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Monday, March 4, 2024

Taraba commissioner accused of obtaining fake degree from foreign university

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Taraba State Commissioner for Youth and Sports Development, Joseph Joshua, has been accused of obtaining a fake degree from a university in Benin Republic.

The accusation is contained in a written petition to the State Security Service (SSS) and with a copy to the state police command.

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The petition, dated January 15, was written by a Jalingo-based lawyer, Nasiru Muhammed, on behalf of Sulaiman Adamu.

Adamu is a social activist who lives in Jalingo, the state capital.

“Our client informed us that Mr. Joseph Joshua, the current Commissioner of the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development of Taraba State, Jalingo, during his selection as a candidate for Commissioner in the Taraba State House of Assembly, presented, among others , a degree certificate (Bachelor of Science (Bachelor of Information Technology with Second Class (Higher Division)) from ESGT University, Benin Republic (Cotonou, as its highest qualification obtained in 2021), according to the petition.

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“Sir, our client informed us that on the basis of that certificate, he was vetted and confirmed by the Taraba State House of Assembly for appointment as Commissioner for Youth and Sports Development.

“Surprisingly, the said Joseph Joshua did not submit to the Taraba State House of Assembly his mandatory NYSC discharge certificate or his exemption letter as part of his documents as expected of him.

“From the above, it follows that the Certificate of Title presented by the Hon. Joseph Joshua is questionable, requiring a thorough investigation in order to sanitize the system.

“Our client informed us that based on his preliminary investigation, he discovered that there was never a time when Mr. Joseph Joshua left this country to go to Benin Republic for the purpose of studies.

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“We believe that your respected office will thoroughly investigate the said Mr. Joseph Joshua with a view to finding out the number of times he visited Benin Republic for the purpose of studies, the years he covered and his international passport attesting to his frequent visit to Benin. Republic during the period in which he claimed to have obtained said certificate.”

When contacted by this journalist to react to the allegation, Joshua responded with an SMS message saying: “I have no comment. Let’s let security do its job.”

Speaking to PREMIUM TIMES over the phone, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) in Taraba, Usman Abdullahi, said he had not seen the petition.

“I have not yet seen a copy of the petition. Maybe it is still going through the administrative process and action is being taken,” Abdullahi said.

READ ALSO: Gunmen attack villages in Taraba State

Recall that the Minister of Education, Tahir Mamman, recently inaugurated an inter-ministerial committee to investigate foreign universities allegedly awarding fake degrees to Nigerians.

This was after an undercover journalist revealed that he obtained a degree in six weeks from a university in Benin Republic and was mobilized by the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) for one-year mandatory national service.

The investigative panel was asked to examine allegations of extortion of university degrees in both foreign and private universities in Nigeria.

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