The University of Ibadan has denied issuing a Doctor of Philosophy certificate in Economics to the Acting Rector of the Igbajo Polytechnic, Akinola Olaolu.
The Director, Public Communications, University of Ibadan, Mr Olatunji Oladejo, spoke on Monday after receiving a copy of the certificate from our correspondent.
Our correspondent obtained the certificate from a reliable source in the school.
PUNCH Metro had reported that there was a crisis at the Igbajo Polytechnic, a community-owned tertiary institution in Osun State, over the alleged fraudulent PhD certificate of the rector.
Our correspondent had reported that Olaolu came into the school in December 2015 as a deputy rector to the former rector, Tanimowo Oke.
However, because Olaolu claimed to have a PhD in Economics from UI, his arrival reportedly led to the removal 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 certificate in an official memo.
A committee set up to investigate a petition by an anonymous writer on the matter said in its report that Olaolu had no proof of the PhD certificate.
When PUNCH Metro contacted the UI with a copy of the notification of result, the director of public communications, Oladejo, said the varsity had no record of the rector.
The UI spokesperson said Olaolu’s purported matriculation number was fraudulent, adding that he did not have any record in the school’s thesis bank.
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 doctorrate.
When our correspondent confronted the rector with UI’s position on the notification of result, he said he had just obtained his certificate from the school.
He refused to release the certificate, saying he could only allow sighting because it was his “personal copy.”
PUNCH Metro learnt that the certificate was not also submitted to Igbajo polytechnic, although the board of directors claimed to have seen a photocopy of it.
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 on Saturday.
The university’s spokesperson, Oladejo, said the school’s vice-chancellor, registrar and the head of the postgraduate school had seen the document, adding that it was a fraudulent certificate.
He said, “We still maintain our earlier stance on the matter. He did not graduate from the UI. We have no record of the certificate.”
Olaolu, when briefed on the disclaimer, insisted that his certificate was genuine.
He said, “I may not be able to talk on this matter because it (the case) is with the police. I, however, have documents to show that I registered at UI. You have never seen me or interrogated me face to face. If you come to Igbajo, you will see some of the documents I used to register for my MBA. UI can never deny the receipt for the payments I made then, my course registration form…because I started with MBA there.
“They (UI) won’t have a record of the PhD if they don’t have for the other ones because it is in the same file. It is the same matric number you use for every thing as you enter. It is what you use for all the courses you do. If they don’t lay hands on my file, they won’t have my (matric) number and obviously, they won’t even have my name. At the worst, they cannot deny that I did not come to the UI.”
PUNCH Metro learnt that the Osun State Police Command had refused to investigate the case.
The state Police Public Relations Officer, Folashade Odoro, had told our correspondent that she was not aware of a petition sent to the police on the matter.
The state Commissioner of Police, Adeoye Fimihan, had two weeks ago said he was in Abuja and could not respond to the case till he returned to the state.
The spokesperson for the National Board for Technical Education, Joshua Abang, had said the agency was not empowered to investigate cases of alleged fraudulent certificates.
The spokesperson for the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related Offences, Rasheedat Okoduwa, had said investigations were ongoing into the matter.
But as of Tuesday, it was learnt that the body had yet to invite the rector.