July 20, 2020
The Nigerian law professor, who was heading the Njala University Law School, Ajayi Emmanuel Femi Gbenga, who was arrested by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) over alleged fake qualifications, and was later found not wanting for the alleged crime, has accused both institutions of ruining his hard earned career.
“I have been ruined professionally and academically. I have not been able to get employment in any university either in Sierra Leone or elsewhere, in the world. If you are an employer, would you employ a person accused of certificate forgery and impersonation? My reputation is totally ruined. In fact, I have no reputation again,” he cried.
Prof. Ajayi stated that back at home in Nigeria, his two kids were jeered at, molested and serially harassed; his son who is studying law and baby girl were stigmatized as children of fake professor, adding that all members of his family shared in the unprecedented character assassination.
“I feel like weeping, just the way I felt but couldn’t on 18th July 2019 at Pademba CID Headquarters. I begged God to make me cry so that the tension could lessen, but He did not concede to my supplication,” he said.
He added that he could not state the level of pains the said incident inflicted on him and those that depended on him for survival.
“For the sake of clarity of expression and avoidance of doubts, I lost my job and could not get another one, the career which I built in 41 years went up in flames in less than 41 minutes, the reputational damages as a lawyer and academic, can hardly be rebuilt, not to talk of the irreversible damages done to my health.
The eight degrees and thirteen professional qualifications that I have, were acquired in twenty five years, they are nothing now, except if God intervenes,” he cried.
He however expressed thanks and applications to the Nigerian Ambassador to SL, Dr. Ibrahim Habiss Ugbada and host of others who have stood by him throughout his predicament.
When asked as to what will be his next line of action, he said, “Not much in fact. The first step as a legally informed person was to use the instrumentality of law, to redress the injustices. Many lawyers and human rights organizations are too ready and willing, to institute proceedings against Njala University and ACC. But that line of action has been suspended simply because, I am talking with Njala University’s new management. The people at the helm of affairs at Njala University are very reasonable and compassionate people.”