Wednesday, October 4, 2023

Fed Govt gets 30-day ultimatum to prosecute sacked FIIRO boss

The Federal 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 actions.

The 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, (HEDA Resource Centre) after a string of media reports that the former FIIRO boss could not justify his Ph.D certificate said to have been obtained from Universite Nationale du Benin (now Universite d’Abomey- Calavi) in the Benin Republic upon which he had received series of promotions and awards.

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It was reported that the only evidence of the purported Ph.D. for 18 years was an attestation letter.

HEDA’s campaign for probe prompted the dismissal of the former FIIRO Acting Director-General by the Nigerian authorities.

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In a petition addressed to the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Mallami, HEDA urged the Federal Government to ensure Igwe faces the full weight of 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. 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 Olanrewaju Suraju wrote in the petition.

Suraju said the failure of the former Acting Director-General of FIIRO to produce his certificate is as relayed in the provisions of Section 105 of the Criminal Code Act which states that Any person who, being authorised or required by law to give any certificate touching any matter by virtue whereof the rights of any person may be prejudicially affected, gives a certificate which is, to his knowledge, false in any material particular, is guilty of a felony and is liable to imprisonment for three years”.

HEDA said Igwe’s action amounts to obtaining under false pretence, as stated in Section 418 of the Criminal Code Act which states that “Any representation made by words, writing, or conduct, of a matter of fact, either past or present, which representation is false in fact and which the person making it knows to be false or does not believe to be true, is a false pretence.”

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