The University of Ibadan has written the management of Igbajo Polytechnic, Osun State, denying the certificates presented by embattled rector, Akinola Olaolu.
The letter, addressed to the Chairman of the Governing Council, Prof. Olu Odeyemi, stated that Olaolu did not have a MSc and PhD in Economics from the university.
PUNCH Metro had reported that there was a crisis at the Igbajo Polytechnic, a community-owned tertiary institution, 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.
When PUNCH Metro contacted 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.
The rector’s purported thesis supervisor, Prof. Ademola Ariyo, also told PUNCH Metro 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.
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 not graduate 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 and detained at the Ibadan office of the agency.
The chairman of the Igbajo polytechnic’s governing council, Prof. Odeyemi, while declining to comment on the arrest, told our correspondent that the institution was awaiting UI’s response to the school’s enquiries.
However, further investigation by our correspondent revealed that Olaolu had his first degree in Biology from the University of Lagos, Akoka, in June 1977.
He completed his National Youth Service Corps on July 31, 1978.
With the BSc in Biology, he registered for a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) in UI in 1996 and completed the terminal course.
However, his claim of having BSc, MSc and PhD in Economics has been proved false.
PUNCH Metro obtained from a source a two-page document addressed to Odeyemi by the Registrar of UI, Mrs. Olubunmi Faluyi.
The document, dated June 25, 2018, confirmed our correspondent’s findings.
It read in part, “Mr Olugbenga Akinola Olaolu (SI 39561) was offered a provisional admission for MBA during the 1992/1993 academic session.
From the available information in his file with the records office of our postgraduate school, he was admitted by the Senate of the University of Lagos to the degree of Bachelor of Science (Biology) with a Second Class Honours (Upper division) on June 29, 1977.
However, his academic transcript was not recorded to have been verified to confirm its genuineness.
“He graduated from the Department of Economics of the University of Ibadan with an MBA degree on June 10, 1997.
However, further investigation revealed that he has not collected his original certificate for this from our certificate room.
“There is no evidence to support that he obtained his PhD from the Department of Economics. His first degree is Bachelor of Science (Biology). MBA is a professional degree. It is also a terminal degree. The minimum entry requirement for an MSc in Economics is BSc from a recognised university. He could not have used Bachelor of Science (Biology) to secure admission for MSc Economics. To obtain a PhD in Economics from the University of Ibadan, a BSc and MSc degrees in Economics are prerequisites.
“From the foregoing, it is important to state that: Mr Olaolu Akinola Olugbenga was not offered provisional admission to study PhD in Economics in the University of Ibadan; there is no conclusive evidence that the matriculation number claimed by Mr Olaolu Akinola Olugbenga was allocated to him; the notification of results for a PhD presented for our verification was misrepresented because the date thereon does not tally with that on the certificate, among other irreconcilables; the name of Mr Olaolu Akinola Olugbenga could not be found in the thesis bank of our Department of Economics; our certificate room confirmed that the certificate purportedly issued to him is misrepresented, and therefore did not emanate from the University of Ibadan.”
PUNCH Metro gathered that the school’s governing council held a meeting on Wednesday after receiving the letter from UI.
The resolution of the council, our correspondent learnt, would be ratified by the institution’s Board of Trustees, which would meet on Thursday (today).
Odeyemi confirmed receipt of the letter, adding that there would be a press conference after the BOT meeting.
Meanwhile, a mild drama played out at the school shortly after the rector was released on bail by the ICPC.
A source said the institution’s workers were in a meeting when Olaolu barged in and attempted to hijack the discussion and assert his leadership role.
The source, who berated the management of the school for not addressing the issue headlong, said the embattled rector still believed that he was in charge.
She said, “He was in the town earlier on Monday and visited the chairman of the Board of Trustees at his house. After he was sure that the students had left the school, he came in. Before now, whenever he entered during a meeting, we would stand up to acknowledge his presence. But nobody did that this time. He quietly sat down.
“Shortly afterwards, he stood up to take charge of the meeting. He said he was being persecuted and he had information that some powerful people were fighting him with millions of naira. Then, he started calling every head of department to give him report on what they were doing.
Suddenly, the person presiding over the meeting before he came in interrupted him and asked one of the workers to pray to conclude the meeting.”
Since investigation into the alleged fraudulent certificates of Olaolu started, the Osun State Police Command has been impervious to calls and messages from our correspondent.
The command spokesperson, Folashade Odoro, repeatedly claimed ignorance of the case, while the state Commissioner of Police, Adeoye Fimihan, said he was not in the state.
In a tape obtained by PUNCH Metro, a policeman attached to the command said without the payment of between N10,000 and N15,000, nothing could be done on a petition submitted on the matter.