Posted by News Express | 14 November 2019 | 1,021 times
A civil rights group, the Accountable Leadership for Better Nigeria Initiative (ALBNI), has called on the Speaker of the Imo State House of Assembly, Chiji Collins, to present his acclaimed Doctorate degree from an Italian university, as well as explain the circumstances surrounding his exemption from participating in the National Youth Service Corps, NYSC.
In a statement on Wednesday signed by its Executive Director, Remi Adebayo, the group demanded the presentation of the speaker’s Ph.D certificate and reasons for his exemption from the compulsory National Youth Service Corps, NYSC. It stated that, “having first obtained Higher National Diploma in Ceramics from the Institute of Art, Reggio Calabria in 1981, Chidi Collins whose documents stated was born on October 27, 1957, obtained the qualification at age 24 and unqualified to enjoy an exemption from participating in the compulsory national youth service because he obtained the certificate ahead of his thirtieth birthday, as a ground for which suitable individual could be exempted according to the law.
The group noted that except the bearer concealed his HND certificate, there was no ground other than which he could be issued the NYSC exemption certificate issued to him dated July 22, 1993.
“Should this be the case, Chiji Collins then lied under the oath and must be brought to justice and sanctioned accordingly,” said ALBNI. ALBNI also stated that Rt. Hon. Collins owes the nation a duty to explain the motive behind the deliberate masking possession of a qualification compelling him like every other Nigerians, captured under the NYSC Decree 1973, from offering himself to participate in the one-year mandatory service.
The group said it believes that the action portends deception, grave danger to transparency. According to them, “NYSC law as the beneficiary could not have unilaterally undertake the act alone. ALBNI, demanded full interrogation by the NYSC into the circumstances leading to the issuance of the exemption document, in a bid to unveil the motive and identify the culprit for prosecution to serve as deterrence to others and to promote accountability while holding public office in trust.
The statement further read that, “suffixing of Ph.D to justify possession of Doctorate Degree from the Universita degli Studi di Reggio Calabria by Chiji Collins, according to the certificate sighted by us in Architecture in 1989, similarly raises concerns to which the bearer must shed light.
“The holder was conferred with ‘Laurea di Dottore,’ from the Italian institution, the basic for which he affixes Ph.D to his name.
“We find this misleading, knowing that the Nigerian equivalent of Laurea di Dottore is a Bachelor Degree and not doctorate in rank.
“In fact, certain countries other than Nigeria rate ‘Laurea di Dottore’ as a licensing qualification or diploma, except in Bangladesh and Phillipines where it has highest attribution as a Master’s degree,” the statement further added.
The group therefore, asked Mr. Collins to explain reasons behind the willful distortion and intentional falsehood.
“We want to assume that Mr. Chiji Collins is either in ignorant of the exact value attached to his certificate or its Nigerian equivalence, anything else could only suggest that he enjoys deliberate hoodwinking of the public to gain reputational or political advantage in contrast with the spirit of transparency and accountability.”
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