By Melvin Caesar
It is an internationally accepted standard that any student who is qualified for graduation must have completed all required courses for a degree. At the African Methodist Episcopal University (AMEU) on Camp Johnson Road, Monrovia, it seems different especially for students who would choose to circumvent the laid-down process through financial or political maneuvering. Randall Massaquoi Dobayou, the Deputy Executive Director of the Environmental Agency is a beneficiary of this spoiled system at AMEU – an institution, that until now, many people saw as reputable.
In his resume submitted to the vetting committee for the position he presently holds, Dobayou stated that he graduated from the AMEU in 2013 with a bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Political Science and a postgraduate student at Alabama State University in the United States. When investigation ensued over the veracity of this information given the fact that he was expelled from the university in 2012 for unruly behavior that violated provision of the University students’ handbook, Dobayou, in a live radio interview on April 2020, said he did not complete his courses for graduation until 2020 and he was issued academic transcript and a letter of attestation to pursue postgraduate studies in the United States at Clark University.
“I did not graduate in 2013 because I was expelled. So, I got an opportunity to go to the United States. But, the school called me and gave me my transcript and letter of attestation because I wanted to pursue a postgraduate studies in the United States,” Dobayou said on Spoon FM and during a live press conference at his office.
Since the revelation about the dubious way in which Dobayou got his credentials from the school, there has been internal wrangling among senior leadership of the school with Mr. Benjamin Everett, Assistant Registrar on one hand, the Dean of Admission on another, and the Acting President, Mr. Alvin Attah placing icing on the imbroglio through a press release.
Mr. Everett told newsmen that Dobayou did not graduate from the university as indicated in his résumé submitted to the vetting committee that interviewed him for the Deputy EPA Executive Director’ post. “If you look at the documents he is talking about, it is indicated that he did not graduate,” the Assistant Registrar disclosed.
The ink did not dry on Everett’s disclosure when the Acting President of the University, Attah issued a press release on April 30, 2020, distancing the University from Everett’s Statement to the public on grounds that the Assistant Registrar was not authorized to speak on behalf of the University. He did not however deny the information provided but announced an internal investigation into how the information got out against the decision of the school’s leadership to keep Dobayou’s deal “confidential”. Mrs. Mercy Herron added ” Dobayou is one of us. So, we took a decision to protect him. We cannot disclose his information without his written consent. We don’t see this as dragging our institution’s reputation in the mud” despite the surreptitious manner in which the documents were acquired. Mrs. Herron said that Dobayou’s decision to announce certain numbers was political; she does not know whose number it is.
As the situation hovers around the Deputy Executive Director of EPA, sources have hinted that Dobayou is not the first beneficiary to have gotten credentials from AMEU through either financial or political means. “It is sad that an institution that boasts through its motto ” in pursuit of excellence ” would choose to market credentials that other students are struggling to acquire,” a member of the senior staff who begged not to be named for fear of reprisals indicated.
More to that, there are several integral issues to consider that further expose the dubious ways in which the EPA’ DED completed his courses:
1. Randall Dobayou was expelled in 2012 for leading a violent protest against President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf when she visited AMEU. It is untrue, according to our investigation, the student who was not qualified for graduation formed part of the graduating class activities to serve as secretary of the souvenir committee.
2. “Dobayou’s expulsion has not been reconsidered by the African Methodist Episcopal University (AMEU) up to the time he returned from the United States in 2018, and he did not attend classes, since, to do his remaining courses but paid a lower level staff in the office of admissions at the AMEU to acquire an ID number that he mentioned during a press conference at his office. Dobayou paid a handsome fee to be considered for the 2020 graduation,” a source said. The agreement, investigation established, is that he should visit the school’s campus frequently to create a fake impression that he has been going to attend classes so that the students would not notice.
3. In an error proned letter of attestation published on his Facebook page, it is stated that he was a good student and member of the 2013 graduating class activities as secretary of souvenir committee. How did the AMEU University which expelled Dobayou for unruly behavior vouch that he is a good student without a redress? Where, in the world of academia, can a letter of attestation state that a student’s role in a graduating class’ activities as justification that he holds a degree? The letter did not say he completed his courses or even indicated his ID number.
He is doing everything to fit with the qualification requirements of the position he occupies which is meant for someone with a minimum master’s degree as indicated the terms of reference of the Deputy Executive Director post at the EPA.
A highly placed source close to the vetting committee averred that Dobayou’s only experience is placard carrying, air-conditioner repairer, and a high school teaching assistant at the Cathedral Catholic School in Monrovia. So, it is obvious that the Deputy Executive Director at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Randall Dobayou would go at every length to forge his academic papers solely to paint a picture that he is qualified to sit in the position he presently occupies. “Anything short of that would turn to a beggar,” the source added.
As evidence of his desperation, Dobayou has hired thugs to physically attack anyone who exposes the deceptive manner in which he cajoled the vetting committee to get the position he is enjoying now. Media practitioners suspected of investigating the fraudulent academic credentials are receiving threatening text messages from hired criminals. Some of them had gone as far as issuing these same death threats in live Facebook videos.