A claim by a Nigerian minister that he graduated from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, with a first class honours is false, a fact-check by DUBAWA and PREMIUM TIMES has shown.
During the 17th anniversary celebrations of the Commonwealth Of Zion Assembly (COZA) held at the church headquarters in Abuja two years ago, the Nigerian Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu, was among dignitaries who addressed the congregation.
In a seven minutes 24 seconds video published on YouTube on February 17, 2016 by COZA GLOBAL, Mr Kachikwu, dressed, in a navy blue ‘senator attire’, said: “The heat in this place can either make you or burn you, this is a hot zone. Congrats COZA!”
“It is amazing the sort of revolution that takes place outside the civil service; public service; and the outer space.
“A lot of revolution goes on in houses like this and sometimes all of us who are in government need to find time to come out and spend time with you and get encouraged by the burst of energy that you see…”
While speaking on fate and destiny, Mr Kachikwu took the congregation on a journey of his life, highlighting his educational achievements.
“…I went to Ife (Obafemi Awolowo University) to try and read medicine and I was there for two weeks and then I got admission to read law. My Father drove all the way to Ife to meet me and he asked, why do you want to go to the University?
“And I said, my ambition is to be a doctor and he said, why are you taking the line of what he called least resistance? And I said, what do you mean by that and he said, well, if you want to be a doctor why don’t you just go and read PHD, get to the very top…
“My dad was talking to a little boy and that got me. So, I packed my bag, left the school of medicine and went to read law.
“And, I got in there, got a scholarship and became the best student, I had a first class in that institution (UNN).
“And then, I left from there to the law school and in the law school, I think just like the pastor said: people encourage you. All my colleagues came and said, we are all here representing our institutions, if you brought a first class from Nsukka you better make it work here where everybody is gathered…”
The minister went ahead to list other institutions he attended and the honours he bagged.
The former ExxonMobil vice chairman said he graduated from the Nigerian Law School with a First Class honours. He also said he emerged “best student” at Harvard University, where he did his master’s degree with specialisation on Energy and Petroleum Law and Investment.
Mr Kachikwu claimed his record at Harvard, one of the best institutions in the world, remained unbroken.
“…I made a first class in the law school and then, getting to Harvard – my feeling, as soon as I got into Harvard was – this is a very unique institution, the biggest in the world and basically you must have a 2.1 or first class from your primary institution before they can accept you…
“…At the end of our master’s programme, I was the best student; got a Harvard scholarship and I went to do my doctorate and for it; I set what is still a record in Harvard of completing a doctorate in one and half years.”
Apart from making the incorrect claim during the COZA church programme, the minister is also peddling the same falsehood through his official biography posted to the website of the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources.
“Dr. Ibe Kachikwu is a distinction graduate of Law from the University of Nigeria Nsukka and Nigerian Law School,” the article read. “He bagged First Class degree in Law and was best graduand and multiple awards winner from both Institutions.
“He bagged a Masters in Law (LLM) with special focus on Energy and Petroleum Law and Investment and a Doctorate Degree with specialization on Petroleum and Investment Law Strategies from Harvard Law School, USA where he was the best graduate with Distinction and in the process set a record time for completing Doctoral Thesis.”
A similar claim is contained in the ministers’ bio on Wikipedia.
To verify Mr Kachikwu’s claim regarding his academic feat at Harvard, of which he claimed to have an unbeaten record, this newspaper sent an inquiry to the university. A response is still being awaited.
Screen shot of Kachikwu’s academic performance according to Wikipedia.
However, PREMIUM TIMES can report authoritatively today that Mr Kachikwu was economical with the truth as far as his certificate from UNN is concerned.
Dissecting Kachikwu’s Curriculum Vitae (CV)
According to a copy of his CV seen by PREMIUM TIMES, the minister said he enrolled into the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, in 1974.
He later received a bachelor of law after a four-year sojourn.
A copy of the his result signed by the university’s vice-chancellor and registrar at the time, showed that Mr. Kachikwu left UNN in June 1978 with a second class upper degree.
A copy of Kachikwu’s UNN certificate.
FACT-CHECK: Not a first timer?
This is not the first time a fact-check by this newspaper will bring this minister to light for double speaking.
Mr Kachikwu, 61, made an incorrect claim when he alleged that the Group Managing Director (GMD) of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Maikanti Baru, inappropriately awarded contract for the N885 billion Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano (AKK) Gas pipeline project, our December 23, 2017 investigation indicated.
Also untrue, our findings showed then, is Mr Kachikwu’s claim that President Muhammadu Buhari approved the contract after Mr Baru initiated an inappropriate award process that side-lined him (Mr Kachikwu) and the NNPC board.
In his controversial August 30, 2017 memo to President Buhari, Mr Kachikwu had, among other allegations, accused Mr Baru of flouting due process in the award of the $2.89 billion (about N885 billion at N306.3 to one U.S dollar) AKK contract.
