Nigeria born, US based associate professor of journalism, Dr. Farooq Kperogi has blown the lid on a fake organisation scamming Nigerian academics with phantom awards.
The organization which has no website and no known promoters had last week, ‘awarded’ Dr Yakubu Nura, a lecturer at the University of Maiduguri, an award on World Physics Competition.
The organization claimed that that Nura defeated 5,720 ‘contenders’ in 97 countries to emerge winner of the award, which made him ‘the Father of Modern Einstein’s Planetary Equation Studies in Physics.’
The announcement which went viral on the social media, was celebrated by the likes of Senator Shehu Sani, former Kaduna Central senator, who called on Northern governors to emulate Nura, and media professional, Kadara Ahmed.
However, on Monday, Kperogi took to his twitter page to disclose that the award was fraudulent, did not have a website and was given at a fee.
“The truth is that Dr. Nura is the willing victim of a scam, a kind of scam I call scams of ego, which prey on the status anxieties and low self-esteem of insecure, fraud-prone people.
“World Championship, the ‘organisation’ that conferred the ‘award’ on Dr. Nura, is a well-known scam operation that does not, for strategically fraudulent reasons, have a site with its own domain name. It uses a free sites.google.com account to perpetrate its scams.
“Anyone who pays a fee can get any—I mean any—award from the site. Check the site to see the list of ‘award winners’ it features in every imaginable field. You will find many Nigerians there,” he wrote.
“For instance, one Dr. Kaywood Leizou of the Niger Delta University (NDU) got the Guardian to write a story about his ‘award’ from this same fraudulent site on Oct 19, 2018. Titled ‘Bayelsa don wins global chemical sciences contest’.
“In 2018, the same website ‘conferred’ one Dr. Shuaib Idris Mohammed of Edo State with the ‘World Champion in Agricultural Extension (Credit Facilities)’ award ‘out of 91 countries.’
“The site added, ‘Dr. Shuaib Idris Mohammed is now recognised as Father of Modern Credit Facilities in Agricultural Extension. The purpose of the award is to identify brilliant scientists and academicians around the world through World Championship. The World Championship is organised by International Agency for Standards and Ratings at international level.” (Read about him here: https://t.co/IhsKT0EMKh). Sounds familiar?
“That’s the exact language used for Dr. Nura. The same suspiciously atrocious grammar. The ‘contenders’ for the ‘awards’ are always in the thousands—and from more than 90 countries in the world.
“But nothing in Nura’s scholarly record—and those of others who have been made ‘fathers’ of whole disciplinary specialties by the fraudulent site—suggests that he is anywhere close to the pinnacle of his career.
“The saddest thing about this fraud, for me, is that news organisations like the NTA, Voice of Nigeria, Sahara Reporters, and even well-known people like @ShehuSani and @KadariaAhmed fell for it. It’s an easily detectable scam, in my opinion. Nigerians have to be the world’s greatest suckers for cheap scams!” he regretted.
Guardian had in 2018 reported that Dr. Leizou won “the 2018 World Chemical Sciences (Metal Speciation in Sediment) Championship.”
The report had said that, “The Bayelsa-born don beat 5,845 others from 89 countries whose nominations were screened for this year’s edition.
“Consequently, the International Agency for Standards and Ratings (IASR) has recognised Leizou as one the world’s 500 most influential experts on earth in chemical sciences for the year.”
Business Hallmark checks on the said IASR did not yield any convincing results. It has no website and no known promoters.
The organization had announced the award to Dr. Nura here.
Just as it had announced that of Idris in the same site that is not traceable to any known group or organization.