The Human and Environmental Development Agenda has sent a petition to the Nigerian Government to sack the Acting Director of Federal Research Institute, Oshodi, Lagos, Chima Igwe, over alleged certificate forgery.

The group also gave the board of the institute 14 days to immediately remove Igwe as head of the research institute or face legal action.

Staff of FIIRO had earlier on Monday picketed the office of the institute to ask Igwe to make a public presentation of his doctorate certificate or step down from the position.

In the petition sent to the Chairman, Governing Board of the institute, Alhaji Ibrahim Gwarzo, by HEDA Resource Centre, the anti-corruption organisation said the board needed to take decisive action by sacking Igwe.

A copy of the protest letter signed by HEDA Chairman, Mr Olanrewaju Suraju, was also sent to President Muhammadu Buhari.

HEDA cited reports that indicated that the only evidence of the purported doctorate for 18 years is an attestation letter and that the issue became contentious when the tenure of the immediate past Director-General of FIIRO, Prof Gloria Elemo, ended and there was the need for a new head of the institute.

HEDA said it was aware that the governing board of the institute while shopping for a replacement called for files of senior officers of the agency and Igwe being the most senior was to be next in line.

Suraju said, “We follow up the investigations by the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission, which has been investigating the matter but surprised to discover that the ICPC appear to have abandoned the investigation.

“The allegations levelled against the Acting Director-General, Mr Igwe, is such that is within the definition of serious misconduct as defined in the Federal Government Civil Service Rules in Rule 030401.”

HEDA demanded the immediate action of the board to act in accordance with government’s directive within two weeks or the group will seek legal action against the board and the institute.

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