The Executive Secretary of the Tertiary Education Fund, TETFUND, an agency of the Federal Ministry of Education, Sonny Echono, may soon be investigated by the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences commission (ICPC) over alleged employment racketeering and corruption in office.
This was contained in a petition to the “president-elect” Bola Tinubu, by a civic group, the New Nigeria Movement, which noted that the Executive Secretary should account for all funds received and how they were disbursed since his coming into the Fund.
“The Failure to do so should lead to arrest, prosecution and jail. In the same vein, we also urge you to direct the ICPC to investigate and prosecute Architect Sonny Echono for abusing the powers of his office and using his influence to amass wealth to the detriment of quality education and the future of Nigerian youths,” the group alleged.
Further in the open petition signed by the National coordinator, Abah Okorie, the group said education and indeed tertiary education had suffered neglect and lack of funding resulting into industrial disputes with students being at the receiving end.
He said, "It will interest you to know that the only institution established to mobilise funds to advance scholarship at the tertiary education level has been hijacked, personalised and soiled with corruption under Sonny Echono, the Executive Secretary of the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETfund).
"The majority of our youths are schooling abroad with no foreign students in our Nigerian Universities shows how weak our education system is and by extension the pressure it places on our foreign exchange. As a lover of youths, we are sure you won't allow this trend to continue under your watch.
"With merit and federal character thrown to the waste bin of corruption in the scheme of affairs at TETFund, the Executive Secretary gives jobs and appointments only to cronies. Recently, he forcefully coerced and pressured the Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu to appoint the Ochi Idoma as the Chancellor of Federal University Otuoke, Bayelsa State.
“The Executive Secretary has been fingered in several other cases of employment racketeering and influencing when his kinsmen and friends are involved. We cannot continue to operate like this in a civilised and democratic culture like Nigeria. Echono should go to pave way for merit and fairness.”