The President of the National Association of Nigerian Students for Benin Republic, Ugochukwu Favour, has urged for the arrest of the reporter, Umar Audu, who conducted an undercover investigation to expose corruption in the issuance of certificates in the country.
Speaking in an interview on the Channels TV programme Sunrise Daily on Thursday, Favour criticized the reporter for having his passport stamped and acquiring certificates without being physically present.
“Your passport was stamped while you were not available there. Now, and that aside, this guy served in 2019. And he still served again in 2023,” he said.
The NANS president asserted that the reporter was implicating the government and questioning the credibility of agencies like the National Youth Service Corps and the Immigration by going undercover.
“He has to be arrested. This guy needs to be arrested because, I know, he’s a reporter who is trying to clear out some things, but on that note, you are trying to implicate some persons now because, in a sense, you’re trying to implicate the government, the NYSC and the immigration,” he said.
When asked by the interviewer if the efforts of the reporter exposed loopholes that should be addressed, Favour said, “I’m not doubting that, but then since this is out already, I want to urge the government to look into it and take the necessary steps as fast as possible,” he responded.
Recall that Musa Adamu Aliyu, the Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), had invited the reporter who exposed the alleged degree certificate fraud in some neighbouring nations to a meeting at the agency’s headquarters.
The reporter’s investigation into Ecole Supérieure de Gestion et de Technologies, ESGT, in Cotonou revealed a concerning situation where degrees are allegedly awarded to individuals in as little as six weeks, bypassing standard academic procedures like application, registration, coursework, and examinations.
The anti-graft agency, in a statement signed by the ICPC Director of Press, Azuka Ogugua, said that the reporter’s invitation was to discuss the story published on December 30 on the alleged corrupt practices at a Cotonou university.