The Governing Board of National Business and Technical Examinations Board has suspended its registrar, Prof Ifeoma Abanihe, and four directors over their failure to account for N49m contracts awarded by the examination body.

The suspension, which followed an investigative panel report, was contained in a letter signed by the Chairman of the Board, Prof Leonard Shilgba, on June 21, and obtained by Punch correspondent on Sunday.

Apart from the registrar, the other four affected people are the directors of Finance and Accounts, Examination Administration, Examinations Development, and the Procurement Officer. The suspension was approved after the NABTEB Board meeting in Benin, Edo State.

The investigative panel reportedly uncovered irregularities in contract awards, and about N49, 779,000 was allegedly unaccounted for by the registrar.

The suspension letter partly read, “The committee submitted its report at the first regular meeting of the Governing Board on Tuesday, June 19, 2018, which was given to you.

“After deliberation on the report, you, the Registrar of NABTEB, was asked to respond to the findings of the committee. Your defence was, ‘I apologise’, which is not an admissible defence under the Public Service Rule.

“Accordingly, the Governing Board unanimously approved your suspension as Registrar/Chief Executive of NABTEB, having regard to Rules 030301, 030302, 030304, 030305, 160501, and 160502 of the Public Service Rule, and recommended accordingly to the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, for further necessary action, who has since been informed together with the Permanent Secretary, Sonny Echono.”

It was learnt that the five-man special committee was headed by Dr. Charles Imaru.

“All contractors of NABTEB have not performed satisfactorily. This is glaring as NABTEB has accumulated a debt of over N400m as a result of shoddy contract deals and mismanagement. Therefore, the contractors should not be patronised further by the board,” the committee said in its report.

Punch reported that the registrar and the four directors would face another panel set up to conduct investigations into the allegations.

Indispensable _Hurly