Allegations of Nepotism are trailing the affairs of the Federal School of Medical Laboratory, Jos in Plateau State. COBHAM NSA reports on the issues tearing the institution apart
Events at the Federal School of Medical laboratory, Jos, have assumed a movie status. In an era fraught with prosecution war by the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari against perceived corrupt officials, the Provost of the college, Mr. NS Etukudoh, seems to be enjoying an immunity that is setting tongues wagging over his continued stay as head of the school. As Head of the college, he has become the cat with more than nine lives, as he has survived series of petitions against his style of running the college. The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has also been engaged in investigating the Provost over several allegations of misdemeanor and attempting to thwart the cause of justice. Even after facing teams of interrogators from the anti-graft agencies like the EFCC and the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC), Etukudoh has remained unmoved in his position, as he imposed punitive measures on his opponents determined to end his headship in humiliation. According to a source in the know of the sordid affairs rocking the school, Etukudoh has refused to leave his seat after the expiration of eight years as stipulated in his two term tenure from May 2008 to May 2016. “He was on acting appointment for over a year before his appointment was confirmed. He served out his two terms, consisting eight years. After the expiration of his two terms, he was again given another letter appointing him on acting capacity. Since then, it has been war between him and those opposed to his dictatorial traits in ruining the school. After several petitions and the involvement of the anti-graft agencies to end his reign, Etukudoh is not in a hurry to leave. This magazine is in possession of a petition written to the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation alleging among others, high handedness in administering the college, financial misdemeanor and clear cases of nepotism in appointments. According to the petition dated June 6, 2016 and signed by Chief George Michael Maqual, who is the president of the Larger House of Plateau State Youth Council, the continued retention of Etukudoh as Provost of the school is a clear violation of the civil service rules and there was need to expedite action and bring to an end this culture of impunity as exemplified by the actions of the Provost. According to another source, the happenings at the college is very sad, as those opposed to Etukudoh and his continued insistence to be head of the school have been subjected to all forms of inhuman treatment. “Those who wrote petitions to the anti-graft agencies are made to taste the bitter waters of Etukudoh’s animosity, as he had sent some of them on indefinite suspension just as the rules of the civil service guiding the suspension of an officer under investigation over any form of misdemeanor are being sidelined. “All petitions to the presidency over the matter relating to the provost’s acts of indiscipline are being frustrated by agents of the Provost who are said to be well organised within the system. That is why the presidency has been unaware of the problems confronting the college. But we are so happy that government is being told of the truth and we pray that God through the Federal Government will come to the aid of the staff of the college,” the source declared. Attached to the petition sent to the office of the SGF by the Larger House of Plateau State Youth Council included gazette appointment of the Provost, a petition sent to the chairman of the Public Complaint Commission and a petition sent to the office of the Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari on issues affecting the schools, among others. Also included in one of the petitions is the issue of employment as approved by the Provost. A copy of the employment status of the college as shown to this magazine revealed that no fewer than 90 indigenes of Akwa Ibom were recruited by the management of the college under the headship of Etukudoh without adherence to Federal Character principles and catchment area in siting of federal institutions. “The hues and cries over the number of people employed by the school management have actually revealed that the provost was only interested in employing his own people to the detriment of other states. After Akwa Ibom came Plateau State with less than 70 indigenes on the college payroll. “For all this, it is clear that Etukudoh’s days are numbered and he should be made to face the full wrath of the law. Having served out his two term tenure, he should be allowed to proceed on terminal leave and be further subjected to investigations from anti-graft agencies over allegations of improprieties,” another source said. Chief Maqual, who is the Chairman of the Larger House of Plateau State Youth Council told Forefront that his council’s basis for the petition was to save the school from being destroyed completely. Considering allegation of improprieties that have trailed the affairs of the school, the council, according to Maqual, is concerned in assisting the APC-led government to rid the college of underdevelopment. “We are happy that with the government focusing on the rot bedeviling the school, the future is secured for the institution and bright prospects for students and staff. We shall never relent in our efforts in promoting transparency and good governance. We shall demand for fair representation of staff and student population in the school,” Maqual stressed.