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Stella Oduh lied about her MBA certificate



Stella Oduah, Nigeria’s Minister of Aviation who
is embroiled in a scandal of towering proportions in
the ministry, faces new integrity questions as her
Masters’ degree has been challenged by the United
States school which supposedly awarded it.
Her resume, which she presented to the Senate as a
ministerial nominee in 2011, indicated she obtained a
Master’s degree in Business Administration
(MBA) from St. Paul’s College Lawrenceville,
Virginia, United States.
But SaharaReporters has learned from the
President of the college that it has never in its 125-
year history had a graduate school or graduate
The Provost Vice President of Academic Affairs,
and the Vice President of Institutional Development
said in response to our inquiries, “We don’t offer
any graduate programs here.”
Similarly, the school’s website states: “Saint Paul’s
College is accredited by the Commission of
Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges
and Schools to award baccalaureate
[bachelor’s] degrees.” There is no mention of
graduate degrees.
The Minister’s documentation shows she received an
undergraduate degree in accounting from the college
in 1982, but Dr. Claud Flythe, St. Paul’s current
president, could neither confirm nor deny this
during a phone conversation with
SaharaReporters. Further verification with the
Office of Alumni Affairs is also currently
impossible, the school said, because the college has
been closed since June 2013 to loss of its
“[Oduah] realized very early in life the
indispensability of a sound education in her growth
plans in life and therefore pursued her education
with all diligence and sense of purpose,” her
documents claimed, adding that a determination “to
have the best education at the highest level”
prompted her stay at the Virginia college in 1983
for the MBA programme.
As her public relations machinery marched on, in
December 2012 The Sun newspaper published an
article headlined “Stella Oduah: An Amazon of
transformation,” which lauded her “MBA from St
Paul’s College, Lawrenceville Virginia USA.” The
story also praised her for being an official who
brought her “rich educational background to bear on
the aviation sector by automating revenue centers in
all the agencies and parastatals to boost their
revenue profile and enhance transparency and
accountability in the system.”
In October, SaharaReporters broke the story that
Mrs. Oduah, a former campaign manager for
President Goodluck Jonathan, purchased two
bulletproof BMW cars worth $ 1.6 Million
(N255m) through the Nigerian Civil Aviation
Authority, for her own use.
Following an investigation, the House of
Representatives Committee on Aviation dismissed
the Minister’s pleas of innocence and all her
rebuttals during her testimony. The committee’s
report, which was subsequently adopted by the
House, declared that no budgetary appropriation
had been made for the purchase of the cars, and that
the NCAA proposal for their purchase was
President Jonathan also set up a three-member
administrative panel to investigate the matter, but he
immediately travelled out of the country with Mrs.
Oduah and Colonel Dasuki, the National Security
Adviser who was to serve as a member of the panel.
Not only did the panel submit its report much later
than the two weeks it was given for the assignment,
Mr. Jonathan has refused to release its report.
Mrs. Oduah’s new certificate questions are
certain to feed into national concern about her
credibility as an elected official, but also about Mr.
Jonathan’s credibility, and about the nation’s
security apparatus which verifies official documents
offered to the Senate for official nominations.
If Mrs. Oduah deliberately deceived the Senate, it
remains to be seen if the Upper House will be
sufficiently motivated to take up the matter with the
Meanwhile, Nigeria’s aviation industry continues to
face a massive challenge, with struggling airports and
airlines, as well as financial and administrative pitfalls
that hinder expansion and development.

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