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Andy Uba: The Face Of A Fraud-Saharareporters/TheNEWS

December 12, 2006

Last year, Governor Orji Uzor Kalu of Abia State, a presidential aspirant, attempted a sharing of portfolios under his futuristic presidency to his colleague governors at a forum in Enugu. When he gave Governor Donald Duke minister of tourism, the Cross River governor, who is also a front runner for the presidency, stoutly objected. He said he wanted nothing but Andy Uba’s position under President Olusegun Obasanjo. Although the hall roared in laughter, the point was not lost.

Last year, Governor Orji Uzor Kalu of Abia State, a presidential aspirant, attempted a sharing of portfolios under his futuristic presidency to his colleague governors at a forum in Enugu. When he gave Governor Donald Duke minister of tourism, the Cross River governor, who is also a front runner for the presidency, stoutly objected. He said he wanted nothing but Andy Uba’s position under President Olusegun Obasanjo. Although the hall roared in laughter, the point was not lost.

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As President Obasanjo’s special assistant on domestic matters, until recently, Andy Uba wielded enormous clout in the presidency.  Anyone trying to see the President or get favours done to him by the President, must first of all pass the Andy test. If he did not approve, you could not see the President. He saw the President first in the morning and he was the last soul to bid the President ‘good night’. Such was his closeness to Nigeria’s leader that Dr. Andy Uba was also known to have been involved in the President’s private businesses. But recent investigations by a team of, in collaboration with TheNEWS, showed that the former powerful man of Aso Rock had been parading titles and credentials he does not have. The investigations also showed that while he lived in America, he was in the black book of the Inland Revenue Service of Uncle Sam.


Investigations into Andy Uba’s educational background showed he does not have a Bachelor’s degree in Geology from Concordia University – a Canadian institution he claimed to have attended from 1984. The official records at Concordia University in Montreal, Canada indicate that he dropped out prior to completing the requirements for a Bachelor’s degree. The university’s alumni office of records said Concordia University has no record of Uba ever graduating from the school. A spokesperson for the Advancement and Alumni Relations Office in Concordia University said: ‘’We have searched our record for Mr. Emmanuel Nnamdi Uba (Andy) and he does not seem to be listed in the Alumni Banner System.’’ Further enquiries at the office of the registrar also drew blank. Liana Howes, supervisor of telephone and e-mail support for enrolment services, said Uba enrolled in the school, but there is no record that he graduated.  Our investigations also revealed a wrinkle in Uba’s claim to having obtained a Master’s degree from California State University. The official records obtained from California State University indicated that the former presidential aide never earned a Masters from there. In fact, he was never a graduate student of the said institution. The records of California State University (323 343 3840 = number of school) show that he was enrolled at the school for an undergraduate programme to study Geography between September 27, 1990 and March 21, 1992, but never graduated. One curious discovery that made it a little difficult to obtain Uba’s records at the university was the fact that he altered his date of birth in the school records from December 15 to December 14. The underlying reason behind this alteration is hard to ascertain.

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 Uba’s claim to possessing a doctorate degree from Buxton University in the United Kingdom is the worst of all. "Since he has no certifiable first or a second degree, the idea of his holding a doctorate is, on the face of it, fraudulent," a Nigerian academic resident in the UK said. Besides, Buxton University, which he claimed he attended, is an unaccredited online degree awarding institution with some notoriety for awarding bogus degrees to clients willing to pay a set fee. While claiming to exist in London, England, the "university" has its address in Portugal. Critics have called it a diploma mill. "It’s a scam," said one expert familiar with the workings of such establishments that pass themselves off as online universities. "In fact, it is a business that caters to vain clients who desire to buy hollow insignia of knowledge without facing the rigour of academic work." Another source put it bluntly: "If Uba is claiming to have a Ph.D from Buxton, then he is simply flaunting an overpriced, worthless piece of paper he purchased with cash."

 On its website, Buxton University ( claims to have been serving the cause of education since 1991. It boasts: "We are the number one educational choice of over 56,000 students and working professionals. We are fully accredited and our programmes enjoy worldwide acceptability." Really? It claims to offer bachelors, masters and doctorate degrees and that its programmes are accredited by the World Online Education Accrediting Commission and Board of Online Universities Accreditation(BOUA). If one believes this, one will certainly believe any marine tale. Although the two so-called accreditation bodies have web sites, further searches on Google revealed that they are not recognised by any government or world-acclaimed educational regulatory body. Wikipedia, the online encyclopeadia, listed the two bodies as part of ‘’unrecognised accreditation associations of higher learning’’. It says: "Schools that lack legitimate accreditation often claim accreditation from an unrecognised source. In the United States, without recognition from the United States Department of Education or the Council for Higher Education Accreditation to approve the accreditation agency, such accreditations are bogus to the academic community." Proof that Buxton University only exists in the fantasy world of cyberspace, churning out worthless degrees and certificates to willing buyers and title-hungry people, is that on its website there is no single faculty member mentioned or listed. A man that claims to be the president of the university merely scribbled a signature without indicating his name. At the click of a section that ought to take the surfer to the faculty members, the surfer is denied access. "That speaks volume about the fraud called Buxton University. How can a university that claims to have awarded 54,000 degrees in 10 years not have a list of its academic board?’’ asked a Nigerian resident in the UK.

