Togo, Benin Exposé: NANS President Seeks Arrest of Reporter Audu, Says Students Affected By FG’s Ban

Jan 6, 2024 | Entertainment, News

  • The president of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) in Benin Republic, Ugochukwu Favour, has demanded the arrest of journalist Umar Audu
  • earlier reported that Audu recently exposed corruption in the French-speaking country’s certificate issuance process
  • Favour also called for leniency over the ban on validation of degree certificates from Benin and Togo, saying 15,000 Nigerian students are in Benin Republic journalist Ridwan Adeola Yusuf has 9-year experience covering basic and tertiary education in Nigeria and worldwide

Cotonou, Benin Republic – Ugochukwu Favour, the president of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) Benin Republic chapter, has called for the arrest of the reporter, Umar Shehu Audu, who went undercover to expose corruption in the issuance of certificates in the country.

Favour said the fact that Audu participated in the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) twice, and that the journalist allegedly tried to tarnish the image of government agencies warrants his arrest.

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Benin Republic/Cotonou/benin republic university news/benin republic universities accredited in nigeria
The Nigerian government has suspended the accreditation of degree certificates from Benin and Togo. Photos credit: @NigeriaStories
Source: Twitter

The NANS official’s stance followed a report detailing how a degree was acquired from a university in Benin Republic in under two months.

Speaking in an interview on Thursday, January 4, on the Channels TV programme Sunrise Daily, Favour criticised the investigative reporter for having his passport stamped and obtaining certificates without being physically present.

He said:

“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.”

Favour added:

“He has to be arrested. This guy needs to be arrested because, I know, he is 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.”

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15,000 Nigerians will be affected – NAN President

Favour appealed to the Nigerian government to reconsider its position on the suspension of the evaluation and accreditation of certificates from universities in Benin and Togo Republics, Premium Times noted.

Favour, who appealed to the Bola Tinubu administration for leniency, said not less than 15,000 Nigerian students who are currently studying in Benin would be affected if such a decision is taken by the government.

According to him, the Nigerian government shouldn’t punish all students studying in Benin Republic over what he described as a crime committed by a single institution.

His words:

“I have not validated if it has been happening for a long time. This is just what just came out on social media and we are still trying to find out how long it has been happening.”

FG suspends accreditation of degrees from Benin

Earlier, reported that the federal government said it had suspended the evaluation and accreditation of degree certificates from universities in neighbouring Togo and Benin Republic.

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The move was the government’s reaction to an undercover report by an online newspaper that revealed how a Cotonou-based university issued a degree certificate to an investigative journalist within six weeks.

“I never attended any class”: Undercover journalist also reported that Audu narrated how he secured a Bachelor of Science in Mass Communication certificate from the Ecole Superieure de Gestion et de Technologies, Cotonou, Benin Republic.

Audu said he was not issued an admission letter and does not know where the school is located.

Kenya, Uganda degrees may be affected

Meanwhile, amid the scourge of degree mills institutions in Africa, the Tinubu administration said sanctions would be extended to more countries like Kenya, Uganda, and Niger Republic.

This follows the suspension of accreditation and evaluation of degree certificates from Benin Republic and Togo after an exposé that indicted some universities in Cotonou.

Read also

Tinubu’s govt to suspend accreditation of degree certificates from Kenya, Uganda, others

ICPC boss meets Audu

In a piece of related news, reported that the chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC), Musa Aliyu, met with Audu after the latter uncovered fake degrees given by mushroom universities in Benin and Togo.

According to a tweet from the anti-graft agency, while meeting the reporter, the ICPC sought information from him to help the anti-graft agency look into academic fraud.


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