But in a curious move, Mr Kachikwu, on December 13, presented the same contract to the Federal Executive Council, (FEC) seeking approval to award it.
When PREMIUM TIMES asked him why he sought approval for a contract he accused the NNPC of inappropriately awarding three months earlier, the minister said his action was meant to correct the irregularity in the initial award process carried out by Mr Baru.
But our investigation revealed that the contract was neither awarded by Mr Baru nor was it ever approved by Mr Buhari before that December 13, when the minister presented it before FEC.
Our findings showed that the BPP Due Process Certificate and the NCDMB Certificate of Authorization Mr Kachikwu attached to his memo to FEC were only issued on August 31, 2017 and October 6, 2017 respectively, days after the minister petitioned Mr Buhari.
Mr Kachikwu himself was a former GMD of the NNPC.
Kachikwu’s Harvard certificate.
Appointed NNPC boss in August, 2015 and named minister of petroleum three months later, the PHD holder was removed as the GMD of the NNPC by President Buhari and replaced with Mr Baru on July 4, 2016.
NOTE: Below is the link to the video where Mr Kachikwu spoke of graduating with first class.
INEC denies planning Chad, Niger voting centres
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said that there will be no diaspora or out-of-country voting in the 2019 general elections.
The commission said this in a statement by its national commissioner and chairman of Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye.
This followed a conference on Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) voting held by the commission on Wednesday.
At the conference, the commission had spelt out the procedure it would follow to accommodate internally displaced persons in the presidential election.
On Thursday, the Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP) in a statement by its spokespersons, Ikenga Uguchinyere, alleged that INEC wanted to open polling units in Chad and Niger Republic with a view to adding five million votes to the tally of President Muhammadu Buhari in the presidential election.
“The attention of the CUPP has been drawn to credible intelligence and reports in the media of the opening of voting centres by the INEC in Niger and Chad under the pretext that the centres are for IDPs to vote. It was more worrisome that the report quoted the Chairman of INEC as having made this declaration in a public forum,” Mr Ugochinyere stated on Thursday.
“Following the report, the Intelligence Unit of the CUPP has since uncovered the massive mobilisation of Chadian, Nigerian and Sudanese citizens preparatory to their participating in the February 16th Presidential elections. We have also uncovered that the plot is targeted at generating nothing less than five million votes for President Buhari in the election.
“It has now become clearer to Nigerians and the entire world the reasons why President Buhari refused to assent to the Electoral Act Amendment Bill presented to him by the National Assembly which would have made the Card Reader the only means of accreditation of voters for the election. His only options now include allowing non-Nigerians to participate in an election to determine Nigeria’s President and without accreditation.
“We hereby urge the INEC Chairman to retrace his steps and stand with the Nigerian people in these trying times as our electoral laws till date prohibit diaspora voting as no elections for the purpose of electing any public office holder in Nigeria can be held outside the geographical boundaries of the country. If any electoral staff or materials have been deployed outside the country for the purpose of these illegal and unlawful voting points, they should be returned to the country without any further delay.
“Finally, we call on all Nigerians of goodwill to voice out now and condemn this act and caution the President that his disposition of do-or-die is heating up the polity and that he has the example of former President Goodluck Jonathan to guide him in his actions as the elections draw nearer.”
In an apparent effort to dispel such views, INEC in its statement by Mr Okoye said that only voters in Nigeria on election day will be eligible to participate in the elections.
“The Commission wishes to state unequivocally that there will be no Diaspora or Out-of-Country voting for any Nigerian,” the commission stated.
It said in accordance with extant provisions of the Nigerian Constitution 1979 (as amended), only duly registered IDPs within Nigeria will be allowed to vote.
According to INEC, “the Framework and Regulations for IDP Voting were presented and validated by stakeholders at a conference held In Abuja on Wednesday, November 12.
In the INEC chairman’s speech and all the deliberation at the conference, which was reported by PREMIUM TIMES, there was no reference to diaspora voting.
The conference explained that IDPs currently residing in states where they registered can vote in all elections while those displaced from their states and are currently in states other than where they registered can only vote in the presidential election.
“INEC also said the validated framework is in consonance with the provisions of Section 26 (I) 0f the Electoral (Amendment Act 2015) which provides that “in the event of an emergency affecting an election, the Commission shall as far as possible ensure that persons displaced as the result of the emergency are not disenfranchised.”
How I discovered my daughter Ochanya had been repeatedly raped by her uncle
The father of the late teenager, Ochanya, has narrated how he discovered that his teenage daughter had been repeatedly raped by her guardian.
Ochanya Ogbanje, 13, died of Vesicovaginal fistula (VVF) in October, eight years after she was in 2010 taken to live with Andrew Ogbuja whose wife, Felicia Ogbuja, is an aunt to the deceased. Her death followed a series of rape allegedly perpetrated by Mr Ogbuja and his son, Victor.
