The daughter of Ehionzuwa Johnson Agbonayinma, a member of the House of Representatives representing Egor/Ikpoba-okha of Edo State, has been sacked by the National Pension Commission (PenCom) after working in the agency for three years.
Deborah Agbonayinma was sacked on February 27, 2019 after a certificate verification exercise conducted by the Commission showed she secured employment with fake university degrees.
Before her sack, Agbonayinma had worked with PenCom for three years having been employed since 2016 after presenting alleged fake foreign and local university degree certificates.
A top source at PenCom who confirmed her sack said the certificate verification exercise showed that the two university certificates in her file were fake.
Her father is a serving member of the House of Reps who is also the Chairman of the Adhoc Committee probing the operations of PenCom.
It is believed that the probe is a way of hitting back at the management of the Commission for the sack of the member’s daughter.
Agbonayinma’s curriculum vitae states that she obtained a B.Sc degree in Accountancy with certificate number 12129 on August 8, 2012 from Irish University Business School(IUBS) located on 219 Bow Road, London E3 2SJ.
Her CV also showed that she served as an Accountant in the Ministry of Finance, Budget and Economic Development in Edo State during her Student’s Industrial Work Experience Scheme (Scheme) from June 2008 to November 2008 one year after she was enrolled to study Accountancy in London in 2007.
But the verification committee found that no such university existed as a valid UK degree awarding institution.
Further searches also revealed that the University is not recognized as a valid degree awarding body and a member of the committee confirmed that the address listed as that of the institution is a construction site.
The Open database website for new property developments and buildings in London, UK shows that the supposed location of the school is on an ongoing residential project of 89 flats on the 219-221 Bow Road, London E3 2SJ.
Additional information on the website revealed that before the new projects, there were “deteriorating warehouses on the site” and in December 2015, Planning Permission was granted for demolition of existing buildings and erection of four blocks of four, five and six storey buildings to provide 89 dwellings together with ancillary parking and landscaping.
In 2009, the ‘university’ was enmeshed in a scandal as it was said to be a virtual one with no existing structure in the UK.
Reports also show that Dr Jeffrey Wooller, the promoter of the school, has been accused of being in the “shabby business of offering bogus degrees”.
A BBC report quoted Dr Wooler as describing the IUBS as a “virtual reality organization”.
The BBC report indicated that Dr Wooller said he “dished out” certificates to students in Malaysia because they appreciated seeing a white face.
He later explained that students from Nigeria were “not bothered who issues degrees… it does not matter to them. So long as it says degree, that’s it”.
When a reporter called the former PenCom staff on telephone on Thursday, someone picked the call and asked who was calling.
When she was told it’s a reporter, she gave the phone to another lady who simply said: “You cannot speak with Deborah now,” and cut the call.
Agbonayinma’s certificate scandal had actually been brewing for nearly three years until the issue was finally resolved last month.
nassnews learnt that during a similar verification exercise under the former Director General of the Commission, Mrs. Chinelo Anohu-Amazu, her certificates were suspected to be fake, but no action was taken.
But the suspicion forced her to procure another degree in Accountancy which she brought to the Commission as a replacement from Olabisi Onabanjo University, which the University also disclaimed as fake.
A further probe of the documents showed that the Accountancy degree with 09083854 as a matriculation number was not listed as part of her academic qualifications in the original curriculum vitae submitted to PenCom, when she was employed.
The Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU), in Ogun State, in a letter dated February 6, 2019 and signed by the University’s Principal Assistant Registrar in charge of Exams and Records, Mrs. O. L. Kaka, informed PenCom that Agbonayinma’s academic records and transcripts were fake.