A Nigerian-born professor, Chikaodinaka Nwankpa, has stepped down from his position after it was discovered that he spent $242,390 (N87,601,500.00) research funds in strip clubs and iTunes purchases in the United States.
Naija News reports that a statement issued by the eastern district of Pennsylvania attorney’s office said the Nigerian-born professor repaid $53,328 and resigned in place of termination after he was discovered.
Nwankpa was also said to have paid for goods and services offered by Cheerleaders, Club Risque, and Tacony Club.
According to reports, the professor, who was head of the electrical and computer engineering department at Drexel University, made the purchases between 2007 and 2017.
Professor Nwankpa has also been debarred from federal government contracting for a period of six months.
Giving an update on the matter, a US attorney, William M. McSwain, announced that the university has agreed to pay the United States $189,062 to resolve potential liability under the False Claims act.
According to the US attorney, “This is an example of flagrant and audacious fraud and a shameful misuse of public funds,” McSwain said.
“The agencies providing these grant funds expect them to be used towards advancements in energy and naval technology for public benefit, not for personal entertainment.
“We appreciate Drexel’s self-disclosure and cooperation in this matter. At the same time, we are disappointed that Dr. Nwankpa’s conduct went unnoticed for so long, but Drexel’s strengthening of its charge approval process is certainly a step in the right direction.”
Meanwhile, reports reveal that the authorities started investigating Nwankpa’s activities in 2017 after the university voluntarily disclosed improper charges to eight federal grants for energy and naval technology-related research that it received from the Navy, the Department of Energy, and the National Science Foundation.