Narrating the sad events that resulted in his daughter’s death in an exclusive interview with PREMIUM TIMES, Ochanya’s father, Michael Ogbanje, said he only got the clear picture of his daughter’s type of infection, after he decided against the plan of Mrs Ogbuja, and brought his daughter to a caregiver who took her for medical tests for the umpteenth time.
“We started the treatment at a local government clinic. From there, we were referred to Saint Mary’s hospital. In February, Mr Ogbuja’s wife, Felicia Ogbuja, came to me and told me that my daughter’s case had gone beyond what will be treated at Saint Mary’s.
“I gave them money, N16,000 and fuelled their car which was used in taking my daughter to the hospital that day. They were admitted till April. The entire hospital bills were paid by me. Yet Mrs Ogbuja made sure to keep the test results from us.
“We have been the ones paying her school fees. We even buy things and take to her occasionally,” Mr Ogbanje added.
The victim’s mother, Rose, who went with their daughter to the hospital, added that she made several demands for the details of the problem, but her requests were never granted.
“Each time I ask, they will tell me that my daughter will be well. Even when they discharged her, my daughter could not walk. When I enquired to know why she could not walk since they said she was better, they told me she would soon walk again,” the aged woman added, in pidgin English.
But days ran into weeks and nothing changed. Mr Ogbanje said he later asked his wife to question the girl when they noticed that she was passing out faeces and urinating uncontrollably.
“It was during that interrogation by her mother that my daughter confessed that she was sexually abused by Mr Ogbuja and his son.”
Mr Ogbanje’s immediate reaction was that of utter dismay and confusion, to the point of assuming his daughter was going mad.
“I was surprised when she told me who had raped her. I asked her, “are you mad?” but she insisted that she was telling the truth.
“I called her elder one and asked her to repeat what she had told me and she did so. Then the following day I took her, very early to Mr Ogbujah and asked that she narrates the story she had told us.”
Mr Ogbanje added that when Mr Ogbuja denied assaulting his daughter, the 13-year-old girl stated the places and the times when she was allegedly assaulted by the 51-year-old suspended lecturer and knight of the Catholic Church.
“But he insisted that only his son had an intimate meeting with my daughter. I then asked him what would happen next, given the state that my poor daughter was in and his wife told me that we should come back the following week so that they would go with us to the hospital and check to know if it is the incidence of rape that resulted in the problem my child is having.
“This happened on a Monday. But I thought to myself that I could not watch my daughter for another week without knowing how to help her. That was when I took Ochanya to the caregiver, Enuwa Soo, who went with my wife to run some tests at a hospital and all the results came out. That was the first time we knew what was really wrong with my daughter,” Mr Ogbanje said. “This was in June,” he added.
Mr Ogbanje further narrated that Mr Ogbuja later came with his wife, kneeling and begging them to avoid reporting the matter to relevant authorities.
“The first time he came, he was in the company of his wife and some men. They brought some kolanuts and knelt down, saying I should understand that the deed is already done. They offered to continue treating my daughter and refund the money I had spent on her treatment in exchange for my silence, but I refused,” Mr Ogbanje said.
Mrs Ogbuja was reportedly the first to discover the heinous crime perpetrated then, by her son, Victor. Rather than ensure it did not repeat itself, the Ogbuja’s family watched the menace continue till it caused the13-year-old her dear life, Mr Ogbanje said.
The death of Ochanya has attracted widespread condemnation, with many demanding a thorough prosecution of Mr Ogbuja and his son, Victor.
While Mr Ogbuja has been arrested and detained by the police, Victor is still at large months after the matter was reported to the police.
The spokesperson for the Benue State Police Command, Fatai Owoseni, did not respond to calls and text messages when contacted about an update on the whereabouts of Victor by this newspaper on Thursday evening.
The Catholic Church, in a statement issued in November by members of the Knight of Saint Molumba, suspended Mr Ogbuja from the order of Catholic Knights, pending the outcome of the matter.
Linda Ikeji reveals identity of son’s father
Popular Nigerian blogger, Linda Ikeji, has finally released photos of her three-month-old son and confirmed that a socialite, Sholaye Jeremi, is his father.
She disclosed this in an early morning post on Instagram on Friday.
“Meet my son Jayce! And yes, Sholaye Jeremi is his dad. Unfortunately, he and I are a completely closed chapter,” her post read.
She welcomed her son in a hospital in Atlanta, Georgia in the U.S. on September 17, two days to her 38th birthday.
Little Jayce bears a striking resemblance to his father Jeremi, with whom his mum had a secret on-and-off affair over a three-year period.
In the post on her website, she shared how their paths crossed, and what led to their separation.
Linda, who described herself as single mum in the article, also addressed social media comments criticising her of being a hypocrite, for encouraging people to be celibate.
Linda’s latest revelation comes in the wake of allegations by the blogger, Kemi Olunloyo, that she faked her pregnancy to lure Jeremi into marrying her.
Not much is known about Jeremi except that he is believed to be an acquaintance of Nigeria’s minister of state for petroleum resources Ibe Kachikwu and Forte Oil chairman, Femi Otedola.
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