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Sunday, 15 November 2020

EXPOSED: How Former NECO Acting Registrar, Gana, Shielded Director, Ekele, From Dismissal Over Fake Certificates

 Investigations have revealed that moral corruption from highest quarters has been used to shield some indicted but favoured officials from dismissal, a punishment meted out to those found guilty.



The unearthing of fake academic credentials paraded by officials in some government agencies has taken a new twist in the National Examinations Council headquarters, Minna, Niger State.

Investigations have revealed that moral corruption from highest quarters has been used to shield some indicted but favoured officials from dismissal, a punishment meted out to those found guilty.

Abubakar Gana

SaharaReporters learnt that the examination body dismissed 70 of its officers in November 2019 and another 19 in February 2020 and about 17 in October 2020 for presenting forged and fake certificates of educational qualification to the council.

However, the exercise was fraught with injustice and fraudulent practices as it was discovered that while about 106 officers were dismissed for the offence, two close associates of the then acting Registrar, Abubakar Gana, were shielded and spared from investigation and dismissal over the same allegation.

One of those shielded is Jacob Samuel Ekele, current Director, Finance and Account Department of the council at the headquarters in Minna.

A top source in the organisation knowledgeable about the investigation, revealed that Ekele, with staff number P.499, presented two Ph.D certificates to the council in 2002 and 2017.

SEE ALSOEXPOSED: How Former Acting Registrar Of NECO, Gana, Siphoned N368m Registration Fees In Six-month

The two certificates were allegedly obtained from two American universities, but after using the certificates to gain promotion and undue advantage on the job, he suddenly disowned the certificates when effort was made in 2017 to verify the qualifications from the awarding institutions.

"To this day, staff of the council still address him as Dr Ekele despite his recent frantic efforts to remove the academic designation "Dr" from his name.

"In any case, a lot of official correspondences already exist to prove that he truly deceived the council with fake Ph.D certificates," said the source.
 
Further discoveries showed that Ekele joined the service of NECO in 1999 as Principal Examination Officer with curriculum vitae and entry qualifications that did not include any Ph.D at the time.

SEE ALSOEXPOSED: Former Acting NECO Registrar, Gana, In N548m Contract Duplication Scandal

On 22nd May 2002, he presented a Doctorate in Banking and Finance certificate (purportedly issued by Staton University, Tampa Florida, USA), to NECO through a letter titled, 'Completion of PH.D In Banking and Finance', dated May 16, 2002.
 
On 12th June, 2002, the then Registrar, Prof Dibu Ojerinde, recognised the certificate and congratulated him through a letter with ref No. NECO/P.499/1/30 dated 12th June, 2002.
 
The letter was personally collected and signed by 'Dr' J.S Ekele, and not Mr J.S Ekele on 18th of June 2002; and he immediately updated his curriculum vitae to reflect his new qualification and title and filed same on page 31 of his official file in August 2002.
 
A source said, “From 2002 to 2019, the said doctorate certificate gave Ekele undue advantage in all his promotions from PEO to his present controversial rank as Director, Finance and Accounts.
 
"On 25th February, 2017, Ekele forwarded through his director, Mr Abubakar M. Gana, additional certificates, which he alleged to have been initially omitted, via letter he wrote two days earlier.”
 
Among the allegedly omitted certificates that were forwarded was another Ph.D certificate in Business Administration (Marketing) purportedly from 'Our Saviour University of America' issued on 17th June, 2004.  
 
"Meanwhile, there was no record of Ekele ever applying for approval to undertake the study or a letter forwarding the certificate to NECO or a letter of recognition from the council.
 
"There was also no evidence that this particular letter was forwarded to the Registrar by Mr Abubakar Gana. Evidently, it was sent directly to Human Resources Department without approval by the Registrar.
 
"On 24th July, 2017, Ekele for some strange reasons, forwarded another letter dated 21st July, 2017, in which he cleverly excluded the Staton University’s Doctor of Philosophy in Banking and Finance, but listed the newly submitted Ph.D in Business Administration from 'Our Saviour University of America'.
 
"He also indicated that he was pursuing a Ph.D programme at Kogi State University, Ayingba. Up to this time, he signed the letter as Dr Jacob S. Ekele (FCNA),” the source continued.
 
In 2017, NECO  profiled Ekele for the position of Director of Finance and Accounts Department and he was asked to supply the postal address of foreign academic institutions he attended to enable the vouncil reach out to the universities.

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