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Nigerian national tricks his way to a Ph.D. using a fake MBA

Nigerian national used a fake MBA to obtain phd

Nigerian national Edwin Ijeoma has been embroiled in a scam involving the University of Pretoria and the University of Fort Hare, where he received his PhD thereafter using fictitious credentials to gain admission.

Fort Hare hired Cape Town-based Horizons Forensics to look into all of Ijeoma’s credentials, and the company’s damning forensic investigation report has provided a window into the scandal.

In 2003, Ijeoma (who is a Nigerian national)received a PhD in Public Administration from the University of Pennsylvania for his dissertation, “Policy and governance issues impacting Nigeria’s globalisation initiative.”

However, despite the foregoing, Ijeoma’s admission into the PhD programme is on very shaky ground, according to the damning report seen by News24. He doesn’t seem to have any formal academic training that would support entering a PhD programme.

Ijeoma used a fake Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Marketing from a phoney US university to ensure he was accepted at the University of Pretoria for a PhD programme, according to Part 1 of the report, which was published last year.

Fort Hare requested that Horizon Forensics conduct Part 2 of the investigation in order to confirm the validity of the remaining qualifications of Ijeoma as a result of this discovery.

According to the most recent report, the team conducted in-depth research, examined data from earlier investigations, and verified qualifications and institutional accreditation.

The report’s conclusion was that Ijeoma’s alleged 1984 receipt of a Diploma in Banking Finance from Nigeria’s National College of Advanced Studies (UNICAS), ABA, was a fake.

It mentioned that on February 9, 1984, UNICAS was shut down by executive order.

The report noted that the Nigerian national’s purported 1985 receipt of a Higher Certificate (single subject) in Banking and Commerce from the London Chamber of Commerce (LCC) could not be independently verified because Ijeoma could not give his consent. The report made clear that it had no impact on the conclusions.

Ijeoma was mentioned as having a BSc with honours in business management and a “PGD” in theology in 2015, but “these credentials are fake,” the report claimed.

The report also attested to Ijeoma receiving a PhD in Public Administration from UP in 2003.

“We recommend that the University [UFH] write to UP [University of Pretoria] and inform them of these findings, and request their comment,” the report read. “Ijeoma does not have a Diploma in Banking Finance or an MBA Degree.

“There appears to be no academic basis for Ijeoma’s admission to the PhD programme,” it continued.

The Nigerian national (Ijeoma) reportedly used his PhD qualification status to gain employment and promotions at the University of Fort Hare.

Due to allegations that he improperly registered former Eastern Cape MEC Sindiswa Gomba for an Honours in Public Administration, Fort Hare placed Ijeoma on precautionary suspension in October 2020.

Ijeoma left her position in February 2021 while she was still on leave. On the basis of allegations resembling Gomba’s, UFH deregistered Eastern Cape Premier Oscar Mabuyane from a master’s programme a month later.

Nigerian national Ijeoma supervised Mabuyane’s thesis.

He was found guilty of all charges after the university continued the disciplinary hearing after he resigned.

Since then, more than 20 individuals, including politicians and government employees, have been expelled from Fort Hare in relation to the alleged degree of fraud allegedly run by the Nigerian national.

The first part of the report claimed that Ijeoma’s MBA, which he claimed to have received from the now-defunct Kensington University (KU) in Hawaii’s Honolulu, is a fake because it was allegedly awarded to him in 1995, a year before the institution was actually registered.

The university was never an accredited institution of higher learning that awarded degrees, the report continues.

The Nigerian national was most likely accepted to study for his PhD at the University of Pretoria on the basis of the dubious MBA, according to the report.

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Invoking the Protection of Personal Information (POPI) Act, the University of Pretoria previously declined to comment on the situation involving one of its former students.

Delport responded on Friday morning, saying, “We will review the verification process that was used on his admission to the PhD programme and will determine further steps based on the outcome of said process.

He declared that UP took the accusations seriously and that they would “take every necessary step to safeguard the integrity of our credentials.”

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Delport continued, “We will, if necessary, act in accordance with Section 65 of the Higher Education Act No 102 of 1997 and withdraw and revoke the degree that was obtained as a result of a fraudulent or dishonest act.

JP Roodt, a spokesman for the University of Fort Hare, also cited the POPI act in his decision to keep quiet.

Both Ijeoma and his attorney were unavailable for comment.

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