I listened to a programme in Port Harcourt where a former member of staff of a college of education affiliated to a university as a degree-awarding institution was interviewed. The interviewee submitted his efforts as a funds recovery and forgery detection consultant, for five years, on behalf of the school.
As a consultant, he exposed corrupt practices orchestrated by top-level management members of the institution. These included the racketeering of degree certificates (many people who didn’t attend the school were awarded degree certificates with fantastic grades), falsification of documents, bribery/corruption and the abuse of office for personal gains.
He set out to do his work and also campaigned against racketeering of degree certificates. It anger stomach-churning angst when he discovered that many students who were supposed to pay tuition fees for extra sessions, due to multiple carry-over courses, were listed on the senate-approved graduation list.
So stupefied was he that he thought he could save the school by reporting this bad practices but management expected him to look the other way. His offerings were rejected. He was seen as the commander of an angry brigade on a mission to upset the apple cart, a sad augury for the fight against corruption. He discovered major discrepancies between collated result sheets and their worksheets (transcripts) and raised concerns of forgery and result-falsification, which continued to fall on deaf ears until he wrote to the school in 2016 with the intention of facilitating investigations from external regulatory bodies.
He thought he had brought home the bacon but couldn’t avoid punishment. At this point, the management began to isolate him unnecessarily. Not surprisingly, the provost of the school issued a bulletin to inform him that his services were no longer needed and he was banished from the school in spite of being owed 18 months wages.
He continued to seek redress within the ambit of the law.
Governments pretend to fight corruption but do not regulate the institutions appropriately. I wonder why goodness should be blacklisted. If there are no protective garbs for those willing to fight corruption, how many people would be ready to submit themselves as foot soldiers?
Should students bear the brunt for the maladministration of a university where future leaders around the world are cultivated? It’s hard to imagine people getting “broke” education in a graduate school like his and many others in Nigeria.