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University of Sierra Leone withdraws two ‘fraudulent’ degrees

The University of Sierra Leone (USL) has withdrawn two degrees from two individuals said to have acquired them fraudulently.In a statement seen by APA on Friday, the institution ordered former law students, Alimatu Tity George and Jamilatu Alicia Sesay to handover certificates conferred on them for Bachelors of Law.

The decision taken by the University Court, according to the statement, was based on a High Court verdict back in January involving one of Sierra Leone’s most popular legal luminaries and former head of the Law Department of Fourah Bay College. Lawyer Emmanuel Ekundayo Constant Shears-Moses was convicted on 27 January for involvement in examinations malpractice. 

He had been found wanting for awarding illegal grades to the two women.

Alimatu was awarded a passing grade for the dissertation when she didn’t in fact submit any writing, the court found. 

Jamilatu was given an inflated grade for the module: ‘Jurisprudence and Legal Theory.’

The case illustrated the severity of a menace in Sierra Leone’s education system – examination malpractice. 

While it had been known to be rampant at the tertiary education level, focus had been more at the primary and secondary level.

But the involvement of someone in the caliber of the lecturer concerned also shocked many.

The issue also serves as a pointer to the state of the country’s legal system which is considered highly corrupt.

Published on 28.04.2020

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