A perennial academic fraudster has emerged as winner of the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) primary in Montserrado County District #2.
Kokulo S. Borvor is contesting for the House of Representatives in the upcoming October 10 polls.
Over the weekend, coalition delegates overwhelmingly elected Borvor, defeating incumbent representative of the district, Jimmy Smith. Borvor garnered over 80 percent of the votes cast, accumulating 382 votes, while Smith got 21 votes in Sunday’s primary.
While Borvor, with this latest feat, could be making headway politically, he has not fared well in the area of academia — where he has gained notoriety for being a cheat or fraudster.
His Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminal Justice, which he claimed to have earned from the African Methodist Episcopal Zion University (AMEZU), was revoked by the institution after it was uncovered that it was acquired through dubious means.
The University administration took action after a series of investigative reports done by the Daily Observer unearthed that Bovor and a few others had duped the system and were not qualified for the conferred degrees.
An internal investigation conducted by the university confirmed the Daily Observer's finding and shockingly revealed that Borvor was not a student of the University.
The AMEZU instance was not Borvor’s first commission of academic fraud. In 2016, he was expelled from the African Methodist Episcopal University (AMEU) for buying his way onto the graduation list with the aid of some lecturers without completing the required courses.
Though he did not graduate from AMEU, Borvor used fake credentials in the name of the school to get top government positions at the Liberia Drug Enforcement Agency and later the Ministry of Justice as Comptroller.
He told his employees that he graduated with a bachelor's degree in Accounting from AME University in 2017, and that he was a candidate for a Master's degree at the same university.
Even though Borvor did not have a document to back his claims, he was employed as comptroller at the Liberia Drugs Enforcement Agency and later at the Ministry of Justice by the CDC-led administration.
After the Daily Observer revelations, he was asked by the Ministry of Justice to resign or risk legal action. Borvor resigned, and a few months later, he surfaced at the 30th commencement convocation of AMEZU which was held on April 22, 2021.
He was conferred a Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminal Justice, which was revoked at a press conference on June 16, 2021. The degrees of 14 other fraudsters were revoked that same day.
“We are pleased to inform you that following a thorough investigation by the Committee, it was discovered that Mr. Kokolu S. Borvor is not and has never been a student of the Criminal Justice College of the AME Zion University,” Benjamin Lartey, president of the university, told a press conference in 2021.
Lartey’s announced the revocation of Borvor’s degree and punishments for employees of the University who aided him along the way in misleading the school.
Lartey said the University’s action was based on the outcome of a month-long investigation that was launched when the school discovered that more diploma covers were issued to graduating seniors than the actual number of students that met both academic and financial requirements.
He said the investigation was further deepened when the Daily Observer reported that AMEZU has graduated an academic fraudster identified as Kokolu S. Borvor.
Subsequently after the revocation of Borvor’s degree, he took over ‘The Big Sam Academy International School System,’ a school operated by Tower of Praise Prophetic Deliverance Ministry, a Church his wife, Krubo Borvor pastors.
Borvor has since gone silent until his recent appearance at the CDC’s primary with an overwhelming victory by the party executives to contest on its ticket.
Martin K.N. Kollie, an advocate who has launched a war against holders of fake credentials in the country, told the Daily Observer in a Whatsapp interview that “the fight against academic crime requires a collective campaign because Liberia has come of age and now is the time to get things right.”
Kollie said academic fraud is a crime against the state and, as such, degrees should not just be revoked, but those involved should be tried and made to face the full weight of the law.
He said when elected, Borvor will be just another addition to those academic fraudsters at the Legislature.
Making reference to the recent case to the Louis Arthur Grimes School of Law, University of Liberia, Kollie said: “Unfortunately, the system has become a safe haven for academic criminals that is supported by the Ministry of Education, the National Commission on Higher Education, and the state run university.
“An academic system that can not produce excellence has no future. Imagine having those people in the classroom providing education for the future generation of this country and also making laws.”
He called on every citizen to rally against academic fraudsters.
It may be recalled, both former Chief Justice Frances Johnson-Allison and Cllr. Lucia Sonii-Gbala, Assistant Professor, resigned from the the Louis Arthur Grimes School of Law, specifically citing the school administration’s apparent tolerance for academic fraud when certain students allegedly altered their failing grades from “D” grades to “C,” which paved the way for their graduation.