Friday, June 22, 2012

Alleged Plagiarism: Dike Drags Two UNIPORT Professors To Court

With the dust raised by his suit against the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria(CBN), Mr. Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, whom he accused of grossly violating his intellectual property rights by extensively plagiarizing his work in two public lectures he (Sanusi) gave at two Nigerian universities still heavy in the air, Victor Dike, a Nigerian-born United States-based academic is in court again.   

Victor Dike

This time, Dike who is of the School of Engineering & Technology, National University (Sacramento Center) Sacramento, California, has dragged two Nigerian professors, Steve O. Tamuno and Needorn Richard Sorle, of the Department of Economics, University of Port Harcourt, to court for plagiarism.   

The suit (No. FHC/PH/CS/154/2012) which was filed on Dike’s behalf by his attorney, Onyinye Obiaju, came up for mention before Justice L. Akanbi of the Federal High Court 1, Port Harcourt, on June 12, 2012.  But Professors Steve O. Tamuno and Needorn Richard Sorle were absent in court. Consequently, the court gave an order that the defendants be served with notice of the next hearing date which is November 6, 2012.

In the statement of claim signed by his counsel, E.U. Chinedum Esq., Prof Dike avers that he is the original author of the article:  Corruption in Nigeria: A New Paradigm for Effective Control” published in the AFRICAN ECONOMIC ANALYSIS, and later republished in the NIGERIA ECONOMIC SUMMIT GROUP (NESG) – Economic Indicators (2003) July-September 2003, Volume 9, No.3 (p.32-45), under a new title, “Corruption in Nigeria: Understanding and Managing the Challenges.” This article, he claims, was copied verbatim by the defendants and published as their own work in the JOURNAL OF RESEARCH IN NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT VOLUME 6 NO 1, JUNE, 2008, under the heading, “Corruption and Economic Growth: A Survey of Three Institutions In Nigeria,” without properly acknowledging him as the original author.  

Although in a letter entitled “Alleged Case of Plagiarism” dated January 21, 2012, the first defendant (Prof Steve O. Tamuno) on behalf of himself and the second defendant (Prof Needorn Richard Sorle) apologized to Prof Dike for copying his work without properly acknowledging him, the plaintiff was not satisfied with that apology as the defendants had failed to retract the same article from the internet as demanded by him.  Moreover, the plaintiff avers that his credibility has been called to serious question as his articles are no longer regarded highly by readers since their discovery that the very opinions he expressed have also been rendered verbatim ad literatim in the work of another person. Due to this incident, he claims, readers who had held him high esteem before now are beginning to doubt whether he is indeed the author of articles ascribed to him. This has caused him undue embarrassment, pain and stress.

University of Port Harcourt
He is therefore asking the court to declare that Profs Steve O. Tamuno and Needorn Richard Sorle plagiarized his work and breached his copyrights.

He also wants a perpetual injunction restraining the defendants from citing the publication in the JOURNAL OF RESEARCH IN NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT (Volume 6 No. 1, JUNE, 2008) entitled “CORRUPTION AND ECONOMIC GROWTH: A SURVEY OF THREE INSTITUTIONS” as their original work.

He is equally asking for an order mandating the defendants to retract immediately the said article from the public and the University of Port Harcourt website.

He also wants the court to mandate the defendants to send him a written apology which must also be published in at least one national newspaper and in addition pay him the sum of N27 million as damages and the cost of the suit.

It will be recalled that on Monday April 23, 2012, a Federal High Court in Abuja, had given orders that the CBN governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, be served with a writ of summons filed by Prof Dike who had alleged that Sanusi had breached his copyright by copying his work without acknowledging him in two convocation lectures he (Sanusi) had given at the Igbinedion University, Okada, and Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi.

Professor Ruqqayatu Rufai,
Nigeria's Education Minister

Commenting on these cases, a Lagos-based public affairs analyst said that since the matters are still in court, he would reserve his comments until rulings are given. He, however, sees what is happening as “a very positive and heartwarming development which would certainly trigger some reactions that would aid the process of sanitizing the nation’s intellectual community. People would now be more careful.  Dike is pursuing these two cases, involving Sanusi and the two UNIPORT professors, because the materials he is alleging were copied from his work can be accessed on the internet; you can then imagine what happens with the countless books that university teachers and many other people are churning out each day, and at every corner of Nigeria for our children and the unsuspecting public to read. It is a sad development. The media should keep these cases in the limelight; I am particularly interested in how they would be resolved. This is a healthy development, with far-reaching implications for the nation’s educational system.” 


Dike Sues Nigerian CBN Governor Sanusi For Plagiarism

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

AZAPO Asks Mandela To Apologise For Selling Out Black People's Struggle

"Many of his friends did not get an opportunity to apologise before they died, and he must consider himself lucky and use the opportunity for his soul to rest peacefully before it is too late" - AZAPO

"This is a case of insensitivity  at its worst" - the Sowetan newspaper in an editorial . 

Nelson Mandela

Apparently seeking to draw attention to itself, an obscure group that identifies itself as the youth league of the Azanian People's Organisation (AZAPO) has early this week called on former South African president and world statesmen, Mr. Nelson Mandela, to apologise to the South African people "before he dies" for "selling out black people's struggle."

