The story by online newspaper, Premium Times, alleging that Nigeria’s Minister of Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu’s academic claim of First Class being false, has been clarified by him.
In a response by the ministry on his behalf and signed by Idang Alibi Director, Press Ministry of Petroleum Resources, the Minister stated that he neither misrepresented facts nor made the claims written in the publication.
In the publication titled “FACTCHECK: Document shows Kachikwu lied about graduating with First Class in Law”, it claimed that the Minister misrepresented information about obtaining a First Class Degree from the prestigious University of Nigeria Nsukka, drawing conclusion from a presentation done at Commonwealth of Zion Assembly (COZA) Abuja and posted on YouTube.
Responding to the story, Kachikwu noted that his CV which has been submitted to various levels of government has always been “Second Class Honours (Upper Division) degree” from the Faculty of Law in the University of Nigeria, Nsukka where he graduated as best student in 1978. In addition, no First Class Honours were awarded by UNN that year. However, he was on the list for best graduands with Second Class Upper Honours for that year.
Enumerating further, the former Texaco legal boss affirmed his claim as the best graduating student in the Nigerian Law School in the year 1979 (the first in class) with multiple prizes (winning 5 out of all 7 prizes given).
“In 1979, the Nigerian Law School had not begun a process of classifying its certificates. That begun (sic) many years later. However best graduands have subsequently now been classified in the First Class category by the Law School”, he noted.
During his days in Harvard University, which appears in his CV, he stated that he was a Distinction graduate for the Master’s degree programme (First in Class) and that he obtained his SJD in a record time of one and a half years.
“The various academic awards received during his education days are clearly spelt out in his CV/Resume”, the statement read.
According to Premium Times, Kachikwu also pushed the First Class claim on his Wikipedia Page. Refuting the story, the Minister noted that the page cannot be referenced as an authentic source for verification of facts, as anyone can clearly edit it, which was found to have been “re-edited recently by persons unknown to him and to us”.
“On the presentation made at the Commonwealth of Zion Assembly (COZA) cited by Premium Times, the substance of his assertions was to the effect that he had a first class performance in school and was emphasizing on the need for hard work amongst youths to get them to the top of their game”, the statement added.
Kachikwu, who’s the immediate past Group Managing Director of the NNPC has worked at the highest level of the Oil and Gas industry globally for over 3 decades and indeed lectured at respectable global institutions like University of Ife, Nigerian Law School and Harvard Law School.