A former adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on anti-corruption, Benedicta Daudu, who was suspended by the University of Jos (UNIJOS) in 2016 for allegedly cheating during an examination, is now the dean of the Faculty of Law at Taraba State University (TASU).
On May 4, 2016, Mrs Dauda who was a member of the intellectual wing of Mr Buhari’s war on corruption, the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption (PACAC), a group made up of mainly university professors, and headed by prominent law professor, Itse Sagay, was allegedly caught cheating while writing an examination for a Master’s degree in Research and Public Policy at the Faculty of Social Sciences of the same university.
At the time, Mrs Daudu, an associate professor of law, was the head of the Department of Jurisprudence and International Law of the faculty of Law in UNIJOS.
Although she has a doctorate in Law, the associate professor had been working towards another masters in Research and Public Policy.
PREMIUM TIMES learnt that the department later accused her of sneaking in prepared answers, also referred to as “chokes” by students, during the examination for the Global Context in Public Policy course.
Sources told PREMIUM TIMES that the matter was reported to the university’s examination committee but some students and faculty claimed there were attempts at cover-up by the university authorities.
However, the dean, faculty of Social Sciences of the university, Ezekiel Best, said it was not true that the university was attempting to sweep the matter under the carpet.
After the report, the Presidential Advisory Committee against Corruption told PREMIUM TIMES that Mrs Daudu “voluntarily” stepped down from the committee until the matter was resolved.
PREMIUM TIMES, however, learnt that she was suspended from work, and from the masters programme.
“I can confirm to you that the Senate Disciplinary Committee found her guilty of the allegations and has suspended her from the masters programme for two semesters,” an official of the university told this newspaper.
“Also, the matter was referred to the Staff Disciplinary Committee which also suspended her from work. So, she is no longer teaching,” a source aware of the incident said.
Another official of the university also informed this newspaper that Mrs Daudu sued the university over her suspension.
Joined Taraba State University
PREMIUM TIMES has learnt that after her suspension by UNIJOS, the professor joined TASU in 2017 after the National University Commission approved the creation of the Faculty of Law at the university. Mrs Daudu has since been appointed, head of Department of Department of Private and Property Law and now dean, Faculty of Law.
“Go back to UNIJOS and ask them your questions. I have nothing to say to you. UNIJOS gave you the information, you go back to them and make your investigation; make your enquiries. Don’t call me again, please,” she said when asked if her case with UNIJOS had been resolved.
However, some minutes later, one Adedara Adedeji, who claimed to be the professor’s lawyer, called this reporter and initially suggested that the story of her new job should not be reported
“The matter is still in court and I think we should just leave it the way it is now,” he said.
But when told that court cases are routinely reported by the media and that a matter being in court is not an excuse not to report about it, he denied he was asking for the matter not to be reported.
“I’m not saying you should not report. I am not stopping you from doing your job but if you are reporting try and report what the exact position is.
“The matter is a subject of litigation with the University of Jos. I am not saying you should not do your job I am just saying it is a subject of litigation. If you remember I asked you are you in Abuja because the matter is with the NIC (National Industrial Court) in Abuja,” he said.
When reached for comment, the deputy registrar of TASU, Yakubu Fwah, declined to comment.
“Please disassociate me from this finding, I have no knowledge of it. Thanks,” he said in response to text messages sent to his mobile phone.
Still a Staff of UNIJOS
When reached for comment, spokesperson of UNIJOS, Abdullahi Abdullahi, confirmed that Mrs Daudu was suspended from the university and that the matter is in court.
“Currently her status with UNIJOS, as far as I know, is that she is still a staff of the university. She was suspended pending an investigation then she took the university to court, which is the normal practice. That is all I can tell you. This matter is in court, I cannot speak on a matter in court,” he said.