Certificate scandal: Onu made 10 attempts to dissolve FIIRO board – Chairman


THE Board Chairman of the Federal Institute of Industrial Research, Oshodi, Alhaji Ibrahim Gwarzo, has opened up on the battle between the board and the Minister of Science and Technology, Dr Onu Ogbonnaya, during the certificate scandal that recently rocked the institute.

Gwarzo said 10 attempts by Ogbonnaya to dissolve the board were rebuffed by the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.).

The chairman spoke on Thursday at the Third Gani Fawehinmi Impact and Integrity Awards at Ikeja, where he won the Outstanding Integrity Award for his handling of the matter.

He beat the Borno State Governor, Prof. Babagana Zulum, to the prize.

The PUNCH had followed happenings at FIIRO since 2019 when a former acting Director-General of the institute, Chima Igwe, was involved in a controversy over his doctorate from a varsity in Benin Republic.

After Igwe was indicted by the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission, he was removed by the FIIRO governing board.

Further investigations by the board led to Igwe’s demotion, as he was discovered to have fraudulently gained promotion with the phantom PhD for 18 years.

However, the institute’s supervisory minister, Ogbonnaya, made several attempts to reinstate the disgraced DG.

When all the attempts failed, the minister asked the Presidency to dissolve the board, as he accused the chairman of insubordination.

Gwarzo, who was surrounded by board members and directors at FIIRO while receiving the Gani Fawehinmi award, thanked the President for standing by the board.

He said, “We were petitioned under this certificate saga in 10 different places and stages. He was asking Mr President to dissolve the board, which he didn’t do magnanimously because we were asked to comment. Punch


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