Liberia: AME Zion University Revokes Degrees of 14 Graduates, Suspends Vice President for Academic Affairs, others over Alleged Academic, Financial Malpractice
Monrovia – The administration of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion University (AMEZU) has revoked the degree it conferred on 14 people during its recent graduation ceremony for academic fraud and financial malpractice.
The University has given a 21-day ultimatum to 69 of its recent 408 graduates to come forward and clear their tuition and graduation fees in the tone of US$98,000 and L$1.4 million, or their degrees will be revoked as well.
The school also suspended several of its senior staff including Dr. Martin F. Richards, Vice President for Academic Affairs, Danny Horton, Assistant Dean for Admissions, Records, Patrick Tokpah, Director of Technology and Josiah Warmah, Executive Secretary, Criminal Justice College for their role in the scandals.
Announcing the University’s decision at a press conference on Wednesday, the President, Dr. Benjamin Lartey said the action was based on the outcome of a month-long investigation that was launched when the school discovered that more diploma covers were issued to graduating seniors than the actual number of students that met both academic and financial requirements.
Dr. Lartey said the investigation was further deepened when the Daily Observer reported that AMEZU has graduated an academic fraudster identified as Kokolu S. Borvor.
Borvor, a former employee of the Ministry of Justice was never a student of the school but formed part of the school’s 30th commencement convocation which was held on April 22, 2021. He was conferred a Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminal Justice. But at the press conference, the school announced the revocation of Borvor’s degree and separate punishments for those within its employ that aided him in misleading the school.
“Ladies and Gentlemen of the Press, we are pleased to inform you that following a thorough investigation by the Committee, it was discovered that Mr. Kokolu S. Borvor is not and has never been a student of the Criminal Justice College of the AME Zion University,” Dr. Lartey announced from a prepared statement during the conference..
He furthered: “Based on the facts and circumstances leading to Mr. Borvor’s illegal participation in the 30th Commencement Convocation held on April 22, 2021, with the wearing of the University’s souvenirs and emblems, the degree granted him has been revoked.”
He said the university is currently working with its lawyers and they are in the process of turning Borvor over to the Ministry of Justice for prosecution in a court of competent jurisdiction.
FrontPage Africa has in its possession a document which shows that Borvor was expelled from the African Methodist Episcopal University (AMEU). But he has been flaunting with fake academic credentials claiming to have graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Accounting from the AME University in 2017. The AMEU has failed to confirm Borvor’s alleged action, citing its confidentiality rule.
With that document, Borvor maneuvered his way to the Liberia Drugs Enforcement Agency (LDEA) where he served as Comptroller-General and later at the Ministry of Justice, also serving as Comptroller-General.
But he was forced to resign his post in February this year when the Ministry discovered that his credential was fake.
Staff Fall with Borvor
Also at the press conference, the AMEZU’s president announced the indefinite suspension (without pay) of Josiah Warmah, Executive Secretary of the Criminal Justice College for concealing information, singlehandedly processing the fictitious file of Borvor and for presenting the names of two students who were not academically cleared.
The Assistant Dean for Admissions, Records, and Registration Danny Horton was suspended indefinitely without pay for his role in handling Borvor’s file, and for deliberate attempts to mislead the Special Investigative Committee.
The Director of Technology, Patrick Tokpah, was also suspended for time indefinite without pay for inserting names of students in the Souvenir program that was not academically cleared by the Faculty Senate of the University.
For the Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dr. Martin F. Richards, the school suspended him for two months off the job without pay for going contrary to the traditional norms of the University. at which time the Faculty Senate meets for clearing of students, but rather choosing to recommend to the Board of Trustees the clearing of three persons including Borvor, thereby undermining required transparency.
Full List of Students
Meanwhile, the University named the following students whose degree were revoked as those that did not complete their studies and called on them to return to the University to complete the outstanding academic and financial requirements within one semester before they can be granted their degrees.
The students are arranged by college:
Criminal Justice College
Gayflor Z. Korkorlo
Kelly G. Bryant
Massa S. Martin
Department of Management
Department of Public Adm.
Department of Sociology