Monday, 10 March 2014
Stella Oduah Certificate Scandal: Senate Does Not Independently Verify Documents Presented By Security Agencies, Spokesman Confirms
Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, the spokesperson of the Nigeria Senate, has revealed that the upper legislative chamber does not carry out independent verification of documents presented to it for nominees of the President.
Abaribe, who spoke with Saharareporters following Monday’s revelations by SaharaReporters that Aviation Minister Stella Oduah does not possess the Masters’ degree of an American university she claimed during her nomination process, said the Senate typically uses the screening done by the State Security Service and others to complete and conclude on the eligibly of ministerial nominees.
The Senator did not address the notorious political habit of the chamber, which, following widely-known wheeling and dealing that lets unqualified people into sensitive positions, simply tells nominees, “bow and go.”
A “BRIEF CITATION ON PRINCESS STELLA ADAEZE ODUAH,” presented to the Senate during the 2011 process [see accompanying document], stated that Mrs. Oduah attended St. Paul’s College Lawrenceville, in Virginia, United States, “from 1978-1982, where she bagged her first Degree in Accounting.
“On completion of her first degree, she was not lured into taking up paid employment but was determined to have the best education and at the highest level, so she immediately stayed back to study for her Masters Degree which she achieved in 1983,” the citation said, trying to underline Mrs. Oduah’s “greatness.”
In our routine follow-up story yesterday published in the interest of the transparency and accountability that is often trumpeted by the Goodluck Jonathan government but never implemented, SaharaReporters reported it could find no evidence she ever earned such a degree, as St. Paul’s College Lawrenceville has never had a graduate programme.
Pressed to explain the consequences of the scam, Senator Abaribe said he was unable to say what action the Senate would take as the upper legislative body, which is currently on break, will not resume until January 14.
On her part, Mrs. Oduah has yet to comment publicly on the new scandal. In a follow-up story today, Premium Times reported that the Minister and her associates have since the publication of our story been scrambling to clean up her biographies on the Internet.
On her personal Facebook page, for instance, she eliminated St. Paul’s College completely as her school. Similar modifications were made to her Wikipedia page at about 14: 41 GMT today, ostensibly to remove links to interviews she personally granted where she admitted obtaining degrees from St. Pauls’ College.
Her public profile on the Nigerian Aviation website also now merely states that she obtained her Bachelors and Master’s degree from the “United States.”
Below is the CV Ms. Oduah presented to the Senate in 2011:
BRIEF CITATION ON PRINCESS STELLA ADAEZE ODUAH, OON- HONOURABLE MINISTER OF AVIATION FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA
Princess Stella Adaeze Oduah was born on the 5th of January 1962 into the Royal family of HRH, Igwe D.O Oduah, the Igwe of Akili-Ozizor in Ogbaru Local Government Area of Anambra State. William Shakespeare wrote in one of his many literary works that “some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them”. Princess Stella Adaeze Oduah was born and has achieved greatness not by any stroke of luck but through years of hard work, dedication, focus and determination. There was therefore no surprise that she rode roughshod and carved a niche for herself in a male-dominated industry.
She realized very early in life the indispensability of a sound education in her growth plans in life and therefore pursued her education with all diligence and sense of purpose. Her educational development began in Anambra state where she had her primary and secondary education at St. John’s Primary School Odoakpu and Zixton Secondary School Ozubulu before proceeding to St. Paul’s College Lawrenceville from 1978-1982, where she bagged her first Degree in Accounting. On completion of her first degree, she was not lured into taking up paid employment but was determined to have the best education and at the highest level, so she immediately stayed back to study for her Masters Degree which she achieved in 1983.
Princess Stella Adaeze Oduah returned to her Fatherland in 1983 to participate in the mandatory National Youth Service Corps Scheme (NYSC) and she was posted to NECA for her place of primary assignment. On successful completion of her National youth service she got a permanent employment with the NNPC where she worked for years before voluntarily retiring into private business. During her period of employment with NNPC, she served in different capacities and won numerous accolades and awards for excellent performance including the “THE NNPC GMD AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE”
Spurred on by her entrepreneurial abilities, Princess Stella Adaeze Oduah left the NNPC to establish her own business. This led to the birth of SEA PETROLEUM & GAS COMPANY LIMITED, a company that was to become a leading player in the Oil and Gas Industry in Nigeria. Princess Stella Adaeze Oduah nurtured this company from humble beginnings to an enviable position in local, regional and global business. The company is today a conglomerate with no fewer than 7 subsidiaries offering diverse services and providing employment for the youths and people of Nigeria.
Princess Stella Adaeze Oduah has a large philanthropic heart and is involved in numerous philanthropic initiatives some of which are provision of a farmers loan scheme in Ogbaru and Benin to enable farmers have access to soft loans, construction of schools and skill acquisition centers for orphanages and communities, scholarship schemes, construction of health centers for primary health care. The list is endless and this goes to show that Princess Stella Adaeze Oduah is and continues to be a blessing to humanity.
In recognition of her immense contribution to national, society and business development in Nigeria, Princess Stella has been honoured with numerous awards for outstanding achievements, including the National Honour of “Officer of the Order of the Niger,OON” by the Federal Government of Nigeria. There are others too numerous to mention here. She also holds membership of renowned and numerous social and business associations.
Princess Stella Adaeze Oduah has built a very successful business empire through hard work and dedication which makes her one of the foremost business personalities in Nigeria. This is a coat she wore until her recent call to National service, first as Chairman of the Board of the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN and now the HONOURABLE MINISTER OF AVIATION, FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA.
Princess Stella Adaeze Oduah,OON is indeed a gem of our generation and a blessing to this Country. WE BELIEVE IN HER TRANSFORMATION AGENDA FOR THE AVIATION MINISTRY !!!! CONGRATULATIONS OUR DEAR HONORABLE MINISTER.