In statement, the president of the league, Mr. Amukelani Ngobeni, said that if Mandela dies without rendering the apology, he would be denied eternal peace. According to him, Mandela and his fellow anti-Apartheid activists had sold "out black people's struggle through the secret talks [they had undertaken] with the apartheid government."

Sowetan newspaper reported yesterday that Mr. Ngobeni had alleged that "Mandela entered into secret talks and agreed on a compromised constitution which today makes it very difficult, or almost impossible, for government to deliver in its duties to service the citizens."

Nelson Mandela With Michelle Obama

 "Many of his [Mandela's] friends did not get an opportunity to apologise before they died, and he must consider himself lucky and use the opportunity for his soul to rest peacefully before it is too late", Mr. Ngobeni said.

According to him: "Mandela and his friends were excited and could not wait to occupy the global political space at the expense of the struggle for complete political, social and economic emancipation." He added that he and his organisation were closely monitoring information and developments about Mandela's state of health. 

Reacting to Mr. Ngobeni's assertions, Sello Hatang, spokesman to the Nelson Mandela Foundation, said that Mandela had always insisted that "that he was always acting as part of the collective." He would rather the African National Congress (ANC) react to Ngobeni's allegations.  The ANC spokesman,  Keith Khoza, however, has said that his party would not dignify Mr. Ngobeni's statement with any comment, according to the Sowetan.

In an editorial which appeared today, the Sowetan described Mr. Ngobeni's outburst as an unambiguous advertisement of "of insensitivity  at its worst."  The paper advised him to offer without delay an unreserved  apology to Nelson Mandela for his atrocious comments. The editorial is reproduced below: 


Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Nobel Prize Amounts Reduced

The Board of Directors of the Nobel Foundation announced in Stockholm on Monday a 20% reduction in the amounts given to Nobel Prize winners.  Consequently, the 2012 Nobel Prize winners will each go home with 8.0 million Swedish Kronor (equivalent to USD 1.1 million based on the current exchange rate instead of the SEK 10 million or $1.4 million previous winners had received). This is the first time the value of the prize has been reduced since the 63 years it has existed. 

There will also be a drastic reduction in the size and nature of the Nobel Prize annual banquet. In a statement in Stockholm on Monday June 11, 2012 after its meeting, the Nobel Foundation said it regards the measures it is taking as necessary “in order to avoid an undermining of its capital in a long-term perspective.”  
The Foundation's statement is reproduced in full below:
The Nobel Foundation

Press Release
June 11, 2012

At its meeting on June 11, 2012, the Board of Directors of the Nobel Foundation set the amount of the 2012 Nobel Prizes at SEK 8.0 million per prize, at today's exchange rate equivalent to USD 1.1 million. This implies a lowering of the prize sum by 20 per cent. The Nobel Foundation regards this as a necessary measure in order to avoid an undermining of its capital in a long-term perspective.

One of the most important tasks of the Nobel Foundation is to safeguard the economic base of the Nobel Prize. The capital left behind by Alfred Nobel must therefore be managed in such a way that it will be possible to award the Nobel Prize in perpetuity, while guaranteeing the independence of the prize-awarding institutions.

(L-R) Queen Silvia of Sweden, Princess Madeleine
of Sweden, King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden, Prince
 Carl Philip of Sweden and Crown Princess Victoria
of Sweden during the Nobel Foundation Prize 2008
Awards Ceremony at the Concert Hall  on December
10, 2008 in Stockholm, Sweden. ( Source: Pascal Le
Segretain/Getty Images Europe)

The decision to lower the prize sum, from SEK 10.0 to 8.0 million, is related to the assessment that the Board of Directors makes today of the potential for achieving a good inflation-adjusted return on the Nobel Foundation's capital during the next several years. Another part of the picture is that during the past decade, the average return on the Foundation's capital has fallen short of the overall sum of all Nobel Prizes and operating expenses. The costs of the Nobel Foundation's central administration and the Nobel festivities are therefore being reviewed.

"The Nobel Foundation is responsible for ensuring that the prize sum can be maintained at a high level in the long term. We have made the assessment that it is important to implement necessary measures in good time," says Lars Heikensten, Executive Director of the Nobel Foundation.

Professor Wole Soyinka, Nobel Prize Winner 

The various organisations in the Nobel sphere also jointly manage large assets connected to the Nobel Prize as a trademark. This includes not only the Nobel Foundation and the prize-awarding institutions, but also the organisations that disseminate information about the Nobel Prize and the achievements of the Laureates, such as Nobel Media and the Nobel Museum in Stockholm and the Nobel Peace Center in Oslo.

Since the Nobel Foundation's capital must be used primarily to pay for the work of the Nobel committees and the prize sum itself, these information activities are essentially externally financed, for example via grants from central or local government authorities, corporate sponsors, private donors, foundations or philanthropic entities.

Nadine Gordmer, Another Nobel Prize Winner
The same is true of the investment in a Nobel Prize Center on the Blasieholmen peninsula in central Stockholm which was announced earlier. The equity of the Nobel Foundation will not be used either for the building or for the operation of a future Center.

"The Nobel Prize Center will become an important base in our long-term efforts to preserve the stature of the Nobel Prize and disseminate the message of the Nobel Prize to a global audience," says Lars Heikensten, Executive Director of the Nobel Foundation.


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