The former Executive Secretary of Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund), Dr. Abdullahi Bichi Baffa, said on Wednesday that the minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu orchestrated his sack for his refusal to give him bribes.
He said the minister rose against him for his refusal to pay 10 percent kickbacks to contractors working for the minister.
In an interview with BBC Hausa Service monitored in Abuja, Baffa said the minister had written to President Muhammadu Buhari, asking for his sack.
“On Friday night, I was informed at the Presidential Villa that the minister of Education came with a letter reporting me to the president,” the ex-TETFund chief said.
He said that was not the first time “Adamu Adamu reported me to the president, requesting my sack but the president stood his ground and refuse to remove me.”
Baffa said his sources at the presidency told him Saturday night that he was going to be removed.
“I asked what was my offence? They alleged that the offences were inaccessibility, insubordination and speaking to the press without the minister’s permission,” Baffa said.
He said the allegation of inaccessibility was unfounded because the minister knew that I spend more time in the ministry as his technical adviser than in the TETfund office.
He said he has “no regret” for disobeying “the minister’s directives because I cannot sabotage my country.”
He alleged that some “eight months ago, Mallam Adamu Adamu sent one of his biggest contractors to tell me that the minister was angry with me for three reasons.
He claimed that the minister was angry that “TETfund disbursed over N200 billion to universities without remitting the 10 percent kickback, which amounted to N20 billion.
He said he never asked for a kickback from any university. “If any university shows proof of collecting kickback from them, let me be sentenced to death,” he said.
When contacted, a deputy director with the ministry of education, Mr Bem Goong said neither the minister nor the ministry would talk about any issue with Bichi.
“We will not join issue with Baffa under any circumstances, whatsoever,” he said.
Baffa was replaced by Prof Suleiman Elias Bogoro, who was TETFund chief executive between 2014 and 2016.