The Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC) has said that Mr Chima Igwe did not complete his doctorate programme.
Igwe, the acting Director-General of the Federal Institute of Industrial Research Oshodi (FIIRO), has been engulfed in an alleged certificate scandal recently.
On its part, ICPC cleared the air in its report released on Sunday following an investigation into the claims that the FIIRO boss did not qualify to head the agency.
Workers at the agency had reportedly protested recently against the purported preferential treatment of Igwe, who was said to have gotten several promotions based on an attestation letter indicating he attended the Universite d’Abomey-Calavi, Benin Republic, and obtained a PhD.
He was appointed as the acting Director-General of FIIRO in May 2019, allegedly against the will of the governing board over the controversy surrounding the degree.
ICPC’s report read:
To clear the air and fulfil its pledge to make public its findings on the matter, the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) hereby places on public record the outcome of its further investigations.
The Commission re-opened investigations into the status of Mr Igwe’s pursuit of a PhD degree on the 3rd of December, 2019 upon the discovery of certain gaps, occasioned by ambiguity in the letters from University D’Abomey Calavi, Republic of Benin, language differences and translation of documents, in the earlier investigation.
In the course of its further investigation, the ambiguity and confusing language translation issue again reared its head when the institution, in its letter to the Nigerian Mission in Benin dated 22nd January 2020, which stated as translated that ‘…Mr. Chima Carthney Igwe has completed his three-year doctoral programme”, yet the same correspondence further stated that Mr Igwe had not publicly defended his doctoral thesis and the institution was giving him a chance, at his request, to re-register and update his research results in the current 2019-2020 academic year.
It stands to reason, therefore, that if the PhD programme was concluded there would have been no need to request re-registration by Mr. Igwe.
Although it was confirmed that Mr. Igwe did the required three years for the programme from 1999 to 2002 and wrote a thesis, the Commission is firmly of the opinion that he cannot be said to have been awarded a Doctor of Philosophy degree since he is yet to complete the process of defence of his thesis in the 18 years after he is said to have finished the course work.
By global standards, the successful defence of a thesis is a compulsory condition for the award of a PhD.
Therefore, in line with its avowed commitment to discharging its duties with professionalism and responsibility the Commission has since communicated its most recent findings and position to the relevant authorities for necessary action.