The Human and Environmental Development Agenda (HEDA) has asked the federal government to prosecute Chima Igwe, former acting director-general of the Federal Institute of Industrial Research, Oshodi, Lagos state (FIIRO).
In a statement on Sunday, Olanrewaju Suraju, HEDA chairman, said the organisation in its petition to Abubakar Malami, attorney-general of the federation (AGF), gave the federal government a 30-day ultimatum to bring the former FIIRO chief to justice.
In February, Igwe was sacked over a certificate scandal. The former acting DG claimed he obtained a PhD from the Universite d’Abomey-Calavi, Benin Republic, but he reportedly did not have a certificate for it.
TheCable had reported how Igwe failed to present his PhD certificate 17 years after submitting a letter of attestation from the university. He has been replaced with Agnes Asagbra as acting director-general.
Suraju said Igwe’s failure to produce his certificate amounts to felony.
“There cannot be two laws for poor and rich Nigerians. Ordinary people who forged documents are jailed. The rich should not be spared. Mr Igwe till date has not justified that he earned a Ph.D. He has been sacked by the Federal Government,” the HEDA chairman said.
“That action is not enough. He has to explain to Nigerians whether he actually earned a Ph.D or not. It was on the basis of his so called Ph.D that he earned salaries and privileges from the public resources for 17 years.
“We hereby demand the immediate prosecution of the former Acting Director-General of Federal Institute of Industrial Research, Oshodi, Mr. Chima Igwe, within 30 days from the receipt of this petition. And in the event that our request is not acceded to within the slated time frame, we shall not hesitate to institute an action before a court of competent jurisdiction to compel the discharge of your constitutional duties, as related to this matter.”