Probe IGP’s ‘Fake’ doctorate degree – Academics
Two Ghanaian academics have waded into the controversy surrounding what they call the ‘questionable’ doc- toral degrees of the disquali- fied All People’s Congress (APC) flag bearer, Hassan Ayariga. They are also insist- ing that the Criminal Investi- gations Department (CID) of the Ghana Police Service cannot gloss over a similar ‘fake’ doctorate degree al- legedly conferred on the In- spector General of Police John Kudalor, if the police have to investigate Hassan Ayariga who has been re- ported by the Electoral Com- mission (EC).
The two dons, Prosper Yao Tsikata, PhD (Assistant Pro- fessor of Communication) and A. Kobla Dotse, PhD (Director, Chemical Research & Development) are saying that, looking at the circum- stances surrounding the issue, the CID might not even have the capacity to investigate Hassan Ayariga.
A statement they jointly issued last week following publication about Ayariga’s certificate stated, “The only lingering doubts in our minds about the CID expediting action on this case are in multi- ple folds. First, does the investigative arm of the Ghana Police Service have the capacity to investigate this issue effectively? This naturally leads to the second question. Even if they do, would the same proceedings apply to its head, the IGP (Dr) John Kudalor?”
John Kudalor reportedly travelled to the United States to pick the degree from US- based Dayspring Christian University, a school not rec- ognized by Ghana’s National Accreditation Board (NAB). He has since been using the title, having organized a thanksgiving service for it. The Dayspring Christian University is one of four universities listed by NAB as not meeting the Board’s accreditation criteria.
The Accreditation Board subsequently warned the public against such universities after they have conferred honorary degrees on some high-rank- ing individuals in the country. According to Messrs Prosper Yao Tsikata and A. Kobla Dotse, the time has come for the Minister of Education, Prof. Jane Naana Opoku Agyemang, to act swiftly and “not sit back and watch the education system get infil- trated with these fake degree holders, especially those who are using the fake degrees to teach and get tenure and pro- motions as professors in our universities.”
They said the NAB declared some institutions as unac- credited and unworthy to issue higher degrees such as PhDs, but a state-owned newspaper as well as prominent private radio stations celebrated such individuals and their questionable awards saying, “What these institu- tions and their managers fail to realize is the fact that the negative impacts these acts have on our reward and hon- our systems can be far-reach- ing.” Digging into Hassan Ayariga’s ‘fake’ degrees, the dons said, “In our appraisals of materials on Ghanaians who flaunt questionable doc- toral degrees, we came upon the Great Achievers Institute of Theology and Seminary, located in Spain. From avail- able artifacts, (Dr. Dr.) Has- san Ayariga received a doctorate degree (honoris causa) from this university. He also received a PhD from the Atlantic International University in Hawaii.” According to them, Hassan Ayariga insisted in radio and TV interviews that he must be addressed a doctor, adding, “Since honorary doc- torate holders are not nor- mally entitled to be referenced as such in public communication, we turned our attention to his so-called earned PhD from the Atlantic International University. “Our view was that it must be the institution that gave him the gravitas to insist on being addressed a doctor. However, this is where the problem is. The NAB declares the Atlantic International Univer- sity unaccredited to confer doctoral degrees in Ghana. Rightly so, the Atlantic Inter- national University is a diploma mill.”
“Now, for (Dr. Dr.) Hassan Ayariga to turn round to say that his PhD in Political Sci- ence was conferred on him by the Great Achievers Institute of Theology and Seminary, we can only think of the in- consistency of his own infor- mation, first, before delving into issues of accreditation, course content, and the recog- nition he so badly needs to project himself politically.” The dons said that while it was a step in the right direc- tion that the EC had referred the case to the CID, those canvassing for the reinstate- ment of disqualified presi- dential candidates, including Hassan Ayariga, “should not confuse (Dr. Dr.) Hassan Ayariga’s case with the others who might have committed genuine errors in their appli- cation forms, a situation that can easily be rectified by the courts.” They asked the agita- tors to “steer clear of the Has- san Ayariga case and allow the investigative wing of the Ghana Police Service to do its job.”
“With regard to the person (Dr. Dr.) Hassan Ayariga, it is becoming clear that the man must be living in his own re- ality, a reality constructed on a delusion of grandeur—a psychological state in which the victim entertains false beliefs that he or she possesses superior qualities such as genius, fame, omnipotence and wealth,” admitting that “this has only been possible be- cause he has been aided by media outlets that either lack the capacity to research these issues before publication or carry out publications that seek to celebrate what is questionable for economic gains. “As we await the determination of the CID, we will also urge the CID to contact the NAB or contact us if they need help in unravelling some of the hidden aspects of the issues of accreditation and the flaunting of question- able degrees. We believe that the nature of the case, especially being election-related requiring expeditious investigation and determination, will set the stage for the police to begin to look into these issues of fraud. Our investigative report has details about the various issues in it.” Meanwhile, Hassan Ayariga has threatened to sue the EC over the issue. The commission referred his case to the CID for investigation, claiming that his educational certificate appears to be fake.