BY PETER OKUTU
ABAKALIKI — NO fewer than 15 lecturers of Ebonyi State College of Education, Ikwo were weekend, demoted over alleged involvement in certificate forgery and for claiming to have acquired Ph.D degrees from reputable institutions outside the country.
Management of the college, on receipt of the report and recommendations of the committee set up to look into the alleged claims by the lecturers, said the exercise was not meant to witch-hunt anybody in particular but to ensure sanity and discipline within the education sector in the state.
At a press briefing in Abakaliki, Special Adviser to Governor Martin Elechi of Ebonyi State on Higher Education, Professor Mike Ituma, revealed that the discovery came as a shock, stressing that the action of the affected lecturers was a reflection of the level of decay ravaging the sector.
According to him, the action of the management of the college is a step in the right direction and government is completely in support of the action against the lecturers.
In a statement, Public Relations Officer of the college, Mr. Nkwuda Bethrand Otukobelu, noted that the 15 affected lecturers would not be allowed to run any promotion course packaged by the college till after three years.
He said: “A lot of processes were followed in verification and evaluation of the certificates of the lecturers involved. Six of the affected lecturers who had their Ph.Ds from the institutions should stop parading themselves as Ph.D holders and stop adding the title ‘Dr.’ to their names.
“That as regards to their present positions, nine of them have been demoted to Lecturer III; two to Assistant Lecturers and the remaining two to non-academic staff for not possessing relevant qualifications to be in the academic cadre.”
“That six of them who enjoyed financial benefits with the controversial certificates are to refund such benefit which accrued to them in excess of their present new position.”
“Findings by the committee and letters from the National Universities Commission, NUC, and the Federal Ministry of Education show that the institutions were neither approved nor recognized by the Federal Government of Nigeria.”