The President of the National body of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), Danielson Akpan, has been impeached for financial impropriety, the association has said.
Mr Akpan, who assumed office as NANS president in July 2018, has served beyond his tenure of 12 months, causing officials and other stakeholders to complain over his prolonged stay in office.
The president’s impeachment was part of the resolutions announced at a senate meeting held via video conferencing on Tuesday.
The Gambo Mohammed-led senate had earlier set up a committee to investigate allegations of misappropriation and diversion of student’s COVID-19 palliatives, levied against Mr Akpan.
However, in a statement issued on Tuesday, the committee indicted the president for financial impropriety, diverting student’s COVID-19 palliatives, and concealing information relevant to help the growth of the organisation and the development of the country.
It added that Mr Akpan “abused his office by doing arbitrary and unlawful acts which are prejudicial to the rights of other members of the NANS all in violation of the Code of Conduct of an official of NANS as enshrined in Schedule 3 of the Constitution and Charter of Demand of NANS.”
“The former NANS President was also indicted for having not been remorseful, despite being exposed that he had received the money as alleged but rather resorted to threatening the lives of members of the committee in an attempt to deter and intimidate them from carrying out their constitutionally mandated function and also threatened the life of the senate president Mr. Gambo Abu Mohammed.”
“This committee recommended to senate that in exercise of the senate powers and functions encapsulated and vividly provided in Article 13 (a) of the constitution and charter of demand of NANS to remove the president, Mr. Danielson Bamidele Akpan from office and expel him from the Organization with immediate effect.”
His actions, according to the committee, had done irreparable damage to NANS and brought it to disrepute, thereby making NANS a laughing stock among reasonable persons in the society.
“It also said the action was to serve as a deterrent to other officials of NANS present and in the future to know that they cannot take the organization and its membership for a ride.”
Mr Akpan was alleged to have received huge sums of money from some government agencies, including the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) for student’s COVID-19 palliatives and diverted the money. The Senate did not disclose the amount of money received.
Mr Gambo said Mr Akpan’s impeachment was done in exercise of the powers of the senate as contained in Article 13 of the constitution and charter of demands, the overwhelming votes of the senators and the earlier vote of no confidence passed by the national executive committee.
A former vice-president, Chidi llogede, was immediately sworn in as the president of NANS while all the association’s property and funds in possession of Mr Akpan are to be fully recovered.
Mr Akpan refused to respond to calls and text messages seeking his reaction to the allegations on Tuesday evening.
Rather than respond to the allegations, Mr Akpan wrote on via his Facebook account; “NANS New Dawn has been a huge success so far. It has not been business as usual. Sorry to all the businessmen who couldn’t trade as always!”
When he was contacted on Tuesday, the spokesperson of the NNPC, Gabriel Obateru, said he is not aware of any money given to NANS as COVID-19 palliative.
He stated that the intervention of the oil corporation has been through its partners and was only in the form of projects, like building isolation centres and supply of personal protective equipment and other materials for treatment.
“The NNPC has never interfaced with any association, by giving out money that I am aware of,” he restated.