Bill and Melinda Gates College of Health Technology Ningi has responded to an incisive investigation by WikkiTimes which uncovered how corruption, admission racketeering and impunity have continued to mar academic activities in the school.
The school in a letter titled “Let the Truth be Told: Corruption Fighting Back at the Bill and Melinda Gates College of Health Technology Ningi”, describes the story as “libellous.”
WikkiTimes’ investigation showed how Amina Sule Abdulkaidir, daughter of the chairman of the governing council, Alhaji Sule Abdulkadir Doguwa was readmitted into the school even after a board that investigated her participation in examination malpractice recommended her dismissal.
The story revealed how Amina and 10 other students of the Department of Medical Laboratory Technology of the Bill and Melinda Gates College of Health Technology who were caught cheating during exams were dismissed.
Angered by the outcome of the publication and a subsequent report which documented how members of the Bauchi State House of Assembly warned the school management against the witch-hunting staff of the school who granted interviews, the college in a letter to WikkiTimes described the article as an example of “corruption fighting back.”
“The attention of the Management of Bill and Melinda Gates College of Health Technology has been drawn to two libelous articles published on WikkiTimes an online media based in Bauchi titled “Admission Malpractice, Assault on School laws threaten academic quality at Bauchi Health College” dated 15th October 2021 and “Impunity Reigns at Bauchi College, chairman Governing Council Deciding who gets admission” dated 10th October 2021 respectively and to state as follows:
1. The libelous articles were nothing but a means to “give a dog a bad name in order to hang it” on the part of some aggrieved academic staff of the college who before the constitution of the present Governing Council had a firm grip on the college when they were serving as directors of schools, they were found to be involved in high level of corruption that stinks to high heavens which they have perfected over the years, they have designed elaborate means of admitting students through dubious means without prior approval by the college management thereby lining their pockets with illegal money that was supposed to go to the college coffers;
2. With the coming of the present Governing Council which was appointed to address myriads of problems bedeviling the college that have stippled its growth as a result of corrupt activities been engineered, controlled and executed by them. The council constituted a committee under the Bauchi State Chairman Medical and Health Workers Union (MHWUN) to find out problems hindering the development of the college and the means by which it can be addressed.
3. At the end of its assignment the committee submitted its report to the council and it was discovered that part of the problems stippling the growth of the college was the overstay of some officers on tenured appointment which has made them assume themselves as superior to the governing council; part of the discoveries made by the committee were:
i. Due to the overstay on their tenured appointments the sacked directors have tried to usurp powers meant for the Governing Council making it difficult for the smooth running of the college by the newly appointed Provost and his management team;
ii. They were found to be engaged in illegal collection of unauthorised fees from parents and guardians of students so much so that at a point some parents had to petition one of the sacked directors to the Bauchi State House of Assembly on incessant demand for money made by him to students;
iii. They were also found to be engaged in illegally admitting students thereby exceeding the number approved by the various regulatory bodies responsible for the issuance of licenses to the students, in fact one of the sacked directors deliberately disobeyed a direct order and increased the number approved by the council and released the names of successful candidates without prior approval by the Governing Council;
iv. The College management is still implementing the report of the implementation committee and in due course any staff found wanting in the said report will be meted out appropriate punitive measure as enshrined in the Public Service Rules;
4. In closing the management wishes to state that all that was published by the online media outfit was nothing short of “corruption fighting back” as the college under the present Governing Council is doing everything possible towards returning the college to its former glory, therefore individuals and corporate bodies are advised to disregard any information coming from them and consider it as false, baseless and a last ditched efforts employed by the sacked directors to tarnish the good image of the Governing Council, College Management, Staff and students of the college”, the letter concluded.
The college however fails to address critical issues uncovered by WikkiTimes’ investigation.
For instance, the college has not denied how the daughter of the Chairman of the governing council, Alhaji Sule Abdulkadir Doguwa was readmitted into the school even after being found cheating in exams. This medium is in possession of the report of the committee that recommended her dismissal.
Further checks by WikkiTimes revealed that the Provost of the college coerced the director in question to increase the number of students to be admitted into the National Diploma Programme of the College after the department had already shortlisted 46 competent candidates who duly passed the screening tests with their scores ranging from 3.83 GPA to 2.02 GPA. However, in the two separate letters sent to WikkiTimes, the school has neither denied nor confirmed that the Provost was in the habit of coercing lecturers to alter the admission list.
Again, going by the provisions of the Laws Establishing the College, prerogative power to approve or disapprove result at the end of an examination lies with the Academic Board, not the Governing Council, hence the claim that the result of successful candidates was released without “prior approval by the Governing Council” of the College was false.
Part III of the laws of the college states that the Academic Board shall “direct and manage all academic matters of the college including organisation of examination and all formalities related to registration and or licensing with the Governing Board.”
WikkiTimes is in possession of documents that show that the Weeding Results of the Pharmacy Technician Department of the college were endorsed by the Provost of the college who doubled as Chairman of the Academic Board, the Director School of Pharmacy Technician as well as the HOD of the Department. Therefore the insinuation that the additional names without the approval of the management of the college as suggested in the letters sent to WikkiTimes is not true.
Another critical issue the management of the college failed to address in the two letters sent to WikkiTimes was the allegation that the Chairman of the Governing Council of the School was not a health professional who could morally and academically give the leadership desired by the college to prosper.
However, Part II of the extant law of the college provides that, “the Chairman who shall be a health professional to be appointed on a part-time basis by the Governor on the recommendation of the Commissioner of Health.”
Another source who is familiar with the happenings in the school also said the Provost pressed for candidates of the Chairman of the Governing Council, Alhaji Sule Abdulkadir Doguwa and Chairman Bauchi State House of Assembly Committee on Health, Hon Bello Jadori to be passed even after failing the exams. The letters sent to WikkiTimes were silent on those allegations.
Again, the management of Bill and Melinda Gates College of Health Technology Ningi failed to substantiate with proven facts the claims that it dissolved the academic board while leaving out other officers who are on tenured appointments.
WikkiTimes’ examination of the laws of Bill and Melinda Gates College of Health Technology Ningi revealed that school directors are entitled to three years tenure of office not exceeding two terms.
“The Director of a School shall hold office for three years from the date of his appointment and shall be eligible for re-appointment for a second term and no more,” Part IV section 21 (2) 0f the assented laws that established the college read.
The management in its submission to WikkiTimes did not state whether or not the members of the dissolved academic board have finished their tenure of office, hence its decision to dissolve them.