Akinola Olaolu

Why we let him go – Oduduwa varsity VC

The University of Lagos, Akoka, says the embattled rector of Igbajo Polytechnic, Igbajo, Osun State, Akinola Olaolu, did not obtain a Bachelor of Science Degree in Economics from the institution, Punch reports

The Principal Assistant Registrar, Communications Unit, University of Lagos, Mrs Taiwo Oloyede, said the institution did not have a record of him.

This is just as Prof. Chibuzo Nwoke, the Vice-Chancellor of Oduduwa University, Ipetumodu, Ile Ife, Osun State, where the rector worked in 2012, said Olaolu’s credentials were fraudulent.

He noted that Olaolu left the institution over the questionable credentials.

Both Oloyede and Nwoke spoke on Wednesday while responding to enquiries from our correspondent.

Recall that there was a crisis at the Igbajo Polytechnic, a community-owned tertiary institution in Osun State, over the PhD certificate of the rector.

Our correspondent reported that Olaolu came into the school in December 2015 as a deputy rector to the former rector, Tanimowo Oke.

However, because Olaolu claimed to have a PhD in Economics from the University of Ibadan, his arrival reportedly led to the removal of Oke, who had a master’s degree as of then.

More than eight months after his arrival, he was reported to have refused to produce his purported PhD certificate, as he submitted only a notification of result to obtain the job.

When our reporter contacted the UI with a copy of the notification of result, the Director of Public Communications, Mr Olatunji Oladejo, said the varsity had no record of the rector.

The UI spokesperson said Olaolu’s purported matriculation number was fraudulent, adding that he did not have any record in the school’s thesis bank.

The rector’s purported thesis supervisor, Prof. Ademola Ariyo, also told PUNCH Metro that there was no record of Olaolu in the Department of Economics where he claimed to have bagged the doctorate.

When our correspondent confronted the rector with UI’s position on the notification of result, he said he had just obtained his certificate from the school.

Our correspondent obtained a copy of the alleged certificate through a source and sent it to UI for verification.

The university’s spokesperson, Oladejo, said the school’s vice-chancellor, registrar and the head of the postgraduate school had seen the document, adding that it was fraudulent.

One of those who reacted to the report, Williams Abiodun Ajayi, the Legal Adviser and Secretary to the Board of Trustees, Oduduwa University, said he knew the rector.

He said, “Fake result indeed. I know Mr Akinola Olaolu very well. He does not have any certificate. It is not only his PhD that is fake; even his B.Sc and Msc Economics are fake. It was because of this that he left Oduduwa Univesity, Ile Ife. He has only B.Sc in Biology. He should be arrested immediately. If the management of the school is in doubt, they should contact me.”

Our correspondent got a copy of Olaolu’s purported curriculum vitae, in which he truly claimed to have worked at the Oduduwa University as an associate professor at the Department of Economics and Business Administration, among other claims.

Although Ajayi had yet to respond to an enquiry from our correspondent on a professional networking platform, LinkedIn, the Oduduwa varsity VC, Nwoke, confirmed that Olaolu worked in the school.

He, however, said he resigned some months after his employment.

He said, “He was not an associate professor. He was employed in 2012 but we discovered that the first degree in Economics, the masters and PhD… all of them were fake.

“When he knew that the system was on him, he resigned. His letter of resignation of appointment, which is before me now, read, ‘In view of the difficulties I have had and still have in presenting appropriate certifications for Economics, I hereby resign my appointment with effect from October 2012.’

“At one time, he claimed that he had a PhD from South Africa and another from somewhere else. But we discovered that his certificates were signed on Sunday. I don’t think he spent up to a year here.”

Nwoke said while applying for the job at the school, Olaolu claimed to have had a B.Sc in Economics (University of Lagos) in 1983; a Postgraduate Diploma in Finance and Accounting (University of Jos) in 1987; a Master of Business Administration (University of Ibadan) in 1996; a Master of Science in Economics (University of Ibadan) 1998; and a PhD in Business Administration (University of South Africa) in view.

The credentials and dates tallied with the CV in our correspondent’s possession.

Also, a copy of Olaolu’s B.Sc in Economics notification of result, which was obtained by our correspondent, was sent to UNILAG for verification.

The school’s spokesperson, Oloyede, denied him.

“It has been verified from our records that Dr O.A. Olaolu did not graduate from the University of Lagos. Thank you,” a text message she sent to our correspondent on Wednesday read.

The Director of Public Communications, University of Ibadan, Oladejo, said his institution was checking its records to ascertain if the MBA and M.Sc claims were true.

Our reporter is still awaiting responses from the University of Oxford, where he allegedly claimed to have obtained a General Certificate of Education Examination in January 1972; and the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), where he allegedly claimed to have attained professional level in January 1994.

Meanwhile, our correspondent learnt that some policemen attached to the Osun State Police Command demanded N10,000 to travel to UI to investigate the PhD claim.

A source said the police insisted that without the money, they would not do anything on the case.

The state Police Public Relations Officer, Folashade Odoro, who had been repeatedly contacted by our correspondent, said she was still not aware of the case.

“It is when I am informed that I can talk. Nobody has told me anything,” she said.

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