Fake degree: I’m worried over my safety, says journalist
Nigerian investigative journalist, Umar Audu, said yesterday he was worried about his safety, following his recent investigative report which uncovered a fake results syndicate in Togo and Benin Republic.
It will be recalled that the investigative journalist with Daily Nigeria newspaper, reported recently that he bagged a degree within six weeks of being admitted into one of such universities and also served as a corps member in the National Youth Service Corps, NYSC, with the certificate obtained.
The undercover journalist stated that he received both the transcript and certificate of the Ecole Superieure de Gestion et de Technologies, Cotonou, Benin Republic after six weeks only.
In an interview with Channels Television yesterday, he stated that it is worrisome that the security system in Nigeria does not give journalists the confidence to do their job without fear of victimisation.
When asked by the presenter if he had received any threats following his report, he stated that while he is yet to receive any threats, he is away from the public as he needed to prioritize his safety.
He said: “There is a lot of concern from friends and family members regarding my safety. They have been genuinely worried and as a journalist, I believe I should be allowed to carry out my job without any threats or intimidation.
“This situation highlights the type of society we live in, where journalists should be able to conduct their work peacefully and be assured of their safety.
“I want to use this platform to call on the authorities to ensure my protection, even though I am currently in a safe place. However, I am uncertain about what might happen next, as I have been giving interviews and my report has gone viral without any threats so far.
“I hope the government remains vigilant and if there are any threats, I will promptly reach out to them to ensure I receive the necessary protection.”
When asked how much he spent to acquire the fake certificate, Umar said: “I spent roughly N600,000. I did not go to the border; I only gave an Immigration officer to help me get an ECOWAS passport and a backdated stamp of Nigerian Immigration and Benien, which I spent N150,000.”