Home Top Stories Exposed! How Yaduma’s qualification was exaggerated to get FRIN DG’s Job

Exposed! How Yaduma’s qualification was exaggerated to get FRIN DG’s Job


By Our Correspondent

Abuja (Sundiata Post) – Five months after Dr. Zacharia Yaduma Buba was appointed as the Director General/Chief Executive Officer of Forestry Research Institute of Nigeria (FRIN), Ibadan, facts have emerged about how his academic status was amplified and embellished to get him the job above the six eminently qualified Professors at the Institute who were also in the race.
Although his curriculum vitae says he is a senior lecturer, meaning he was not qualified to apply for the Chief Executive’s position in the first instance, Sundiata Post can reveal authoritatively that in recommending the kinsman of the former Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), to Mr. President for the job, the immediate past Minister of Environment, Mr. Mohammed Abdullahi, deliberately exaggerated his status by describing him as a Professor.
The former Minister’s prayer in the letter of recommendation to Mr. President, through the SGF, dated 8th February 2023, says: “It is with deep sense of responsibility and in cognizance of Mr. President’s discretion that I recommend for your kind consideration and approval the appointment of Prof Zacharia Yaduma Buba as substantive Director General/CEO from the shortlisted candidates.”
According to stakeholders in the Research and Development Institutes (RDIs) sector, his academic status must have been pepped up deliberately to create an air of compliance with Section 6(2)a of the FRIN Establishment Act which says “the Director General shall be a Research Professor with vast experience in forestry and/or related disciplines.”
Going by the curriculum vitae which Yaduma applied with, it is evident that apart from being not qualified, he was not particularly prepared for the job because it says, “Post Applied For: Associate Professor,” which means he hurried presented the CV which he must have prepared while applying to become an Associate Professor at an earlier date without taking the effort of updating it.


Sundiata Post could not confirm if he was successful in that effort, having only become a Senior Lecturer on 1st of October 2017.
Although the former Hon. Minister followed due process in forwarding the name of his recommended candidate together with the two others to the President for consideration and approval as stipulated by Section 2(2) d(i) of the Conditions of Service for Research and Development Agencies, Institutes and Colleges (COS 2019) on the appointment of Chief Executives as approved by the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation (OHCSF), yet he looked the other way not only on the requisite qualifications but also on the provision in Section which stipulates that in selecting Chief Executives, consideration shall first be given to “claims of outstanding and meritorious scientists in the Institution concerned who fall within the field of selection, for recommendation in their order of relative eligibility.”
Section and of COS says where no suitable internal candidate is adjudged “to have prima facie met the basis requirements for the short-listing, consideration shall then be extended in the first instance, to other Research and Development Institutions by wide internal advertisement within the Research and Development Institutions sector.”
This position of the Conditions of Service is in tandem with the directive of a 23rd November 2017 circular issued and signed by the then SGF, Mr. Boss Mustapha, with Ref. No. SGF/OP/1/S.3/T and titled “Re: Procedure for Appointing Chief Executives and Heads of Parastatals of Government-Owned Companies, Agencies and Institutions.”
The circular emphasizes that “such appointments which should be without prejudice to eligible serving officers competing for these positions must be based on strict adherence to the principle of justice, equity and fair play,” adding: “to ensure stability, continuity and improvement of staff morale, serving officers shall be encouraged to aspire to top positions of their establishments through effective career development and succession planning.”
The said circular also emphasized that “all appointments into vacant positions of Chief Executives and top echelon of staff of Parastatals/Government-owned companies, agencies and institutions must be guided by the various laws establishing them.”


Sundiata Post reports that former President Muhammadu Buhari was deliberately misinformed and wrongly advised in the appointment of Yaduma.
Although FRIN has seven full Professors, six of whom applied for the position, they were shunned in the process, thus bypassing all extant regulations and guidelines.
Stakeholders affirm that the November 2017 circular of the former SGF has become a reference point within the public sector, Mustapha, who is known for due diligence, looked the other way in favour of his kinsman who did not meet any of the conditions stipulated the FRIN Act, COS 2019 or the Boss Mustapha circular.
Shortly after he assumed office, we gathered that he embarked on aggressive public relations campaign to show that his appointment was applauded by the staff. Sensing that the headquarters of the Institute where most the Professors are based, a sponsored press conference was organized at the Federal College of Forestry Mechanization (FCFM), Afaka, Kaduna, one of the many Colleges under FRIN to tell the world that he was God-sent.
The press conference, purportedly organized by the Joint Action Committee (JAC) of the three trade unions at the College on 20th May 2023, was addressed by the branch Chairman of the Academic Staff Union of Research Institutions (ASURI), Comrade Isaac Maisamari. The text of the briefing was titled, “It is a New dawn in FRIN and we are Blessed to witnessed it.” He told the media: “On behalf of all the Staff and Unions in FRIN and her Colleges, we congratulate the game-changing Director General and wish him a successful and productive tenure.”
It was gathered that the press conference, which could have been held in Ibadan, the headquarters of FRIN, was shifted to Kaduna where the Provost of the College is a kinsman of the DG. Holding the briefing in Kaduna was therefore considered to be a home match, on a friendly environment.
Sundiata Post has it on good account that Maisamari was promptly queried by the Central Working Committee of ASURI for his role in the exercise.
The query, signed by the Secretary General of the union, Professor Theophilus Ndubuaku, says: “No doubt that you are aware that this appointment does not go down well with ASURI as a letter expressing our displeasure has since gone to the Hon. Minister of Environment about our position. Representing ASURI in that Joint Action Committee without a written permission from the National Body of your union is not only an act of insubordination but also an act of corruption, while speaking on behalf of ASURI when you were not authorized so to do has portrayed the union in a theatre of confusion.”
Shocked by the appointment, ASURI, the trade union with the jurisdictional scope to represent the interests of Research Fellows in Federal Research and Development Institutes (RDIs), Inter-University Centres, Colleges and Allied Agencies, had written a letter to the then Minister of Environment, the supervising ministry in charge of FRIN, seeking information on the criteria used in appointing Yaduma.
The letter, dated 14th April 2023 and titled, “Request for Information under the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act Regarding the Recent Appointment of Dr. Zacharia Buba Yaduma as Substantive Director General/Chief Executive Officer of Forestry Research Institute of Nigeria (FRIN), Ibadan,”
The union asked in the letter, “Making this request with every sense of responsibility in accordance with the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act, 2011, therefore, we of ASURI, a primary stakeholder union in the RDIs sector, demand that the Hon. Minister uses his good office to direct the Ministry to furnish us with the curriculum vitae of new DG and the criterion used in appointing him.”
In spite of the provisions of FOI which compels compliance with requests for information, the Ministry is yet to respond to the letter, exactly five months after the request was made.
Investigations revealed that while the FRIN Professors have accepted their fate and are licking their wounds over the development, the Chief Executive is not too comfortable with the environment. He is therefore said to have marked some of them for demolition by listing them for retirement in compliance with a recent circular which emanated from the Office of the Head of Service directing all Directors in the public service who have spent eight years or more on the position to proceed on retirement.
Authoritative sources believe that this does not apply to the RDIs sector, pointing at the Oronsaye Report, the Onosode Report, as well as the Establishment Act of many of the agencies in the sector that they shall be run outside the core Civil Service. This studies also indicate that Research Institutes and allied Agencies shall have the same conditions as the universities.
The sources, which opted for anonymity, argued that the public universities sector are not bothered by the memo, yet they are also public servants. They therefore see no reason why the RDIs sector should be bothered at all.

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