The controversy surrounding the academic qualification of the Director-General of the Federal Institute of Industrial Research, Oshodi (FIIRO), Dr. Chima Igwe, took a new turn on Sunday as the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) said has not been awarded a Doctorate degree.
The ICPC disclosed this in a statement issued by ICPC spokesperson, Mrs. Rasheedat Okoduwain, in Abuja.
The anti-corruption agency has placed Igwe under investigation following his claim that he obtained a PhD at the Universite d’Abomey Calavi, Republic of Benin.
Igwe has no far presented no certificate to back his claim.
He is said to have risen through the ranks in FIIRO based on a letter of attestation from the university, prompting some officials of the institute to petition the ICPC.
Okoduwain said investigation showed that Igwe actually completed the three-year programme between 1999 and 2002, and wrote his thesis.
However, she said he did not defend the thesis, and so cannot be said to have been awarded a PhD.
Okoduwa stated that the university said that much in a letter to the Nigerian Mission in Benin dated Jan. 22, 2020.
In the letter, the institution reportedly said it had given the FIIRO boss, at his request, a chance to update his research results in the 2019/2020 academic year.
She said: “It stands to reason, therefore, that if the PhD programme was concluded there would have been no need for Igwe to request re-registration.
“The Commission is firmly of the opinion that he cannot be said to have been awarded a PhD since he is yet to complete the process of defence of his thesis 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”, she added.