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Kansas University Let Go Of Nigerian Professor Involved In Controversy Over Training Funds For Nigerian Legislators

Authorities of Kansas University in Lawrence, KS, have fired a Nigerian-born professor at the center of a controversy over funds for the training of Nigerian legislators.

Authorities of Kansas University in Lawrence, KS, have fired a Nigerian-born professor at the center of a controversy over funds for the training of Nigerian legislators.

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University spokesman Jack Martin confirmed to Saharareporters that Dr. Aminu Gusau of the Department of African American Studies had resigned. 

In June 2010, the university issued a rare public apology to two Nigerian officials over what the university described as the "unauthorized actions" of Mr. Gusau. In a press statement issued by Mr. Martin, the deputy director of communications, the university expressed regrets if the unauthorized actions of Gusau had in any way tarnished the two Nigerian officials.

Gusau had accused two top legislative aides of Goodluck Jonathan, Cairo Ojuogboh and Abba Aji (special advisers on the legislature), of scamming his university of $60,000. 

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In a widely publicized petition to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Gusau alleged that his university had an agreement with Abba-Aji and Ojuogboh that Nigeria would pay a total of $80,000 for Nigerian legislators participating in a seminar organized by Kansas University – at the rate of $4,000 for each participant. In shedding light on his deal with the two government officials, Mr. Gusau also stated in his petition that 20 Nigerian legislators were booked for the training program originally scheduled for September 2009 but later rescheduled to January 2010. 

The petition further alleged that, while Abba-Aji and Ojuogboh remitted an advance payment of $20,000 to the institution, they failed to pay the balance even after the program had held in January.

Saharareporters had reported that a Nigerian member of the House of Representatives, Tuggar Yusuf Maitama, was deported from Amsterdam in January over terrorism concerns as he headed to the US. Also in January, Mr. Abba Aji's name featured on a list of Nigerian officials the US government had intended to ban from entering the US because of their individual roles in prolonging the political crisis occasioned by Yar’Adua’s illness.

Contacted by Saharareporters about Mr. Gusau's status with Kansas University, Jack Martin initially stated that the university does not disclose matters affecting its employees to the public, but later confirmed Gusau’s resignation.

Our reporter also called the university’s African American department headed by Peter Ukpokodu, another Nigerian-born professor. A staff member told Saharareporters that Mr. Gusau no longer works with the department.

However, the university indicated that it plans to retain a controversial program known as “The Marwa Africana Lecture Series”, which is funded through a financial gift made by Mohammed Buba Marwa, a former military governor of Lagos state and Nigeria’s current ambassador to South Africa. Mr. Marwa was named in the money laundering conviction of an Indian businessman named Raj Arjandas Bhojwani. Mr. Bhojwani was recently jailed in the Island of Jersey for money laundering activities involving Marwa.



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