The Professor Muhammad Shafiu Abdullahi-led management team of National Board for Arabic and Islamic Studies (NBAIS), Kaduna is currently enmeshed in financial fraud and job racketeering running into billions of naira.
A source in the agency told SaharaReporters that Abdullahi violated a directive by President Muhammadu Buhari on probity and accountable handling of funds.
He accused the NBAIS boss of defrauding the agency with illegal award of contracts to family members and close allies.
The source added that Abdullahi ‘mafia styled administration’ has drained the finances board without any significant project to match the billions of naira allocated to it annually, and set it on an imminent path of failure.
“Even the staff of the agency are not spared when it comes to the torturing and denial of their entitlement worthy of note is the 33% of our annual salary due to us for exams supervision which has never been paid since 2018.
“We the staff have been so frustrated that we now resort to use of personal resources for logistics during trainings and other official engagements.
“This man hurriedly conducted recruitment exercise in the past to cover up irregularities in in the boards records, staff salaries and other claims as reflected in the board’s financial records remain contradicted,” the source said.
He added that the introduction of the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) exposed some corrupt activities of Abdullahi but was covered up by his ‘godfather’.
“Money meant for the payment of staff salaries released before the migration to IPPIS never got to them, despite Muhammad Shafiu Abdullahi receiving the funds.
“Whenever some of us raised this issue, we were always threatened with termination of employment as he always handled the board as a personal family business.
“He is always bragging that, with his godfather, the Honourable Minister of Education, Dr. Adamu Adamu and other highly placed Nigerians within the Buhari government, he is immune from any form of probe and prosecution.
“This brings President Buhari’s anti-corruption campaign into questioning. If President Buhari’s acclaimed war on corruption is anything to go by, Muhammed Shafiu Abdullahi should be in the jail by now,” the source added.
Another source who is close to the NBAIS boss alleged he boasted of not being perturbed because, he has successfully sorted his godfather and all those relevant agencies that may have the capacity to probe him on the numerous petitions written against him by numerous civil society organisations.
He said, “Prof. Muhammed Shafiu Abdullahi short-changed the staff of the board and the Federal Government of Nigeria by looting funds meant for the development of the board through contract racketeering and job sales. It is on record how he employed his children, in-laws and close relatives in the board.
“Some of his children only resigned recently as a result of questions being raised in some quarters, while they have been linked to the companies handling unexecuted contracts in the board.
“Most staff are not happy over his activities and are ready to support with more information about him not minding if they lose their jobs in the process.”
Meanwhile, a group, Anti-Corruption Network Initiative, has called for the sacking of Abdullahi.
Speaking to SaharaReporters, Convener of the group, Solomon Semaka accused the NBAIS boss of arm-twisting and muscling agency’s staffers to submission by instilling undue fears into their minds.
“We maitain that it is preposterous for the education sector to be controlled by evil people in the society as they don’t care for the numerous lives their perverted nature affects negatively,” Semaka said.
“The situation if left to fester will encourage crime in our society. A situation where a corrupt person like Prof. Muhammed Shafiu Abdullahi is allowed at the helm of affairs of such a vital office without a proper judicial inquiry is utterly disheartening and does not project Nigeria and our education system in good light.
“A man whom has claimed to be a religious and supposedly community leader has gone so low in curruption and it’s unbearable for us as civil society organization.
“It is interesting to note that we have written to the board for clarifications on the glaring evidences we got from our investigation, however, they have kept mum which is a proof that all the points listed out cannot be disputed.
“Prof. Abdulahi has been in acting capacity as registrar of the board for about 5 years now and nothing to show for the ‘so much funds’ at the board’s disposal.
“We are calling on all our sister organizations and other well-meaning Nigerians around the country to come out en masse and join us as we march to the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and the Presidential Villa to call for the removal of this corrupt man.”