By Farooq Kperogi
I woke up to the news that the national leadership of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has finally officially endorsed what I’ve proved conclusively in a series of articles: that Isa Ali Ibrahim’s appointment as “professor” of cybersecurity at the Federal University of Technology, Owerri, is fraudulent, unmerited, a crying violation of well-established protocols, and should be rescinded forthwith.
ASUU should be thanked because I can guarantee anyone reading this that they must have resisted enormous financial and political pressures to publicize this.
I know this because Pantami and his PR team have expended millions of naira to bribe journalists to not expose his fraud, to cajole random unprincipled academics to endorse it, to purchase the silence of people who should talk, and to wheedle bloggers and “social media influencers” to defend it.
Given my relationship with him, he probably didn’t expect that I’d be the one to unmask his multi-layered fraudfessorial dissimulation. (And for idiots who say I exposed him out of “hassada,” i.e., envy, I’m already a legitimate full professor at a legitimate university. Why should I “envy” someone who is using childishly shameful, reputationally injurious scam tactics to get what I already have?)
I’m doing this, whether or not anyone believes me, in the interest of truth, decency, and a desire to preserve what remains of the idea of the university in Nigeria.
I won’t talk about what I know of the disgracefully shady, behind-the-scenes corruption that Pantami perpetrated to get FUTO to defy its own longstanding regulations to confer an unearned professorship on him, but the facts will soon be out when the dust of this daylight fraudfessorial heist settles.
It suffices for now to just reveal that three northern universities that Pantami had begged (with plenty of money and political pressure) to make him “professor” declined him outright.
They couldn’t defend making a former assistant professor at a Saudi university (roughly equivalent to a senior lecturer or a Lecturer I) NOT IN THEIR EMPLOY a professor WHILE he’s a minister who WON’T be teaching or researching at the schools.
That tells you something about the cash-and-carry character of FUTO. Would FUTO agree to make a random person in Abuja with no political connection and no desire to relocate to Owerri to teach but who has a PhD and resigned as a senior lecturer at a foreign university a “professor” just like that?
Plus, FUTO’s job ad for the position of professor, which can be found on their website, to which Pantami supposedly applied, says the candidate must have at least 12 years of post-PhD teaching experience. Pantami has only 7, 4 of which are in government.
His entire university teaching experience is also fewer than 10 years.
Would FUTO appoint a random person in Abuja with less than 10 years of post-PhD experience and just 10 poorly written articles published in fraudulent, pay-to-play journals as a professor in absentia?
A senior professor who followed my uncovering of Pantami’s professorial fraud said he was convinced that Pantami is more mentally ill than fraudulent. I said I think he is both.
A religious leader who is addressed by the respected title of “Sheikh” who goes out of his way to bribe and bludgeon universities into calling him a “professor” even when he KNOWS he doesn’t deserve it is CLEARLY sick.
But it’s even more sick that shortly after his FUTO fraudfessorial appointment, he caused every agency under the ministry of communication and digital economy to hang a new portrait of him with the title “Professor” affixed to his name!
Then he wrote to all the agencies in his ministry and requested them to henceforth address him as “Professor Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami”! I kid you not. How more sick can one person be?
This man’s sickness is clearly high and deep. That’s why he won’t give up. Expect him to further bribe, intimidate, or coax the unprincipled and easily purchasable fraudsters at FUTO to issue a statement saying ASUU has no right to rescind Pantami’s professorial appointment.
Kperogi writes from the US