But late on Friday night, Andy Uba called TheNEWS claiming his papers were genuine. Speaking first on California State University where records show that he disenrolled in the summer of 1986, Andy admitted that he indeed disenrolled because his job with the American state meant he had to undergo some training which his academic pursuits were hampering. The job, according to him, involved verification of insurance claims. He claimed that at ‘‘California State University, to qualify for a degree one needs 90 units, but I had 125. All these could be verified in my transcripts.’’  On Buxton University, Andy told TheNEWS he had to pursue a doctorate degree ‘‘because without that he would not be qualified to work in those clinics. So I saw an advert placed by the University. They asked for over 80 units and I had more than that. So I enrolled. It took me one and half years to get my doctorate degree which I completed in 1996.’’ He said what mattered most, as far as the Nigerian constitution was concerned, was his secondary school certificate, arguing that he had his secondary school certificate. Indeed, according to him he was the best goalkeeper in the history of Boys High School, Awkunawnaw. The current Senate President, Ken Nnamani, he disclosed, was his senior prefect, while he (Andy Uba) was dormitory prefect for Okpara House.

But Andy’s testimonial from the school showed he was just an average student, and his school certificate which he challenged TheNEWS to verify at the West African Examinations Council showed he had 5 ordinary passes out of nine subjects he sat for. He recorded one credit and three Fs. ‘‘This attempt at digging into my past is the handiwork of my detractors. But by the Grace of God they will fail,’’ he expressed. Investigations into Andy Uba’s financial health before he was appointed as special assistant to Obasanjo in 1999 also contradicted the perception in official circles, that he was wealthy. He was a sales agent for an insurance company, Golden State Mutual, in California, before becoming an office manager at the clinics, which he claims, falsely, to have been a part owner. "I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry when I heard that piece of fiction," said a California-based Nigerian who knew Uba in his days in California. "Uba was more like a hustler. He struggled to pay his bills." The response came in the wake of the defence by the President’s lawyer in America that it was no big deal for Uba to buy farm equipment worth $45,000 for Obasanjo’s farm, since he was wealthy before his apointment.

What is not in doubt, however, is that Uba has struck it rich since arriving in Nigeria to work for President Obasanjo. One source close to his gubernatorial campaign said: "He has made more money than he knows what to do with it. He has full use of the police and the other security agencies. And he enjoys the full support of Obasanjo who has publicly vowed that his former aide would win the governorship of Anambra State.’’ Documents made available from the State of California showed that Andy Uba was not only struggling but had financial liens placed on his properties by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for defaulting on his federal income taxes in 2003. A federal income tax lien was entered against Andy Uba for the sum of $7,500. The same year, he was also in trouble with First USA Bank, which led the Los Angeles Superior Court to enter a civil judgment of $15,000 against him. Andy Uba, believed to be the real face behind Starcrest Petroleum Company (which is enmeshed in an oil bloc allocation scandal), has a history of misrepresenting himself in the U.S. For instance, he is known to have two dates of births on record in the State of California, with some public records stating that he was born 12/15/1958 and others 12/14/1958. Meanwhile, reliable sources within the US Immigration and Custom Enforcement Agency who played key roles in the investigation of Uba’s money laundering case revealed that there was more to the original case. One special agent familiar with the case disclosed that Obasanjo’s Ota Farm was the original focus of the investigation. However, pressure came from the U.S. State Department, necessitating a change of direction by investigators. According to our source, the initial searchlight was beamed on the equipment purchased by Mabinton and delivered to the President’s Ota Farm. has obtained Loretta Mabinton’s credit information that illuminates her entanglement in Uba’s money laundering scandal. Ms. Mabinton, 46, who works as an assistant legal counsel to Portland General Electric Company, purchased a property in 2000,( the property is now worth $700,000) in a wealthy neighborhood of Lake Oswego near Portland. Investigators now have reasons to believe that the property was purchased by Andy Ubah via Ms. Mabinton. In fact in one of the documents with which she took a loan, Ms. Mabinton erased a portion which indicated that she was single, apparently to reflect her dubious relationship with Andy Uba as her "fiancé". Evidence gathered by exposed an intriguing fact that points to the suspicious manner she managed with her meagre income to have almost repaid the entire loans used to purchase the property. Most residents of America typically pay off their loans between 20 to 35 years. One real estate analyst interviewed for this report wondered where Mabinton found the money to speedily repay a loan she took only five years ago. To add more suspicion to the case, our investigations revealed that Mabinton who made the purchase five years ago, only passed the Oregon Bar examinations in 2002 and started work with the Portland General Electric Company as an Assistant Legal Counsel in 2003.

Ms. Loretta Mabinton owns three credit cards issued by the MBNA credit card company (now merged with Bank of America) and all three cards show zero balances indicating that she has paid up for all her credit purchases. found out that the credit card with which she purchased farm equipment for Obasanjo Farms Limited has available credit of $49,000. The balances on the card were fully paid on October 2, 2004, shortly after Emmanuel Nnamdi Uba handed her cash of $170,000 at the UN Plaza Hotel in New York. Interestingly, Mabinton’s three credit cards have no purchase information available on file at the Bank of America Merlin Centre. A bank source that spoke anonymously with our reporter said it was a strange development not to have purchase history on file regarding credit cards maintained by the bank. Other credit cards issued to Mabinton’s address in SW Westminster Drive in Lake Oswego, Oregon, have credit lines of $23,300 and $19,000 respectively. Both are due to expire in 2009.  The two cards are issued under her name—Loretta Mabinton—but her address had slight modifications. One address reads 2 Westminster Dr., Lake Oswego, Oregon, while the second address is 2 SW Westminster Drive, Lake Oswego, Oregon. Our reporters could not determine if this discrepancy was a typographical error or a deliberate ploy on Mabinton’s part to hide her assets. Loretta Mabinton is not only shady but also frivolous, for her luxurious car she obtained, a vanity licence plate  "MAMAEJ".

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