerity.
“We suspect that something is actually wrong,” Mr Mohammed told Journalists. “What we did was to ask some critical questions especially around education and then the result was so disheartening, Kaletapwa again decided that information should not be for the general public.
“We feel that that’s condemnable giving the fact that the acting Vice Chancellor of the university is just the custodians of the income of the people that had been passed over to her.”
It wasn’t the first time organisations had run into a brick wall while seeking information from Adamawa state University led by Kaleptapwa George Faruata. Last January, a similar request for the University’s financial statement relating to its revenue over the past three years did not get a response.
“It shows clearly that there is something the university led by Kaletapwa George is hiding from the people, and that explains why the educational system – the Adamawa state university in Mubi is the way it is,” Mr Mohammed said.
“Virtually the state university is in a very bad state despite the huge revenue and the TETFUND allocation given to the university by TETFUND. The TETFUND allocations budget would have been the pointer to where the problem lies.”
The State University in Mubi is renowned for ignoring FOI request on its activities from journalists and civil society organisations.
Mr Pwasaato, executive director of Centre for leadership and accountability forum, told Journalists that the Supreme Court would be the final arbiter on the FOI issue.
“It only shows a lack of transparency on the part of the University under Kaletapwa’s watch and that they cannot be talking about transparency and accountability when some of their dealings are shady and not open, it’s as simple as that,” said Mr Mohammed, whose organisation is challenging in court the state University’s refusal to account for spendings on TETFUND grants given to the university following the alleged over 1.6 billion TETFUND given to the university under the watch of the current acting Vice Chancellor of the University”.
“We have kick start the process of getting the requested information by approaching the court now”. Mohammed said