PhD scandal: Poly fires rector for presenting fake certificates

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The Igbajo Polytechnic, Igbajo , Osun State , has sacked its acting rector , Akinola Olaolu, for allegedly presenting fraudulent certificates .

It was gathered that the decision was reached after a meeting of the polytechnic’s governing council and board of trustees on Wednesday and Thursday, respectively .

However , our correspondent was told that shortly after the resolution to fire Olaolu was reached and announced , the school ’s management called a meeting of its workers and threatened to punish those who broke the scandal .

NNN had reported that there was a crisis at the polytechnic over the alleged fraudulent PhD certificate of the rector .
Olaolu reportedly came into the school in December 2015 as a deputy rector to the former rector , Tanimowo Oke .

However , because he claimed to have a PhD in Economics from the UI , his arrival led to the exit of Oke , who had a master ’s degree as of then .
More than eight months after his arrival , he was reported to have refused to produce his purported PhD certificate , as he submitted only a notification of result to obtain the job .
A former registrar at the polytechnic, Bisi Odebunmi , was said to have also left the school after he ( Odebunmi ) demanded the PhD certificate in an official memo.

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When contacted, the UI with a copy of the notification of result , the Director of Public Communications , UI , Olatunji Oladejo , said the institution had no record of the rector .

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The rector ’s purported thesis supervisor, Prof . Ademola Ariyo, also told NNN that there was no record of Olaolu in the Department of Economics where he claimed to have bagged the doctorate .

When our correspondent confronted the rector with the UI ’ s position on the notification of result , he said he had just obtained his PhD certificate from the school .

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Our correspondent, however , obtained a copy of the certificate through a source.
Like the notification of result, the purported certificate was sent to UI for verification and was again disclaimed .

The University of Lagos , Akoka, where Olaolu claimed that he obtained a Bachelor of Science in Economics also said checks revealed that the rector did obtain a BSc in Economics from the school .
The Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission , in a statement by its spokesperson , Rasheedat Okoduwa , said the rector had been arrested over the matter .

The Chairman of the Governing Council , Igbajo Polytechnic, Prof . Olu Odeyemi , while declining comment on the arrest , told our correspondent that the institution was awaiting UI ’s response to the school ’s enquiries .

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The UI , in its response , obtained by our correspondent , said the rector did not have MSc and PhD in Economics from the institution .
Odeyemi told NNN on Thursday that Olaolu had been sacked , adding that a press conference had been called over the issue .

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He said , “He ( Olaolu ) has been sacked . The governing council had a meeting yesterday ( Wednesday ) and the board of trustees had another today ( Thursday ) . We made certain resolutions which we planned to release in a communiqué tomorrow ( Friday ) .”
However , a source at the school accused a principal member of the board of trustees of issuing threats to workers for breaking the scandal .

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The source said instead of commending the workers for exposing Olaolu, they were accused of plotting to destroy the school ’ s reputation .

He said , “After the BOT meeting on Thursday , the management called all the workers to a meeting . A top member of the BOT said workers were behind the plot and that he ( Olaolu) made a mistake by saying he had a PhD , which is not essential to becoming a rector .

“He accused workers of ganging up to spoil the school ’s reputation . From all indication , it is clear that the BOT had no intention of sacking him but for PUNCH stories. The publications really rattled them . The man said the management had asked Olaolu to go, but those who exposed the whole mess would be identified and punished . ”

The chairman of the governing council , however , said the accused BOT member did not issue the threats, adding that the allegation was false .

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