Huriwa Logo

Huriwa Logo

Monday, 13 August 2012


Fareed Zakaria and Sanusi Lamido Sanusi are two young professionals that progressively rose to the pinnacle of their different professional callings.

While Fareed Zakaria became one of the best known and recognizable television presenters globally from his United States base, the other young person from Nigeria in the person of Sanusi Lamido Sanusi who is a banker eventually got elevated through political might of the president of the federal Republic of Nigeria to become the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria against all odds.

Incidentally, both men have in the past couple of years received accolades from certain quarters for what those nominating them for such awards regarded as their very remarkable achievements as technocrats in their own fields.

Both men are equally said to be fairly well educated even though Mr. Fareed Zakaria seems to have attended better graded and World rated Ivy League Universities in the United States than Mr. Sanusi Lamido Sanusi who is reported to have read at the post-graduate level in one of the remotest and little known universities in Sudan, a war ravaged country.

Fareed Rafiq Zakaria who was born in January 20th, 1964 and rose to become one of the finest Indian-American journalists and authors is a distinguished international public policy analyst who has used his media visibility to gain some personal milleage. From research conducted online, he was said to have worked as a columnist in the internationally reputable Newsweek and editor of Newsweek international from the year 2000 to 2010.

Zakaria became editor-at-large of Time Magazine in the year 2010 and also the host of the cable News Network’s 'Fareed Zakaria GPS' [a must watch] and a frequent commentator and author about issues related to international relations, trade and American Foreign policy. He is loved and admired by younger intellectuals from across the World including this writer.

Fareed Zakaria received a Bachelor of Arts from the highly respected Yale University where he also held the prestigious position of the yale political union’s president and editor-in-chief of the yale political monthly. He later earned a Doctor of Philosophy in political science from Harvard University in 1993 where he studied under Samuel P. Huntington and Stanley Hoffmann, as well as international relations theorist Robert Keohane. Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia therefore rates Fareed Zakaria as an original thinker prior to his latest plegiarism controversy.

From the above loaded history of the enormous scholarship attained by Mr. Fareed Zakaria one can comfortably deduce that he is one of the finest learned minds among contemporary youth. But something has gone wrong that threatens to puncture his illustrious educational, academic and professional meteoric rise. This threat is related to the accusation that he plagiarized the Newspaper piece of one of his reporters and passed it on as if he was the author. He humbly owned up and profusely apologized in what is seen as grave human error.

On Sanusi Lamido Sanusi the other personality who is equally rated very highly by his contemporaries as one of the best bank administrators of his time, there is a connection between him and Mr. Fareed Zakaria in the unfortunate fact that he is also facing charges and accusations of plagiarism by an American-based Nigerian born scholar who has even proceeded to institute a court litigation at the Federal High Court, Abuja Division which is still being heard.

The only difference is that while investigation is yet to be completed in the plagiarism case involving Mr. Fareed Zakaria which is largely administrative, he (Zakaria) has apologized for the human error and has been suspended from work by the Cable News Network in Atlanta, United States of America and the Time Magazine but Sanusi Lamido Sanusi still holds forte as the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria even when such a damaging allegation of plagiarism has being slammed on him and a court case instituted.

The failure of Sanusi Lamido Sanusi to resign or be suspended by the federal Government pending the determination of the subsisting court case is not all together surprising because in Nigeria public office holders do not resign even when they are accused of committing grave atrocities.

Nigerian public office holders always hold on tenaciously to the excuse that section 36(5) of the 1999 constitution of the federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) which states thus; “Every person who is charged with a criminal offence shall be presumed to be innocent until he is proved guilty”.

But why are Nigerian public officials shying away from throwing in the towel whenever their integrity is questioned and why is the government of Nigeria not showing good example by asking public office holders facing such damaging accusations such as plagiarism to step down pending final determination of the matter in the competent court of law?

Again, where is Sanusi Lamido Sanusi drawing the legal fees that he pays his legal team who are defending him at the federal High Court, Abuja Division in this instance?

