By Abba Gwale
East Carolina University has regretted any embarrassment that might have resulted from the recent controversy regarding the fake appointment of Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje of Kano state to the position of Senior Mentoring Scholar and Visiting Full Professor of e-governance and International Affairs.
This was disclosed by the Kano State Commissioner of Information, Muhammed Garba, in a press briefing today.
According to the commissioner, the apology came as a reply to the letter sent by the government over the issue.
Garba said, the university has acknowledged the governor’s educational accomplishments, and quoted the section where it said that, “you (Ganduje) demonstrate appropriate credentials generally held by those appointed to faculty positions.”
The apology letter was said to be signed by the Interim Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, Dr. B. Grant Hayes.
As quoted by Garba, Gayes said, that the content of the letter earlier sent to the governor was not the intention of the university to cause any embarrassment.”
Kano state government had demanded an apology from the University over the fake professorial appointment that attracted negative comments, in and outside the country, to the governor.
Sahelian Times had exclusively reported how Prof. Mbarika created a fake institution and defrauded Gov. Ganduje with a fake professorial appointment, in active connivance with the governor’s close associates.
As the ignominy of the news that the University of East Carolina in the United States of America (USA) has denied ever appointing Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje of Kano State its visiting professor, details are emerging on how the scam was executed.
Sahelian Times’s investigations revealed that the governor was duped with active connivance of some of his close allies, who introduced Professor Victor Mbarika, a professor with East Carolina University to him.
The academic, as the university has confirmed, independently made the weird professorial appointment to Ganduje, who is, however, desperate to shore up his image which suffered a great deal since the story of his bribe videos scandal emerged.
Mbarika has founded what he called, “International Centre for Information Technology and Development”, with a website address www.icitd.com. Curiously, the website has a banner and emblem of Southern University and A&M, a university in Louisiana.
However, a simple google search would have saved the state government from embarrassment.
“It will only require a basic knowledge of IT to know that a university with the reputation of East Carolina will not use .com as a domain,” an IT expert told Sahelian Times.
Few hours after Sahelian Times sent an email of enquiry about the authenticity of the award, the professor and his group developed another website with address http://demo.fancyread.com/ to cover up their scam.
The new website carries the East Carolina University emblem and address. The website showed that the centre is located at room 349 Slay Hall, next door to Mbarika’s office whose address is room 348 Slay Hall.
The website, however, did not give an email or website address despite being listed under “Our Contact” at the bottom of the site, it only has a phone number.
Names like: Senator Barrister Ike Ekweremadu, Olukoya Ogen, Shettima Abdulkadir Saidu, Azeez Olaniyan were found listed as “visiting Professors” to the center.
Sahelian Times gathered that, the professor allegedly didn’t not find it difficult to convince the governor to rise to his bait.
This is not the first time, the governor was allegedly duped by African- Americans residing in the United States, as he was once said to have been scammed by a group who awarded him US citizenship.