Ministerial screening: Sen Abbo blasts a Professor who is Benue Minister nominee over age discrepancy

 Ishaku Abbo, the lawmaker representing Adamawa north senatorial district, says he sat for the common entrance examination and passed

when he was in primary 3.

Abbo spoke on Monday on the floor of the senate during the screening of the ministerial nominees.

He was reacting to a discrepancy in the biodata of Joseph Utsev, a nominee from Benue state.

Tokunbo Abiru, a lawmaker from Lagos, had pointed out what
appeared like an age discrepancy in the curriculum vitae (CV) submitted by

Abiru pointed out that Utsev, a professor of water resources and environmental engineering, was born in 1980, started his primary school in 1984 and finished his secondary school in 1989.

“You were born on December 2, 1980, but reading further down, you attended St John Primary School, Gboko, in 1989,” Abiru said.

“I am wondering whether you finished secondary school in 1989 which suggests that you started primary school at the age of three to
finish in 1989.

“You also claim that you went to secondary school in 1995. What appeared a bit distorted is that you
graduated in 2004 meaning that you probably would have spent nine years for
your first degree.

“I just need you to clarify those data starting from primary school, while it took you that long to get your first degree despite the academic brilliance you have exhibited.”

The nominee responded that he started primary school in the year 1984 and got his first school leaving certificate in 1989.

However, when Abbo stood up to ask the nominee a question, said he was also an exceptionally brilliant student in school.

“First of all, our nominee from Benue state, you see some people don’t understand some basic
things,” Abbo said.

“To clear the air on the issue of you finishing primary school at the age of three. Let me tell you a personal story.

“I sat for the common entrance examination when I was in primary three and I won because I was exceptionally brilliant. I passed. It is all the same; winning and passing are the same.

“So, the question of you entering primary school at the age of three did not arise but when did you finish and at what level did you sit for your common entrance examination?

“You may be like me,
exceptionally brilliant. But we have cleared the issue because we are on
national television and I don’t want people to go home and think that your
integrity has been called to question.”

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