Sanusi Lamido Sanusi who was born in July 31st 1961 graduated from the Ahmadu Bello University earning Bachelor of Science degree in Economics in 1981 and earned a degree in Islamic law from the international university of Africa, Khartoum, Sudan. As stated earlier, he is currently facing the court litigation bordering on alleged plagiarism which was instituted by Professor Victor E. Dike who is a lecturer at the School of Engineering and Technology, National University of Sacramento, California, United States of America.

Dike, who is also the CEO and Founder for Social Justice & Human Development, claims that he is the original author of the article titled: “Review of the Challenges Facing The Nigerian (Is National Development Possible Without Technological Capacity?).

The article was published in the Journal of Sustainable Development in Africa (volume 12).

He claimed that the CBN Governor, in a public lecture delivered at the Eight Convocation Ceremony of Igbinedion University, Okada, Edo state on 26 November, 2010, titled Growth Prospects For The Nigerian Economy, copied verbatim and pasted from his academic articles he published without referring to him as the original author of the work.

The plaintiff averred that Sanusi copied from pages 98,99 and 100 of his work titled, ‘Review of the Challenges Facing the Nigerian Economy: Is National Development Possible Without Technological Capacity?’

He stated the copied lines as follows: “The challenges facing the economy is ineffective institutions and dilapidated infrastructure (bad roads, erratic power supply, limited access to potable water and basic healthcare, and ineffective regulatory agencies, etc). The plethora of reforms and policies are ineffective due to institutional failure (Hoff, 2003)”.

The above is just a few sentences from one of the publications in which Lamido Sanusi is alleged to have plagiarized.

At another lecture delivered by the nation’s Chief Banker at the Convocation Square, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi where he presented a paper titled ‘Global Financial Meltdown and the Reforms in the Nigerian Banking Sector’, Prof Dike alleged that Sanusi also copied verbatim articles originally written and published by him without acknowledging him as the author of the works from where he sourced the materials for his lecture.

He also stated that Sanusi on different occasions copied his materials without acknowledging him as the original author of the works.                           

The plaintiff subsequently asked for the modest sum of N15 million as compensation, the cost of filing the suit and the cost of travelling to Nigeira.

The United States based Nigerian born University don is also asking the court to declare that Sanusi plagiarized his works and breached his copy right.

Professor Dike further asked the court to issue a perpetual injunction restraining Sanusi form citing his papers as his (Sanusi’s).

He asked the court to direct the CBN Governor to retract the papers from the public by removing them from the CBN website.

The plaintiff asked the court to make a publication in a national daily denouncing the authorship of the articles.   

Sanusi Lamido Sanusi has already entered appearance through his team of lawyers led by a senior Advocate of Nigeria Chief Kola Awodein. He has filed preliminary objection to the suit and is praying for the dismissal of the entire case. The matter is pending. 

Just like Sanusi Lamid Sanusi, Fareed Zakaria was accused of copying aspects of the work of Jill Lapore without citing the proper author in compliance to standard Journalistic practice.

An introspective look at these two cases therefore compels me to urge the federal government to stop promoting impunity by allowing public office holders with damaging court cases that borders on their person to remain in office and probably draw fund from the public treasury to service the professional fees of his team of lawyers in a matter that such a public office holder should bear the entire cost on his/her own. There has to be an investigation to ascertain the sources from which the legal team representing Mr. Sanusi Lamido Sanusi draw their professional fees.

The best possible thing for the Nigerian government would have been to suspend the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria until such a time that the nation’s court system finally reaches an unassailable determination of the pending matter. Plagiarism is a very serious allegation that ought to be sufficiently cleared by the person so accused before he could go about his official duties which demands unimpeachable integrity. When will Nigerians ever learn from Americans and Europeans?   

* Emmanuel Onwubiko, Head, HUMAN Rights Writers’ Association of Nigeria blogs


No comments:

Post a Comment