The legality of the certificates of the chief promoter of the chartered institute of forensic and investigative auditors has cast doubt on her profile following revelations that majority have no backing of the law in Nigeria, and maybe in many other jurisdictions.
Victoria Ayishetu Enape, the president of the association of forensic and investigative auditors has numerous academic and professional certificates from both local and foreign institutions to buttress her qualification and capabilities.
However, besides the certificates from the Association of National Accountants of Nigeria (ANAN) and those from her secondary and higher institutions, such as Akwa Ibom State Polytechnic, Ikot Osurua (HND), Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomosho (MBA), other local certificates presented have no act of parliament to back them up.
Investigations at the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria (FRC), the Nigerian regulator for financial statement and providers of the statements show that only the certificates of Chartered Institute of Accountant of Nigeria (ICAN) and that of the Association of National Accountants of Nigeria (ANAN) are recognized and have legal backing in Nigeria.
Findings also showed that practitioners that have presented other local professional accounting certificates outside the ones awarded by the two known institutions in Nigeria and other recognized foreign institutions were denied registration by the FRC except the awardees were able to show evidence of the acts of parliament backing the institutions that awarded the certificates.
This revelation comes on the heels of the inauguration of a committee early this year by the Federal Ministry of Education to look into the proliferation of certificates, especially from foreign institutions, which are being presented in the country by Nigerians.
Some of the local professional certificates flaunted by Victoria Ayishetu Enape include that of the Institute of Forensic Accountant and the Institute of Cost and Management Accountants.
Ayishetu Enape got the certificate of Associate membership of the Institute of Forensic Accountants in November 2009 and the certificate of Certified Forensic Accountants from the same institute in April 2011.
Analysis of Enape’s certificates shows that she got six professional certificates in 2011 alone. She got all between March and December of that year from local and foreign professional associations and institutions.
They include Associate Certificate from ANAN in March 2011, Associate Member Certificate of the Institute of Cost and Management Accountants in May 2011, and the Certified Forensic Accountant certificate awarded in April 2011 from the Institute of Forensic Accountants.
Others are the Certificate for Fellow awarded in June 2011 by Chartered Institute of Professional Financial Managers, United States, another Certificate for Fellow awarded in November by the Chartered Institute of Corporate Treasurers, United States and the Certificate for Associate member awarded in December 2011 by the Association of Certified Commercial Diplomats, United Kingdom.
She also received four other certificates in 2012 alone.
They are the Certificate for International Post Graduate Fellow awarded in February 2012 by the Chartered Institute of Professional Financial Managers, United States; Masters of Business Administration (MBA) Certificate awarded in April 2012 by the Ladoke Akintola University, Ogbomosho, Oyo State, Nigeria; the Membership Certificate awarded in May 2012 by Association of Chartered System Accountants, United States and her Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D) certificate from Southern Delaware University, United States, in November 2012.
Before she bagged the PhD, Victoria Ayishetu Enape had earlier obtained a Masters degree (M.Sc) in Accounting in November 2008 from the same Southern Delaware University. Curiously, the 2012 dates on her MBA certificate from Ladoke Akintola University, Nigeria and that of the Ph.D degree from the Southern Delaware University, show that she ran the two programmes concurrently.
A rather confusing aspect also is the award of the two certificates of Fellow, Chartered Financial Managers and International Postgraduate Fellow in Management from the Chartered Institute of Professional Mangers, United States.
Also, two award certificates from two different institutions bear same signature and same address in Wilmington, United States. Wilmington is supposed to be in Delaware, Newark. The two awarding institutions are Chartered Institute of Professional Financial Managers and the Chartered Institute of Corporate Treasurers.
Similar revelations came to the fore of questionable certificates during the reform exercise at the federal ministry of finance during the first tenure of Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as finance minister.
Several foreign and local certificates presented by some directors and staff of the ministry were from questionable institutions.
Enape parades Master’s and PhD degrees from Southern Delaware University. The MSc in Accounting was obtained in November 2008, while the PhD in Accounting was obtained in November 2012. According to the certificates, Enape who undertook her studies in the College of Business and Finance of the university, “satisfactorily pursued the studies and passed the examinations required…” for the award of both degrees. However, our investigation shows that there is no accredited university in Delaware, United States, called Southern Delaware University.
Further investigations showed that there is a website containing information about the university and in the “About Us” entry, its description of itself reads like a commercial pitch. “The Southern Delaware University is a state chartered non residential distance learning institution that offers a wide variety of programs at undergraduate & graduates studies through the internet.
“We provide self-paced, 100 percent off campus programs for those individuals who cannot attend traditional, campus-bound programs due to personal, work, travel, geographic, or time constraints. Programs are provided in a doable time frame, and at a reasonable tuition.” This reads like the many typical United States based ‘certificate-for-sale’ schools offering unsuspecting, crazy-for-PhD people around the world, especially in Africa.
When we did further investigation, we came across even more damning information concerning this university. At the following link https://www.degreeinfo.com/index.php?threads/southern-delaware-university.46483/, which helps to answer people’s questions about schools that are advertised as genuine to unsuspecting candidates, we found this:
“Here’s another university I’ve come across recently, Southern Delaware University, www.sduedu.us. It seems as if their main market is West Africa. SDU is affiliated with a number of professional bodies in Nigeria, and, together with Newton Hills University of Science and Technology, Dominica and Saint Monica University, Cameroon, with the International Institute of Certified Forensic Investigation Professionals. Newton Hills and SDU are also both affiliated with the Society of Accounting Education in Pakistan, a society that recognizes Pebble Hills University,” Mbwa Shenzi wrote on Jul 29, 2015, about three years after SDU awarded Victoria Enape her PhD, and about seven years after the same university gave her an MSc in Accounting.
“For what it’s worth, Newton Hills is one of the “8 Copthall” nest of ‘unwonderfuls’ to which I’ve referred in other threads — the last nest of them that still flies a Dominican flag. This one, however, uses the same address as that of “Delaware Intercorp Inc”. So they’re doing exactly the same thing from Delaware that has also happened from Dominica: incorporating and running an unrecognized institution using the address of the corporation’s registered agent. (And I don’t blame them for switching jurisdictions, since incorporating in Delaware is a lot cheaper!),” wrote Steve Foerster on Jul 30, 2015 in response to Shenzi’s concern.
“Hmmm… Never heard of them, and I go to Newark region all the time. Their phone number is from Seattle, Washington. What kind of number is “1-206-3375462 2”? (206) 337-5462 belongs, or used to, to a psychiatrist in Wellesley, MA as a fax,” said jhp on Jul 31, 2015, also contributing to the discussion on what was clearly becoming fraudulent to the forum.