A combination of Examination of Officers and Librarians at Ahmadu Bello University on Monday repudiated claims by the university's Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Ibrahim Garba during his appearance before the Nigeria Senate Ethics Committee that Senator Dino Melaye graduated from the University.
Shortly after the Senate committee ended the carefully choreographed hearing, more documents from the university, including the Joint Convocation Brochure, surfaced.
Saharareporters was first to release Mr. Melaye's 400 level statement of results last week, where we revealed that unscrupulous professors at the Geography Department manipulated and forged school records to help Melaye "graduate."
It has now been revealed that despite efforts by those professors to get away with the crime of forgery, they were still stuck during Mr. Melaye's final year, unable help him graduate because he could not pass Geography 307 Long Field Trip, a compulsory course required for graduation. A copy of the department handbook made available to SaharaReporters shows that Geography 307 was a compulsory course that couldn't have been waived.
What the late Professor D. O. Ogbonna did was to add 2-course units to Melaye's Total Earned Course Units without recourse to the teacher, Dr. A.L. Bello, who was the supervisor of the course.
SaharaReporters further learnt that after a major academic scandal broke out in the late 1990s and early 2000s, Ogbonna was quietly eased out of ABU, along with some other professors who had engaged in grade inflation. The university allowed Ogbonna to retire and he found another job in Kogi state University, Melaye’s home state, before he died a few years ago of an undisclosed illness.
Several lecturers who reached out Saharareporters after the VC gave his testimony today said the VC had in the past week been coming to them to force the department to endorse Melaye's graduation, but that they explained to him that they could not sustain a public declaration based on their records. According to the lecturers, the Vice Chancellor then took the tainted 400 L third semester results with him to Abuja before the Senate.
As soon as the VC declared that Mr. Melaye did graduate, a copy of the Joint Convocation brochure, with pages related to the Bachelors of Arts in Geography was also sent to Saharareporters, with the Senator’s name clearly absent. A source at the university told SaharaReporters that there was sufficient time for Mr. Melaye's name to have appeared in the Brochure as the excuse of a printer devil or university crises on campuses could not explain away the obvious fact, during the convocation two sets of graduates from two academic sessions were merged together. Convocation took place in the year 2002, two solid years after Melaye reportedly graduated from ABU, but his name was absent from the brochure. His name was also absent from the Alumni directory of ABU.
Apart from the scandal concerning whether or not he graduated from ABU, Mr. Melaye also claimed that he graduated from Harvard and the London School of Economics, claims that have now been debunked by the two renowned institutions.
A diploma Melaye said he received from the University of Jos is also suspect as the Examinations Officers there said they never prepared transcripts him because of [his] course deficits.
Mr. Melaye also claims he graduated from the University of Abuja and has done two higher degrees at ABU. Those claims fly in the face of the fraud associated with his academic background, as Mr. Melaye's classmates who reached out to Saharareporters after the scandal broke said he spent at least 7-8 years studying at ABU before he left under questionable circumstances, unable to fulfill his course work.