A certificate racketeering scandal in Kaduna State-owned Nuhu Bamalli Polytechnic came to public glare when a beneficiary of the fake certificate was identified during a verification exercise.
Findings by Daily Trust revealed that when the beneficiary was caught, he named a certain senior officer at the institution who facilitated issuance of the fake result.
One of the 25 members of staff arrested in connection with the fraud told our correspondent that he was invited by a committee set up by the institution to investigate the matter.
He said under condition of anonymity: “When I went to face the committee, the boy with the fake certificate was also paraded. He told the committee that I was not the one who gave him the fake certificate but that he only gave me money to give to the person who issued the certificate.
“The boy actually gave me money but I don’t know what it was meant for. He just told me to give the money to the person who gave him the certificate. I didn’t know what was between them.”
Daily Trust also found that all the 25 persons earlier arrested are now back to their duty posts. However, it was also learnt that the rector’s decision to make the case public did not go down well with many stakeholders.
A lecturer said institutions don’t admit such scandals in public in order to protect their image and the sanctity of their certificates and that of their graduates.
He added: “It was a wrong decision to go public with such a scandal because people can begin to doubt all our certificates including the genuine ones. We ought to have dealt with that issue internally by retrieving all the dictated fake results. It is even better to issue a disclaimer on those fake results than to tell the public that some of our certificates in circulation are fake. We have seen what happened recently when a senator was accused of having a fake certificate. The institution in question publicly denied that.”
The Rector of the Polytechnic, Professor Shehu Dalhatu, who disclosed the arrest of the 25 suspects, did not respond to enquiries from our correspondent for an update.
However, in an earlier media interview, Professor Dalhatu said the allegation of certificate forgery had been going on and that prompted the institution to carry out an investigation.
He added: “We heard stories all along that our certificates and statements of result are now so cheap in the market. We got a report which we internally decided to investigate. After the investigation, we established that some of our staff were involved. We discovered that one person who is also involved is neither our student nor member of staff.” He said as facts continued to emerge, those found guilty would be sanctioned in accordance with the laws of the institution and the country.
Dalhatu said the investigation had generated a lot of interest from within and outside the polytechnic.
He added: “I’ve been threatened, I’ve been maligned. Somebody told me that some people contributed N40,000 each to be used for a trip to Kano to dig out my history whether I have any scandal to publicise.
“As far as I am concerned, we are not doing this to witch-hunt or expose anybody but this is the best way we can protect and project the image of the polytechnic. I want to assure that the management is making frantic efforts to identify the sources of these certificates in order to stop it. I therefore wish to appeal for maximum support and cooperation from staff of the institution to enable the management reform the system.”
The Divisional Police Officer, Danmagaji Zaria told our correspondent that only one person was handed over to them in connection with the case and the person was later granted bail.