THE NEWSGHOST, NIGERIA – Dr. Chikaodinaka Nwankpa, a 56-year old Nigerian-born professor at Drexel University, Philadelphia in Pennsylvania, United States, has been found guilty of lavishing nearly $200,000 of federal grant money on strip clubs, sports bars, iTunes and other sorts of personal entertainment.
Prosecutors revealed this on Monday, according to a recent report.
Drexel University authorities discovered Nwankpa’s misappropriation of the grant money in 2017 during an internal audit and alerted the US government. The grant money was issued as far back as 2007 by the Navy, the Department of Energy and the National Science Foundation for naval, energy and science research.
Authorities said when confronted about the misspent funds, Nwankpa admitted to being guilty and resigned from his office. He also agreed to pay pay back $53,328 – which is only a small chunk of the whole money. Nwankpa worked as head of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the university until his resignation.
Before the university discovered this misconduct, Nwankpa boasts in his faculty bio that he raised more than $10 million in research money throughout his career.
The university has agreed to pay $189,000 to the US government to resolve its potential civil liability in the case.
Speaking on the case, US Attorney William McSwain said, ‘This is an example of flagrant and audacious fraud, and a shameful misuse of public funds. 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.’
At the moment, Nwankpa has not been charged with any crime but has been barred from pursuing federal contracts for six-months.
The professor who worked for Drexel University for 27 years before his resignation in 2017 now fields an online profile that says he is now self-employed as an engineering consultant.