The Informant247 has vowed to publish details of back-door recruitment, extortion, and the selling of certificates by Kwara State Polytechnic officials.
The Kwara based Online Media Platform with Global reach disclosed this in a reaction to rejoinder published by the spokesperson of the Kwara State Polytechnic, Halimat Garba to their investigation.
The medium added that it is surprising it took the institution over 24 hours to draft the rejoinder which was not only lacking in merit but also riddled with falsehoods and distortions of facts.
Read full statement below:
Kwara State Polytechnic’s Rejoinder To The Informant247 Report: Our Position
We express our disappointment in the management of Kwara State Polytechnic, Ilorin, for their failure to acknowledge the glaring facts presented in our report and to offer a public apology for their deceit, negligence and incompetency.
It should be noted that the reporters, like others in our newsroom, conducted thorough research before publishing the story. Indeed, the appropriate authorities were contacted for comments during the course of preparing the report, but they deliberately withheld their reactions, despite making repeated efforts for over 3-week.
To our surprise, after the publication of the story, the institution, in a statement released by its Public Relations Officer, Halimat Garba resorted to deceit and distortion of facts. This false assertion aims to mislead the public.
Firstly, we appreciate the institution’s admission that one of the projects at the time of commissioning was not only poorly executed but also fell short of the required standard. Our report highlighted the poor state of the old library purportedly “remodeled” into a modern Department of Library Science.
It is, however, appalling that the institution wanted to cover this up by insisting that the project was never commissioned.
This is despite the rector listing it among the projects commissioned during his convocation speech. Additionally, photographic evidence shows the project’s commemorative plaque indicating the commissioning date as November 9, 2023.
Our question, and one that the public has been asking, is why the rector mentioned the project as part of the commissioned facilities when he is fully aware the project is substandard. Why was the project released to the media as commissioned? Also, why was the contractor ordered back to the site only after the report was published?
To the best of our knowledge, the institution only made a belated (but necessary) attempt to address the anomalies pointed out in our initial report, conveniently presenting them in a different light after we indicated that the subsequent part of our report would delve into other issues.
Secondly, we are dismayed by the institution’s attempt to obfuscate uncompleted commissioned projects by conflating drainage and walkway projects.
During his last convocation speech, the institution’s Rector praised the construction of walkways as significant enhancements to the school’s aesthetic appeal. However, our investigation revealed that this project was only partially completed at the time of its commissioning.
In response to our report, the statement from the school’s spokesperson only referenced the construction of drainage systems — a separate project that was not previously mentioned in the investigation. While the institution sought to highlight the drainage projects, it failed to address the discrepancies in the completion of the walkway projects, further raising questions about the spokesperson’s understanding of the institution’s infrastructure projects.
We are particularly disappointed that these emanate from a higher institution of learning that offers several PR courses in its Mass Communication department.
It is further surprising that it took the institution over 24 hours to draft this rejoinder which was not only lacking in merit but also riddled with falsehoods and distortions of facts. We are readily available to not only educate the PRO on the fundamentals of journalism but also to offer professional guidance on how best she could have addressed the issue at hand.
If there is no capable hand within the institution, the school could have chosen to engage consultants to write a competent rejoinder.
Thirdly, for the sake of clarity, we challenge the institution to present its financial statements if our figures in the report were incorrect, as they claimed. We noted the spokesperson’s failure to elaborate on the story’s main focus on the school’s financial strength. We accept the challenge of publishing the full financial statement of the institution if the management also agrees to release the figures for the years 2021, 2022, and 2023, which they claimed do not tally with the ones we quoted in the report.
We maintain that the rector made false claims about the financial status of the institution and commissioned shoddy and uncompleted projects. Our evidence remains intact, and we are prepared to defend it at any time.
If the threat contained in the institution’s statements is anything to go by, we urge the institution to budget a substantial amount of its N1bn surplus for more action, either legal or whatever, as there are more reports on major corruptions which include but not limited to back-door recruitment, extortion, and the selling of certificates by institution officials still forthcoming.
As the fourth estate of the realm, we remain committed to producing accurate, balanced and objective reports aimed at societal development. Anything short of that will never be our hallmark.
The Informant247 was founded on the principles of true journalism that serves the public without fear or favour, and that will never change.