By: Stephen G. Fellajuah
Sinoe County Senator J. Milton Teahjay has clarified that he graduated from the Howard University in Washington DC with a Master’s in Public Administration but said his degree was withheld because of the government of Liberia indebtedness to the institution.
Teahjay’s clarification was triggered by a report by the Campaigners for Academic Crimes (CACC), headed by Activist Martin K. N. Kollie, accusing the lawmaker of committing academic crimes that he is claiming a degree that he does not have.
Mr. Kollie stated that Howard University has never awarded a degree to J. Milton Teahjay. The University indirectly rejected Teahjay’s claims through an official list of students it awarded graduate degrees between 1989, and 1991. The list of graduates does not include Teahjay.
“Teahjay is hereby convicted of academic frauds, and credential beautification. He is not a graduate of Howard; he has no Master’s degree from Howard and should be condemned by the public as an academic criminal”, according to CACC report released on 27th of August, 2022.
But responding to CACC report, on Monday, September 5, 2022 at his Capitol Building office, Senator Teahjay while laying the basic information to his response, said in 1984 the government of Liberia awarded him a scholarship to go to the United States to study communication and was admitted to Kinsley University in Ohio.
He said It took him three consecutive years to get that degree when he graduated 1987 in December with a bachelor degree with distinction taking 3rd at the University with cum laude. The record and testimonial which he displayed during the interview including year book and degree cover.
After the 1987 graduation he said he then moved to Cleveland Ohio, because in Cleveland the Spring Semester was in the middle and he did not want to sit down the whole year without going to school waiting for Ford University he had applied to.
“During the year of my graduation I applied to many universities in Washington DC so I was waiting for responses. Instead of waiting I decided to get admission at the John Carey University in Cleveland and got admitted to do a second bachelor degree in Congressional Politics and Liberation Theology. I was in that program when I got admitted to Howard in Washington DC in 1988”, he stated.
Continuing, he said after the end of that semester he moved from Ohio to Washington DC and pursued a degree in Public Administration and public policy. And in 1990 he graduated with a Master of Arts (MA) degree in Public Administration.
According to Senator Teahjay, the support base at Howard University did not continue and since he was a government sponsored student he decided to go to the Embassy, which the Embassy took the initiative to support the remedial of his courses, saying he was at Howard on the account of the government of Liberia.
In further account of his degree, he narrated that when the graduation came in 1990 there was no government in Liberia. It was required that all financial obligations before being given letter to formally go through the graduation. Since there was no government of Liberia at that time there was nobody to pay the fees which the government was obligated to pay.
“Then I went to the Embassy to help me clear my obligations to the school which did not happen. Instead the Embassy appealed to the University to allow me graduate so that the government of Liberia will pay the money afterwards. The University accepted the request of the Liberian Embassy at the time with a condition that yes we will allow him to graduate but we will withhold his diploma until the fees are paid. That was the situation under which I was allowed to graduate” the Sinoe County lawmaker noted in his response.
Let me say this I have absolute confidence in the quality of my credentials. My degrees are among few of the most celebrated credentials in Liberia. I say this because I came number three among thousands of American students when I graduated from Kingsley University, Senator Teahjay added.
Meanwhile, Senator Teahjay has accused Sinoe County Representative Crayton O. Duncan, for political purposes pushing Mr. Martin Kollie to go after him and tell lies. Teahjay further described his kinsman Duncan as a lier with fake degree papers who wants to malign his good earned character
When contacted Rep. Crayton O. Duncan trashed Senator Teahjay allegation, terming it as a fear of Mr. Teahjay becoming jobless after the 2023 election as he vowed to defeat the while displaying testimonials of his Bachelor of Arts degree including medals from the Minnesota University in the US.
“Look, the people of Sinoe are tired of Teahjay because he has nothing in the County to show. He has been gone almost nine years and the only thing he does is to divide the people. Since I became Representative my focus is to improve the lives of my people, which I have implemented more than 35 projects across the County including the building of school”, Rep. Duncan explained further.on Tuesday during a press conference at his Capitol Building office.