Letter to editor

Fake qualifications flood Special Court for Sierra Leone

20 March 2007 at 20:11 | 514 views

Dear Vanguard:

I am writing with dismay to inform the Special Court for Sierra Leone and the whole world that their Human Resource Department is totally defective in executing its duties. This is due to the number of people who are recruited with fake qualifications, both international and local staff. They recruit on the basis of flamboyant CVs without checking with alleged institutions to check the veracity of the claimed qualifications.

Between 2002 and 2005, five international staff who served the court went there with fake qualifications-something they never had. Interestingly, the Administrative department of the court is so lazy or incompetent that they are only interested in collecting their pay packages at the end of the month. They never check with even Fourah Bay College right under their noses to ascertain the genuineness of academic qualifications. Seeing that the internationals had their way, our local brothers and sisters also tested the waters, and unfortunately succeeded.

As I write this piece, there are a few local employees who were employed on the basis of fake qualifications and flamboyant CVs. Some claimed to have Honours Law degrees, when they could not even pass their final exams (please note that those who fail final year exams are not awarded ATPs and as such leave the college without any qualifications-empty handed), and are today working as National Professional Officers (NPOs), depriving those who have sweated to acquire genuine qualifications.

Others claim to have degrees in International Relations when Fourah Bay College does not offer a degree in International Relations. International Relations is only done as a sole subject for Final General Students and Final Honours One students in the Department of Political Science. Infact, it is not even (called) International Relations but “Introduction to International Relations”. Therefore, students in the political science department are only introduced to International Relations once in the four academic years they spend in FBC, that is in Final Year for those who graduate with a General Degree and Final Honours One for those who graduate with Honours degree in Political Science. So for any one to say he has a degree in International Relations from Fourah Bay College is outright cheating.

I am therefore calling on the administrators of the Special Court to call for the qualifications of all their employees. It costs nothing to go to University Secretariat at Tower Hill to cross-check with relevant authorities the veracity of the local qualifications.

In the meantime, it is time for the bogus graduates to know that they are doing injustice to the academic system and a great disservice to our country by claiming to have something they never got. Qualifications are not earned cheaply...they have to be fought for. Their best bet is to leave the premises of the court rather than allow to be disgracefully traced out.

Let me reiterate that the court officials are expected to treat this thing with the seriousness it deserves; otherwise, I shall have to call names including those of senior officials at the court who are conniving with criminals to fleece the academic system.

Kindest regards,

Elongimafor Kpanabum

Freetown, Sierra Leone.

Editor’s Note: The Chief of Personnel at the Special Court for Sierra Leone says that not only are
references checked, but that there is an annual outside audit of every personnel file.