EXCLUSIVE: ThisDay sacks Isiguzo, NUJ presidential aspirant caught up in forgery scandal

EXCLUSIVE: ThisDay sacks Isiguzo, NUJ presidential aspirant caught up in forgery scandal

By ‘Kunle ADEBAJO

CHRISTOPHER Isiguzo, presidential aspirant and two-time vice president at the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) has been sacked by ThisDay Newspapers, The ICIR has gathered.

Joseph Ushigiale, Managing Editor at ThisDay Newspapers, confirmed this development in a phone interview.

He said the decision was made following various enquiries from media practitioners who sought clarification on his qualifications. The paper thereafter discovered discrepancies in his documents after conducting a review.

“He was asked to explain and then he said he didn’t own those papers,” Ushigiale said. “He denied that the papers belong to him.”

From the management’s findings, when Isiguzo submitted a handwritten application in 2006 when he sought employment at the organisation, he wrote in it that he is an HND holder.

“And we decided that he has been very economical with the truth, because he has misled us in presenting documents that are not substantiated.”

Ushigiale also confirmed Isiguzo submitted documents which claimed he has an HND from the Federal Polytechnic, Oko, and a diploma from Hyles-Anderson College, United States, “and all of them were acquired the same year, which is not possible”.

When he was asked if the case would influence how the paper conducts recruitment exercises in the future and whether it would scrutinise the credentials of current employees, the Managing Editor replied affirmatively.

“We will have to review the entire employment process because it is possible there could be people who still parade fake documents,” he said.

“And, going forward, we will have to engage in maybe verification, or we have to be more strict in reviewing all the documents that are in our possession.”

Prior to his dismissal, Isiguzo worked at the newspaper as South East Bureau Chief.

Meanwhile, in a report published earlier on Tuesday, The ICIR had confirmed allegations that he forged some of his certificates, and stated that ThisDay newspaper issued him a query based on the allegations against him.

When Isiguzo was contacted on Monday, he alleged that Waheed Odusile, president of the NUJ, had paid for online reports against him in order to undermine his campaign.

“What is the interest that all of you have in me?” he had asked. “Waheed paid all of you to come and run me down, right? No, no, no, I know. Listen, listen. Of course, you acknowledged… you are a Yoruba-speaking [man] like him. He paid all of you because he knows he is going to be defeated on Thursday.”

He added that if he does not have a certificate, he will not be bold enough to stand.

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