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Corruption Allegation: Nigerian government suspends education commission boss

April 20, 2023

The Nigerian government has suspended the Executive Secretary of the National Senior Secondary Education Commission (NSSEC), Benjamin Abakpa, a professor of Mathematics Education, over allegations bordering on corruption.

Mr Abakpa, who was reportedly suspended on Wednesday, was asked to hand over to the most senior director in the Federal Ministry of Education (FME).

The new development was confirmed to PREMIUM TIMES on Thursday by the Commission’s spokeswoman, Fatima Bappare.

She said the suspension order was sanctioned by the authorities at the education ministry.

“Yes, he was suspended. He has handed over to the most senior director in the commission,” she said in a telephone interview.

However, efforts by PREMIUM TIMES to reach Mr Abakpa proved abortive as his telephone number could not be located as of the time of filing this report.

Suspension order

Appointed in April 2021, Mr Abakpa is the pioneer executive secretary of the Commission.

This newspaper however gathered that the governing board of the Commission had earlier accused the embattled official of “administrative ineptitude, financial misappropriation and lack of synergy” which the board claimed led to the constitution of “an administrative fact-finding committee to investigate the allegations”.

However, following what an insider described as the failure of Mr Abakpa to satisfactorily defend the allegations, he was recommended for suspension by the board.

Sources confirmed that the letter of suspension was signed by the education ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Andrew Adejoh.

The matter was said to have been referred to the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) for further investigations.

About NSSEC

The National Secondary Education Commission (NSEC) Law was enacted in 2004 (LFN, 2004 Cap 73). However, after the merger of junior secondary school to basic education, the bill was amended to become the National Senior Secondary Education Commission (NSSEC).

Part of NSSEC’s mandate is the regulation of Senior Secondary Education in Nigeria, managing the National Senior Secondary Education Funds, and advising the Federal Government on the management of senior secondary education.

Embattled Mr Abakpa

Mr Abakpa was appointed the pioneer executive secretary of the commission by President Muhammadu Buhari in April 2021.

Prior to his appointment, he was a lecturer at the University of Agriculture, Makurdi.

Mr Abakpa holds a Bachelor’s and Masters of Education (B.Ed and M.Ed) in Mathematics from Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, and a Doctorate degree (PhD) in Mathematics from the University of Agriculture, Makurdi. He became a professor of Mathematics Education in 2018.

He was born on 3rd November 1957 and hails from Orokam Local Government Area of Benue State.(Premium Times).

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