An American university has declined to name Abdullahi Ganduje, the Kano State Governor, as a visiting professor.
The University of East Carolina (ECU) reported that the letter received by Mr. Ganduje from a member of its faculty was unauthorized by the relevant officials.
In a letter sent to the Kano governor, which the university also shared with PREMIUM TIMES, the university confirmed its official stance.
PREMIUM TIMES previously reported that the Governor’s spokesman, Abba Anwar, told reporters in Kano on Tuesday that the appointment of the Governor was contained in a letter sent to him by the school on 30 November by Victor Mbarika, lecturer of the International Center for IT and Growth at the University College of Business of East Carolina.
The university acknowledged that its faculty member was Mr Mbarika, but said that he had no authority to make such an appointment.
Mr Ganduje was said to have been chosen because of his “achievement in good governance and genuine investment in the development of human capital.”
“The spokesperson of the governor also quoted the letter as saying that the choice of Ganduje is a reflection of close monitoring of his accomplishments as a governor in the last few years. Which finally gained him worldwide recognition and commendation.’
You were a source of inspiration for Nigerian youth at home and in the diaspora as a whole. As the Executive Governor of Kano State, Nigeria; Fellow, National Association of Educational Administration and Planning, Nigeria; and your investment in Human Capital Development, we are astonished at your achievements.
“You fit perfectly into the goal of East Carolina University to remain a leading research and teaching institution in the United States and beyond, looking at your academic, administrative, and overall leadership record in Nigeria and Africa,” the statement quoted the letter as saying.
In an email sent to the university on Thursday, PREMIUM TIMES questioned if Mr Ganduje was indeed named by the institution despite being captured on video in 2018 accepting bribe.
The university attached the letter it sent to Mr Ganduje in response to our email. Its Interim Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, B. Grant Hayes, signed the letter.
“It was brought to my attention that you received a letter from a faculty member dated November 30, 2020, which appeared to offer an unpaid position at East Carolina University College of Business at the “International Center for IT and Growth.”
I must inform you that the letter you received from Dr. Victor Mbarika on 30 November 2020 does not convey an approved offer of appointment to the University of East Carolina (‘ECU’) or provide for any position as a scholar or professor.
Only the Chancellor, myself or another official referred to in the published ECU Declaration on the Delegation of the Contracting Authority for the Academic Affairs Division can approve or sign letters of appointment under which the faculty is employed. Dr. Mbarika is not an official like that,’ said the official to Mr. Ganduje.
In 2018, PREMIUM TIMES published how Mr Ganduje was captured on camera, taking kickbacks in dollars from a state contractor.
The video was released with video authentication from PREMIUM TIMES and the BBC by the Daily Nigerian.
Although the reporter, Jafaar Jafaar, who produced the video, defended its authenticity before the Kano State House of Assembly, Mr. Ganduje frustrated the scandal’s investigation, he won a court injunction to stop the probe .
As Governor, Mr Ganduje enjoys statutory immunity from prosecution for any offense.
In 2019, the governor sought re-election on the platform of the ruling party of Nigeria, APC, and was re-elected amid the controversy of bribery.
Mr Anwar, contacted on Friday about our results, did not respond to calls and text messages from PREMIUM TIMES.
Mr. Mbarika, who signed the letter from Mr. Ganduje, has yet to respond to inquiries from PREMIUM TIMES.