The Nigerian Government has been given a 30-day ultimatum to prosecute dismissed former Acting Director-General of the Federal Institute of Industrial Research, Oshodi, Chima Igwe, or face legal action.
Nigeria’s leading anti-corruption group said on Sunday that Igwe committed felony and should face the consequences.
Igwe was sacked following intensive campaign led by Human and Environmental Development Agenda after a string of media reports that the former FIIRO boss could not justify his doctorate certificate said to have been obtained from a university in Benin Republic.
It was reported that the only evidence of the purported doctorate for 18 years was an attestation letter.
HEDA’s campaign for probe prompted the dismissal of the former FIIRO Acting DG.
In a petition addressed to the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, HEDA urged government to ensure Igwe faces the law.
“There cannot be two laws for poor and rich Nigerians. Ordinary people who forged documents are jailed. The rich should not be spared.
“Mr Igwe till date has not justified that he earned a Ph.D. He has been sacked by the Federal Government. That action is not enough. He has to explain to Nigerians whether he actually earned a Ph.D or not. It was on the basis of his so called Ph.D that he earned salaries and privileges from the public resources for 17 years,” HEDA Chairman, Mr Olanrewaju Suraju, wrote in the petition.
HEDA said Igwe’s action amounts to obtaining under false pretence as stated in Section 418 of the Criminal Code.
HEDA said the Attorney-General of the Federation was empowered in Section 174 (1(a) of the 1999 constitution to prosecute Igwe without fair or favour.
The group said, “We hereby demand the immediate prosecution of the former Acting Director-General of Federal Institute of Industrial Research, Oshodi, Mr Chima Igwe within 30 days from the receipt of this petition.
“And in the event that our request is not acceded to within the slated time frame, we shall not hesitate to institute an action before a court of competent jurisdiction to compel the discharge of your constitutional duties as related to this matter.”