Exclusive: Minister mounts pressure on FIIRO governing board to reinstate disgraced DG who was sacked over phony PhD certificate claim

Minister mounts pressure on FIIRO governing board to reinstate disgraced DG who was removed over phony PhD certificate claim

Indications emerged at the weekend that the last may not have been heard about the travails of the disgraced former Acting Director-General of the Federal Institute of Industrial Research, Oshodi (FIIRO), Mr. Chima Igwe, Rifnote has gathered.

A source at the Institute,who spoke to Rifnote on Sunday on condition of anonymity because of the volatile nature of the development, said that the Chairman of  the Institute’s governing board, Alhaji Dan Azumi Gwarzo, received a communication from the Minister of Science and Technology, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, informing the board that it made a mistake by relieving Igwe of his position, stating that the embattled former DG was not given a fair hearing.

However, contrary to the claim of the minister, the source said Igwe was given a fair hearing, noting that the governing board reported to the ministry and it was directed to take a decision on the matter. The latest communication of the Minister of Science and Technology confirms speculation in some quarters that the governing board of FIIRO is under unprecedented pressure to reinstate Igwe.

Trouble started for Igwe when it was discovered by the governing board of FIIRO that Igwe had yet to present his PhD certificate more than 17 years after he claimed he received it from Universite D’Abomey Calavi, Benin Republic.

According to FIIRO rules, a PhD is a prerequisite to get promoted to the positions of a Director and the Director-General. But the investigation by the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences (ICPC) revealed that he had yet to defend his thesis in 2020 as of the time ICPC carried out its investigation despite claiming he bagged the PhD over 18 years ago – a development that confirmed he enjoyed at least three promotions without the requisite certificate on a false claim.

Things,however,took a dramatic turn after Igwe  tendered an attestation document  from the Universite D’Abomey Calavi,Benin Republic to the management of FIIRO  after he purportedly defended his thesis in February 2020- a premise upon which he is now scheming a comeback inspite of his  claim that he bagged his PhD over 18 years ago.

 

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