Minister of Science and Technology, Geoffrey Nnaji, In Certificates Scandal

Minister of Science and Technology, Geoffrey Nnaji, In Certificates Scandal

The minister of Science and Technology, Geoffrey Nnaji, is at the centre of a National Youth Service Corps certificate scandal.

He is said to be in possession a fraudulent national service certificate.

Nnaji was confirmed as minister from Enugu State on August 7, 2023, alongside 44 other cabinet members, following their nomination by the Senate on July 7.

He was subsequently appointed to head the newly established Federal Ministry of Innovation, Science and Technology.

The certificate of national service is given to young graduates [below 30 years] who have successfully undergone the National Youth Service Corp program.

A report by POLITICS NIGERIA said that when Nnaji was picked by President Bola Tinubu to serve in his cabinet, as tradition demands, the SSS sought to verify his national service certificate with the federal institution that purportedly awarded it, the NYSC.

The report said as demanded by protocol, the SSS was obligated to notify the presidency and relevant bodies, including the Nigerian Senate, upon finding out that Geoffrey Nnaji’s certificate was fraudulent.

The certificate, as reported by Peoples Gazette, showed chronological and calligraphic errors, indicating a duration of 13 months, instead of the standard one year.

The document also bears the signature of Animashaun Braimoh, who was not appointed to lead the NYSC until 1988, whereas the certificate was supposedly issued in 1986.

Findings exposed that all certificates issued in 1986 were signed by Etuk Akpan, who was appointed to lead the NYSC from January 1984 to December 1987.

It is also alleged that NYSC confirmed that Nnaji’s certificate was not in their records and asked him to provide evidence of his participation in the youth service.

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Despite multiple requests, Nnaji has avoided commenting on the matter.

Officials said the minister ignored all invitations sent to him directly and to his aides.

The admission by the NYSC confirmed earlier claims by sources within the SSS that top officials had verified the falsity of Nnaji’s certificate, yet deliberately chose to clear him for Senate confirmation and actively assist in concealing the forgery.

“They said their duty was to clear nominees of the president and not to second-guess the judgement of the commander-in-chief,” a source said.

The report also alleges that the minister’s degree certificate from the University of Nigeria also showed discrepancies, with his name misspelt and a chronological mismatch between his graduation date and NYSC mobilization.

Nnaji’s first name, Geoffrey, was reportedly spelt incorrectly as Geoffery on his UNN certificate.

As a result, Nnaji reportedly listed his high school certificate as his highest educational attainment in his 2023 governorship election bid in Enugu State, omitting his allegedly fraudulent university credentials and NYSC certificate.