A professor who was caught and later suspended for examination malpractices has made the short list of likely recipients of the Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) rank.The rank is reserved for Nigerian lawyers who have distinguished themselves in legal practice, either in the advocacy or academic lines.
The integrity and reputation of the candidate is also a major factor for consideration for the award.Benedicta Daudu, the dean of the Faculty of Law at the Taraba State University, was shortlisted alongside 68 other lawyers for the SAN award by the LPPC which is domiciled at the Supreme Court of Nigeria.
Ms Daudu, an associate professor of law and head of the Department of Jurisprudence and International Law of the Faculty of Law at UNIJOS, was caught cheating while taking an examination for a Master’s degree in Research and Public Policy in the Faculty of Social Sciences of the same university.
The development, after it was exposed earned her the sack from then President Muhammadu Buhari’s Presidential Committee Advisory Committee on Corruption (PACAC) in May 2016.Confirming her exit from PACAC, the Executive Secretary of the body, Bolaji Owasanoye, a law professor and now chairman of Nigeria’s anti-graft agency, ICPC, had in a text message to this newspaper as then executive secretary of PACAC, said the committee discussed the allegation against Ms Daudu, and she “voluntarily” stepped down from the committee until the matter was resolved.
“The Presidential Advisory Committee on Corruption has discussed the allegations against Dr Benedicta Daudu based on information in the public domain and Dr Benedicta Daudu has voluntarily stepped down from the committee until the matter is officially concluded by the university,” Mr Owasanoye wrote.
Ms Daudu, who was an associate law professor, was working towards another master’s in Research and Public Policy when she was caught in the examination malpractice scandal.
The Department of Research and Public Policy accused her of smuggling in prepared answers during the examination for the Global Context in Public Policy course.Sources said the matter was subsequently reported to the university’s examination committee but some students and faculty claimed there were attempts at cover-ups by the university authorities.
Efforts by the university management to sanction Ms Daudu based on her position as a lecturer failed owing to a legal action she instituted against the varsity.However, the university in December 2016, suspended her while trying to properly investigate the issue.
But it was later learnt that Ms Daudu and the UNIJOS management reached a settlement agreement, where she resigned her appointment and was paid off.
She, from there, left for the Taraba State University, where she became a professor in 2019.