UNIPORT has decided to not release the details of President Jonathan’s Doctorate degree because the management deem it against the constitution. SaharaReporters reported. This was stated in a letter that was received from the University Of Port Harcourt after an Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law, a Rivers State-based civil society organization requested it from the school. More details below.
Above is the response of UNIPORT signed by the school’s legal officer countermanding the request by the Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law, a Rivers State-based civil society organization for Jonathan’s doctorate degree details to be publicly revealed.
The letter requested the following information relating to the president’s doctorate qualification, citing the provisions of Sections 2 and 4 of the FOI Act, 2011:
1. The title of the president’s doctorate dissertation
2. Year of registration as a doctorate candidate
3. Name of his doctorate supervisor(s)
4. Name of his external examiner(s)
5. Comments/reports of the external examiner of the dissertation/thesis
6. Photocopy of the dissertation/thesis
7. Date of graduation from the university
The organization said it was willing to bear any cost the university might incur in making photocopies of the requested documents and for posting them.
President Jonathan was admitted into the Department of Zoology (now renamed Animal and Environmental Biology), University of Port Harcourt, in 1977, where he graduated with Second Class Honours (Upper Division).
In 1985, Mr. Jonathan obtained a Master of Science degree in Hydrobiology and Fisheries, and a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Zoology 10 years later.
Both degrees were also from the University of Port Harcourt.
Lately, Mr. Jonathan’s academic qualifications have come under increased scrutiny ahead of the forthcoming general elections. Critics have accused the president of failing to complete his doctorate programme. In a response to an enquiry by Punch Newspaper in January, the university dismissed such claims as having “neither legs nor grounds to stand on”.
The university had also told any person or organization seeking additional information on Mr. Jonathan’s qualifications to contact the school authorities.
“We have absolutely nothing to hide as an institution that has a statutory mandate to advance the frontiers of knowledge,” William Wodi, the university’s Deputy Registrar (Information), had told the newspaper.
It is unclear why the university declined to release Mr. Jonathan’s academic qualifications to the civil society organization after giving that commitment.
Jiti Ogunye, a Lagos-based lawyer, said the president’s academic records ought to be freely available in the university and not be “opaque or hidden”.
“The FOI is applicable to the academic records of a public officer whose academic records are being requested by a Nigerian citizen or a nongovernmental organization duly registered in Nigeria with a view to promoting accountability and transparency in government,” Mr. Ogunye said.
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