TETFUND: A Pathetic & Self-Defeating Witch Hunt: Echono Versus Skeletons in the Closet


Typically, if one has an ax to grind with someone who has been elevated to a position of power and authority, it is, at the very least, customary, if not rational, to wait awhile for the individual to take up the position, and begin to enact policies of administration or governance. Based on such policies, the person’s opponents, can then, begin their second-guessing and fault-finding. In the case Sonny Echono, who was a former Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Education; and just recently appointed the new Executive Secretary of TETFUND; he has been accorded no such grace period; after all, he was just appointed to the position of Executive Secretary of TETFund in March 2022, barely three months ago! Why are his traducers not giving him a grace period or benefit of doubt?
The reason seems clear enough: It appears Mr. Echono has come to his job at TETFUND determined to clean house, an administrative objective designed to ferret out most, if not all the skeleton’s in TETFUND’s closet; and that has many people quaking at the knees! So, a calculated smear-campaign as well as a witch-hunt has been set in motion, in an effort to derail Echono’s expressed goal of cleaning house.
One of the house-cleaning goals Mr. Echono set himself, and which is likely one of the reasons behind the smear-campaign by his detractors, is his determination to find out and hold responsible contractors who were paid in part or in full, for projects that have not been completed or were never executed, for the past fifteen years; even if it means they will have to be prosecuted in a court of law!
Another concern the Executive Secretary of TETFund, Mr. Echono has set his sights on is probing, stopping, and possibly, prosecuting the corrupt practice of people in tertiary institutions being awarded overseas training funds, but fail to go on the foreign training programmes, yet keep the funds they were awarded by TETFund for the overseas training.
Mr. Sonny Echono, comes to his position at TETFund with a sterling administrative track record: Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Education—his last post before retiring and being appointed Executive Secretary of TETFund; Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, and Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Communication; one of the appointments of President Buhari, which can be said to be solely based on meritocracy.

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What is especially sad and regrettable is that the journalistic organ that headlined the bogus allegations against Mr. Sonny Echono, Sahara Reporters, a normally reasonable, even if sensationalistic tabloid; failed completely to undertake proper investigative journalism, in order to determine if any or all of the allegations levelled against Mr. Echono, were worthy of their ink or paper, not to speak of their organ’s reputation. Mr. Echono may well be within his rights to sue Sahara Reporters for defamation. But other news outlets should take their cue from this, on how NOT to do this kind of reporting! Let us hope that this was an isolated journalistic error in judgement on Sahara Reporter’s part, rather than a deeper problem of complicity.

Audrey Richards Academic Integrity Watch.

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