One of the presidential aspirants at the forthcoming conference of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ),Chris Isiguzo, has been sacked by THISDAY newspaper.
This could effectively disqualify him from the race as, in the union’s constitution, only those who are employed and actively in practice can run for office.
In a petition sent to the union’s credential committee, Isiguzo had been accused of not having the required qualification, but the committee cleared him.
In the final list of cleared candidates released by the union, Isiguzo, from Enugu council, is sixth with his qualification reading ‘ND Mass Com.’
The national diploma (ND) certificate, dated December 31, 1998, was obtained from the Federal Polytechnic, Oko, and the credentials committee had said was enough requirement to run.
Surprisingly, however, a certificate with reference number FPO/MC/96/76224 dated November 15, 1998 and seen by TheCable, also showed “Isiguzoro Ikechuckwu C” was awarded a higher national diploma (HND) in mass communication from the same institution same year.
That would mean he got his OND and HND the same year.
The certificate, bearing the stamp of the school’s exams and records department, has “Isiguzoro” graduating with cumulative grade points average (CGPA) of 3.28.
Checks by TheCable showed that on November 15, 1998 which the HND certificate was issued fell on a Sunday, which most institutions do not open for administration business.
When he was queried by his employers after the publication by TheCable, Isiguzo reportedly said he only submitted his OND in his application for employment.
He blamed his “political opponents” for “peddling rumours” because of his “popularity”.
However, in his handwritten application over 10 years ago, Isiguzo listed OND and HND as his qualifications.
He was sacked on Tuesday for securing employment with fake credentials.
The NUJ election will hold during the sixth triennial delegates’ conference of the union from October 3-5, 2018 in Abeokuta, Ogun state.
According to the credentials committee, 33 candidates will contest elections to fill national offices of the union.