Ibrahim Zubairu, a lecturer at Accra Polytechnic, is in hot waters over an alleged case of plagiarizing other people’s written article and presenting it as his own.
He had submitted an article titled ‘Long-run Strategic Capital Structure: An Exploration of The Linkage Between Strategic Management And Financial Management’ to the Pentvars Business Journal (Volume 7) for publication but the cover was blown when the editors discovered that almost everything in Mr. Zubairu’s article had been lifted verbatim from the Journal of Financial and Strategic Decisions Vol. 10 No. 1 (1997).
The original authors were Dev Prasad, Garry D. Burton and Andreas G. Merikas.
Strangely, Accra Polytechnic authorities have rewarded Zubairu with a three-year study leave with pay to go to the University of Lincoln in the United Kingdom to pursue his Ph. D in Finance and Accounting.
Mr. Zubairu, who contested the National Democratic Congress (NDC) parliamentary seat for Agona West in the Central region, proudly presented at the end of the ‘borrowed’ article that he is a fellow member of the Institute of Financial Accountants UK, academic member of the Association of International Accountants (AIA) and holds MBA Finance from Lincoln University alongside other credentials such as FFA, MBA Fin.; ACM and HND Acct.
He was suspended by Accra Polytechnic authorities for one month without salary from Monday August 2, 2010 to Tuesday August 31, 2010 over the unpalatable academic issue.
However, immediately Zubairu of the Accountancy Department returned from suspension, the same polytechnic’s authorities ‘rewarded’ him with a three-year study leave with pay to pursue his doctorate degree, starting from October 1, 2010, when the serious offence of plagiarism has not yet been dealt with.
When a committee was set up by the polytechnic to investigate Mr. Zubairu’s article, it was discovered that he had presented fraudulent and bogus information and also made reference to the construction of a non-existent processing plant called Polymer Processing Plant which he said had a capacity to produce 150, 000 tonnes per annum.
According to a source, Mr. Zubairu, who has been appointed by President Mills as board member of the National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI), lied to the committee investigating him that he obtained permission from the authors of the original article to use their material but the authors have since denied it and said they do not know the disappointed MP.
The suspension letter, a copy of which DAILY GUIDE has in its possession stated: “The Rector, having considered the report of the committee which was set up to investigate a case of plagiarism leveled against you, has suspended you from the Polytechnic for one (1) month beginning from Monday August 2, 2010, to Tuesday August 31, 2010, during which period you will not be paid salary.”
The letter also said Mr. Zubairu would not be considered for promotion for the next three calendar years and advised him to “appraise the danger to your career, of indulging in plagiarism whilst doing any future research work, since any such acts will ruin your career for good.”
The letter said the polytechnic had taken serious view of the offence since plagiarism is a serious offence under the law, and it undermines the ethics of arriving at certainty of knowledge in the public domain by the process of peer review and publication.
The committee concluded in its report that “ninety per cent of Mr. Zubairu’s article should be in quotation marks.
It contains misleading information and parts of it are absurd. At present, its impact is limited to those who have read it but in the future, interested readership may develop in countries overseas and elsewhere in Ghana.”
“Thus steps should be taken to stop the spread and propagation of the falsehood contained in Mr. Zubairu’s article, quiet apart from the issue of plagiarism,” the statement indicated.
When contacted, Mr. Zubairu demanded to know the source of DAILY GUIDE’s report and said he had never been suspended for indulging in plagiarism, adding “I have not been suspended. I have been working. I even come to work on weekends.”
He then threatened, “You go ahead and publish anything and I will get my lawyers to deal with you.”
Plagiarism is a piece of writing that has been copied from someone else’s article or book and is presented as being your own work in the academia. It can also be defined as the unacknowledged use, as one’s own, of work of another person, whether or not such work has been published.
By William Yaw Owusu