Nigeria’s Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu, did not graduate from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, with first class honours, according to a report by online newspaper Premium Times.
During the 17th anniversary celebrations of the Commonwealth Of Zion Assembly (COZA) held at the church’s headquarters in Abuja two years ago, the Minister was among dignitaries who addressed the congregation.
In seven minutes 24 seconds video published on YouTube on February 17, 2016 by COZA GLOBAL, Kachikwu, dressed, in a navy blue ‘senator attire’, said: “The heat in this place can either make you or burn you, this is a hot zone. Congrats COZA!
While speaking on fate and destiny, the minister took the congregation on a journey of his life, highlighting his educational achievements.
“…I went to Ife (Obafemi Awolowo University) to try and read medicine and I was there for two weeks and then I got admission to read law. My Father drove all the way to Ife to meet me and he asked, ‘why do you want to go to the University?’
“And I said, ‘my ambition is to be a doctor’ and he said, ‘why are you taking the line of what he called least resistance?’ And I said, ‘what do you mean by that’ and he said, ‘well, if you want to be a doctor why don’t you just go and read PHD, get to the very top…’
“My dad was talking to a little boy and that got me. So, I packed my bag, left the school of medicine and went to read law.
“And, I got in there, got a scholarship and became the best student, I had a first class in that institution (UNN).
“And then, I left from there to the law school and in the law school, I think just like the pastor said: people encourage you. All my colleagues came and said, we are all here representing our institutions, if you brought a first class from Nsukka you better make it work here where everybody is gathered…”
The minister went ahead to list other institutions he attended and the honours he bagged.
The former ExxonMobil vice chairman said he graduated from the Nigerian Law School with a First Class honours. He also said he emerged “best student” at Harvard University, where he did his master’s degree with specialisation on Energy and Petroleum Law and Investment.
Kachikwu claimed his record at Harvard, one of the best institutions in the world, remained unbroken.
“…I made a first class in the law school and then, getting to Harvard – my feeling, as soon as I got into Harvard was – this is a very unique institution, the biggest in the world and basically you must have a 2.1 or first class from your primary institution before they can accept you…
“…At the end of our master’s programme, I was the best student; got a Harvard scholarship and I went to do my doctorate and for it; I set what is still a record in Harvard of completing a doctorate in one and half years.”
Apart from making the incorrect claim during the COZA church programme, the minister is also peddling the same falsehood through his official biography posted to the website of the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources.
“Dr. Ibe Kachikwu is a distinction graduate of Law from the University of Nigeria Nsukka and Nigerian Law School,” the article read. “He bagged First Class degree in Law and was best graduand and multiple awards winner from both Institutions.
“He bagged a Masters in Law (LLM) with a special focus on Energy and Petroleum Law and Investment and a Doctorate Degree with specialization on Petroleum and Investment Law Strategies from Harvard Law School, USA where he was the best graduate with Distinction and in the process set a record time for completing Doctoral Thesis.”
To verify Kachikwu’s claim regarding his academic feat at Harvard, of which he claimed to have an unbeaten record, this newspaper sent an inquiry to the university. A response is still being awaited.
However, it was learned that Kachikwu was economical with the truth as far as his certificate from UNN is concerned.
Dissecting Kachikwu’s Curriculum Vitae (CV)
According to a copy of his CV, the minister said he enroled into the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, in 1974.
He later received a bachelor of law degree after a four-year sojourn.
A copy of his result signed by the university’s vice-chancellor and registrar at the time, showed that Kachikwu left UNN in June 1978 with a second class upper degree.
NOTE: Below is the link to the video where Kachikwu spoke of graduating with first class.