Senator Hope Uzodinma, the Senate Committee Chairman on Aviation, bought a fake university Degree from an unknown “University” called Washington International University which had lost it incorporation from the State of Hawaii for lying about its accreditation status and disowned by the United States Department of Education.
Senator Uzodinma had hitherto claimed on his Facebook page and in an interview with a Nigerian Newspaper that he attended Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri where he bagged a Degree in Arts/Criminology. He now claims he attended Washington International University, a Degree Mills which sells Degree Certificates to highest bidders, a Pointblanknews.com investigation has revealed.
Director-General of his Campaign Organization, Nze Ignatius Umuna had in a statement in Abuja recently, said that contrary to some media reports, “Senator Hope Uzodimma did not attend
Washington University, St.
Louis, Missouri, United States and does not obtain any certificate from the said university”.
“For clarity and avoidance of doubt, the distinguished senator attended Washington International University in the United States on a part time basis and obtained a Bachelors of Arts Degree in International Studies and Diplomacy. This is contrary to the purported degree in Arts/Criminology from the so-called Washington University St. Louis, Missouri as being branded in the media reports”, the DG said.
Pointblanknews.com investigations from the United States Department of Education showed that Washington International University is not known, recognized or accredited.
The fake University describes itself as a “university without borders,”
serving clients from around the world through distance education. The school offers “traditional” and “accelerated” degree programs. The traditional programs require students to complete just ten courses for a bachelor’s degree and eight for a master’s, along with a senior research project.
Investigations revealed that the accelerated degree program allows completion of any degree within one year. For the accelerated program, according to the university’s website, “There are no text books to read, curriculum to follow or formal exams to take.
Findings also revealed that for either a bachelor’s or a master’s degree, a student must submit three book reports on books selected by the student’s advisor and a research paper on a topic related to the student’s field of study.
In 2002, the owners of the fake University described the faculty as “advisers”, not “professors”. The school’s website lists seven faculty members, including two with doctorates, one with Ed.D, three with master’s degrees and one with a Juris Doctor, J.D Degree.
It was gathered that the fake University was incorporated in 1998 in Hawaii and the British Virgin Island but lost its incorporation in 2000 when the State of Hawaii brought a legal action against the owners of the school, alleging that it did not disclose that it had no accreditation to operate or offer Degree programs.
The parties settled the case in 1999 and one of the requirements of the settlement was that Washington International dissolve its Hawaii corporation and not promote itself as being incorporated in or registered by the state of Hawaii.
Kenya’s Deputy Minister for Education, Mr. Asman Kamama Abongotum who also claimed to have attended the fake Washington International University is currently under investigation and close to losing his parliamentary position because of the unrecognized degree.
However, further investigations by Pointblanknews.com revealed that the school, which is run, by one Yil Karademir and his wife was called Washington University before 1998, but Karademir added “International” to the name in June 1998 as part of the settlement of a lawsuit filed by Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri.
Investigations revealed that while the “university” does not have a campus, in March 2010, the Oregon office of Degree Authorization declared that Washington International University Degrees are not recognizable.
Also, the Michigan Civil Service Commission lists WIU among unaccredited institutions “from which degrees will not be accepted to satisfy educational requirements indicated on job specifications.”
Also, The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, (THECB) lists degrees awarded from WIU as “substandard,” meaning according to the THECB in this case, “a degree… conferred outside the United States by an institution that the Coordinating Board determines is not the equivalent of an accredited or authorized degree.” The THECB describes WIU as having “no accreditation from a CB (Coordinating Board) recognized accreditor.
British Virgin Islands does not have postsecondary oversight capability.”
However, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer, the Hawaii location was meant for forwarding mail and telephone calls to the school’s location on the mainland. As of 1998 a building pictured on WIU’s website was “where the head of Washington University receives mail and messages”, but a two-story house on a residential street in Bryn Mawr was the school’s registrar’s office where a staff of four took calls from students.
Karademir explained to the Inquirer that we “We are entrepreneurs, we are not educators.”
It is not immediately known which of the Universities Senator Uzodinma had filed in his Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, form for his election.
Political pundits argue that whichever school listed on the INEC form, the Imo State politician had lied about his qualification and schools attended.