Leke Baiyewu, Abuja
The Vice-Chancellor, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Prof Ibrahim Garba, on Tuesday, said the lawmaker representing Kogi-West senatorial district, Senator Dino Melaye, graduated from the institution.
Garba, who was placed on oath by the Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions, appeared before the panel on Tuesday.
He said the lawmaker graduated from ABU while bearing a different first and middle names.
The committee had conducted a public hearing as part of its probe into the controversy surrounding Melaye’s graduation from ABU.
The move was based on a point of order raised last Tuesday by a former Majority Leader of the Senate, Ali Ndume, who called on the upper chamber of the National Assembly to investigate the certificate scandal involving Melaye.
An online news portal, Sahara Reporters, had in a series of reports alleged that Melaye did not graduate from the university.
Speaking before the panel on Tuesday, the VC of ABU was asked if Melaye was a student of the institution and what qualification he bagged as an undergraduate student.
Garba said, “From the records, I know Senator Dino Melaye, who was formerly known as Jonah Daniel Melaye, as a former student of the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, and I know him to be the distinguished senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“From the records of the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, distinguished Senator Dino Melaye, who was at that time named Daniel Jonah Melaye, graduated with a Third Class degree of the Bachelors of Arts in Geography in the year 2000. And by this, he is a graduate of the university.”
Members of the panel asked the vice-chancellor to repeat what he said, reminding him that he was on oath.
He said, “On my honour, I reaffirm that Senator Dino Melaye graduated as Daniel Jonah Melaye during the third semester of the 1998/1999 academic session with a Third Class degree in Geography; that is Bachelors of Arts in Geography.”
Earlier, Melaye was asked if he was a student of ABU and graduated from the institution.
He replied, “I have a few documents I would also want to tender to the committee and before I do that, I also want to state with every sense of responsibility, that I am a graduate of the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria.
“I gained admission with an offer of admission on September 6, 1994, and the admission is to study for a Bachelor of Arts degree (in) Geography and a copy of that admission letter will be tendered.
“I also have a second document to tender; my acceptance offer by the university. I also have the third document to tender, which is my result from the Ahmadu Bello University, certifying me a graduate of the school.
“I also have here a document for my registration that I tendered, where I have C5 in CRS, A3 in Agric, C6 in Economics, C6 in Geography, C6 in Biology and a Credit in English. I will also tender that as evidence.”
The lawmaker explained that after his graduation from ABU, the school mobilised him for the National Youth Service Corps between 2000 and 2001.
He said, “I served in Police College, Kaduna, and by the grace of God, that year, I won the National Prize of the Director General (of the NYSC) and it is on record and verifiable. I beg to tender my discharge certificate from the NYSC.”
When asked of the irregularities in the names on his certificate, Melaye said he had sworn to an affidavit to regularise the names and inform all relevant institutions.
He said, “My name as an undergraduate was Daniel Jonah Melaye. Jonah is actually my father’s name; so, that is what I have on my university certificate. But because I am now popularly known as Dino, I applied to the court and asked that I needed an affidavit for a change of name before my admission and I submitted it to ABU.” (Punchng.com)