Halilu Abba, a director of administration at Adamawa State Health Services Management Board, did not study for a master’s degree at the Adamawa State University (ADSU).
Instead, Abba forged ADSU’s Masters in Public Administration (MPA) to earn him his present position, SaharaReporters can report.
The board coordinates all secondary-level hospitals in the state and health institutions, including College of Health Technology and College of Nursing and Midwifery.
The board is also responsible for the recruitment of doctors, nurses and all other health processionals.
Abba, who doubles as the ward head of Karewa, a highbrow neighbourhood, reserved for the top echelons of the state’s civil service, parades a purported MPA from ADSU.
But the university has denied awarding him the degree, following a petition to the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) on the forged MPA.
According to his official credentials which SaharaReporters obtained, the purported MPA, signed by one Ishaku Abubakar, a deputy registrar of ADSU, was awarded on June 4, 2013.
Abba obtained a statement of results of the MPA, submitted same to health board and was promoted to grade level 16 and subsequently appointed a director.
A first degree or a postgraduate diploma (PGD) is the minimum requirement for promotion to directorate cadre as enshrined in the scheme of service for civil servants in Adamawa.
The position of the law is that both the criminal and penal codes that apply in the southern and northern parts of Nigeria prohibit forgery.
Section 463 of the criminal code, provides for three years imprisonment for forgery while sections 362 to 364 of the penal code deals with forgery with the punishment of up to 14 years imprisonment with an option of fine or both.
HOW ABBA GOT INTO TROUBLE
Going by his date of birth, (September 2, 1969), Abba started his civil service career at the age of 18 on January 13, 1988 as a laboratory attendant. He was upgraded to assistant executive on January 1, 1991 (being a public holiday though), after presenting a certificate in Personnel Administration from Adamawa Polytechnic.
He later rose to become executive officer in 1993 after bagging a diploma in Public Administration from his alma mater.
Trouble started when a report by the Establishment Committee, recommending Abba for promotion to level 16, thus qualifying for the post of director of administration, was released. The report showed that Abba obtained a PGD at an undisclosed institution in 2011, as well as MPA from ADSU in 2013.
This explains why six years after he purportedly obtained the MPA, Abba could not produce the original certificate of the degree.
Following the committee’s recommendation, Abba was made a director, preferred over two officers who have m’ster’s degrees, as well as his seniors in the service.
SaharaReporters’ findings revealed that the two officers first raised the alarm questioning not just the impropriety of his rapid promotion, but also his academic qualifications
The duo’s outcry was ignored.
In addition to this, Abba, according to some staffs, betrayed illiteracy, by allegedly hiring someone to help to write minutes and treat official files.
“I can swear to you that our director of admin cannot write the simplest of all sentences,” a staff who spoke on the condition of anonymity said.
ICPC STEPPED IN
ICPC was at this point petitioned to investigate, particularly the MPA Abbo parades.
Meanwhile, the state university has denied outright that it awarded the certificate to Abba.
However, the university acknowledged that the only document linked to Abba’s name in its records is a 2012 admission letter to study for MPA.