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10 months after, Nigeria Broadcasting Commission suspends staff with forged certificate

Emeka Mba
Ten months after evidence of certificate forgery by a staff of the National Broadcasting Commission, Caroline Animan, was established, the management of the regulatory agency has suspended the staff, PREMIUM TIMES has learnt.
The action followed a PREMIUM TIMES’ exclusive report of March 6, exposing the certificate forgery scandal over which the management was dilly-dallying.
The Head of Public Affairs of the commission, Awwalu Saliu, confirmed Ms. Animan’s suspension.

Mr. Awwalu, however, said final decision on the matter had not been taken by the management.
The NBC had in a letter to PREMIUM TIMES confirmed the report and stated that, “The final action to be taken if the officer concerned were to be found guilty would be quite weighty, and does not call for a hasty decision”.
“Ordinarily, public service matters are not treated in the public domain, but in view of the manner this has been blown out, we would be obliged to update you as soon as we resolve the case properly,” the letter further read.
Ms. Animan, a confidential secretary at NBC, said to have been an employee of the Commission for over 20 years, presented a forged National Diploma certificate in Secretarial Studies purportedly issued by Moshood Abiola Polytechnic, Abeokuta, Ogun State (formerly Ogun State Polytechnic).
But the institution eventually confirmed the “certificate” as fake, following an official investigation and document verification by the NBC.
The Principal Assistant Registrar (Exams and Records) of the Polytechnic, Olusegun Ogunpola, through a letter titled: “Re: Request for Document Verification: Carolene U. Umelue” dated June 23, 2014 categorically said the certificate was fake.
Then a report titled “Re: Report On Document Verification: Statement Of Result Presented By Caroline Animan (Mrs)” was sent to the Director General of the NBC through the Zonal Director, Ibadan Zone, on June 24, 2014.
The report indicted Ms. Animan and recommended she be ultimately dismissed after facing appropriate disciplinary committee, in line with Public Service Rules. It attached the letter from the Polytechnic and the forged certificate marked “fake” by Mr. Ogunpola of the Exams and Records of the institution.
The correspondences quoted above were exclusively obtained published by PREMIUM TIMES.
According to the report, Nigeria’s public service rule considers the presentation of forged credentials a case of gross (serious) misconduct for which erring officials should be punished with dismissal, once the allegations are proven.
In its recommendations, the report held that Ms. Animan’s offence is criminal, and that the Commission is therefore statutorily obliged to report her to the police and/ or the Independent Corrupt Practices and related offences Commission for criminal prosecution.
However, Ms. Animan has not been reported to any security agency for criminal prosecution.
The NBC Public Affairs officer, Mr. Awwalu, said every public organisation has its peculiar disciplinary mechanism which “guides its responses to a situation like this,” adding that “moreover the matter has not been concluded”.
Ms. Animan was investigated following noticeable poor work output, insiders at NBC told PREMIUM TIMES.
The NBC then directed that the document with which she secured employment with government be verified through a letter with reference number NBC/SPF/272/Vol: III/60, dated June 16, 2014.
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