US Varsity Don Scams Ganduje, as Institution Denies Appointing Governor Visiting Prof
The East Carolina University (ECU) in the US has distanced itself from the purported appointment of Kano State governor, Abdullahi Ganduje, as a visiting professor.
It is now feared that the governor may have been scammed by a member of the university’s staff.
The media in Nigeria was agog with the news of Ganduje’s appointment on Tuesday following a press release by Ganduje’s spokesman, Abba Anwar late Monday.
Anwar’s release quoted the appointment letter thus: “Congratulations! The Academic Board of International Center for Information Technology and Development, College of Business, USA, is pleased to inform you that you have been appointed as Senior Mentoring Scholar and Visiting Full Professor of E-Governance and International Affairs.”
Nigerian Sketch did not report the appointment but wrote to the university management on Wednesday requesting for authentication of the appointment, a request the university did not officially respond to.
“There has been in circulation a news item that your institution, the East Carolina University, has appointed the governor of Kano State, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, as a visiting instructor”, Nigerian Sketch wrote in a letter that was copied to Victor Mbarika who signed the appointment letter.
“In view of the way that fake news fly around these days, we make it a policy to verify every verifiable news item before we publish.
“Kindly avail us of any information that will help us authenticate the news”, the medium wrote.
However, the university, through its Interim Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, B. Grant Hayes, has sent a letter to Ganduje to say, among other things that “It has been brought to my attention that you received a letter from a faculty member dated November 30, 2020, that appeared to offer an unpaid appointment in the “International Center for IT and Development” at East Carolina University College of Business.
“I must inform you that the letter you received from Dr. Victor Mbarika, on November 30, 2020 does not convey an authorized offer of appointment or establish any position of scholar or professor at East Carolina University (“ECU”). Only the Chancellor, myself, or another official identified in ECU’s published statement on Delegation of Contracting Authority for the Division of Academic Affairs may authorize or sign appointment letters under which faculty are employed. Dr. Mbarika is not such an official.”
The university however failed to make it clear if was aware of the first letter appointing Ganduje as visiting professor at the time it was sent to the governor, nor did it explain the role of the conveyor of the university’s appointment letter, Victor Mbarika, who is said to be a lecturer of International Center for IT and Development at East Carolina University College of Business.
Even though reports said the university confirmed that Mr Mbarika was its faculty member, the institution only said he had no authority to make such appointment.
It’s not clear why the university was silent on the issue after it was published widely and after letters were sent to it to clarify the appointment.
Is Dr. Mbarika a scammer who has successfully duped Ganduje in the name of the university? Now that he has been exposed, what measure would the university take?
Those are questions that beg for answers.