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Five Years After, Fake News About Young Nigerian Scientist Persists

The news of a Nigerian genius, Ufot Ufot Ekong, who emerged from his first Degree programme at a Tokyo university as overall best student, proliferated the internet with lots of falsehood and misleading facts in 2015.

The Flotilla Magazine were the first to carry the news and perhaps inadvertently, add misleading facts to it. It was later carried by the Independent of UK (on Sunday, 7th June 2015, as reported by one Ben Tofft) and few other notable media giants. In the report by Tofft, he was referred to as a mathematician (false), 30-year-old (false), works for Nissan (false), has two patents for electronic car design to his name (relatively, false), the school he attended was founded in 1924 (false).

Despite the fact that Ekong that year took to his social media pages to correct these misinformation, the fake news has persisted.

Mr Ekong had said this on his twitter page:

“Thank you for all your well wishes, support and prayer, I am truly humbled.

I have come across several publications about me on hundreds of websites and news platforms. However I would like to clarify some details in the reports.”

FACTS

  1. I studied Japanese language for a year and a half, then enrolled into the undergraduate course of Electrical and Electronics Engineering at Tokai University when I became fluent in Japanese.
  2. I graduated with Honors in Electrical and Electronics Engineering (First Class world standards)
  3. I won the award for best graduating student in Engineering.
  4. I graduated with an outstanding GPA and won the award for the Overall Best graduating student Presidents prestigious Award, Naming me the first African to achieve that feat.
  5. Up to date, I have won a number of 6 awards inside and outside school.

CORRECTIONS

  1. Regarding an equation that was unsolved for many years, my entire research team is not allowed to discuss details of academic research, patents and trade secrets as it regards electric vehicles. We are constrained by a confidentiality agreement not to discuss such projects.
  2. Currently, I do not work for or at Nissan.
  3. Tokai University was founded in 1942
  4. I am not a mathematician but an electrical and electronics engineer. Mathematics is only required in the research and product development we are involved in.
  5. I am currently enrolled in a Master’s Degree program at the university and I hope to graduate by September next year and also further pursue a PhD in Electrical Engineering.
  6. My full name is Ufot Ufot Ekong (Jnr), last born of late Captain Udoh Ekong, an Airline Pilot. I am from Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria and my native language is Ibibio.
  7. I am not 30 years old, I am a twin and I was born on 7th December, 1990.
  8. I am self-sponsored. And I don’t receive any scholarship from any government or institution.

Signed,

Ufot Ekong.

The above disclaimer was in 2015, but only yesterday, a social media user inadvertently referred to the news, taking the misinformation therein along too.

Ekong has since fulfilled his academic targets. March 24th last year, he earned his PhD! He took to his Facebook page to announce it.

Ekong is married to Yurie, a Japanese, and blessed with two children. Among the researches he has been involved in along with other fellow researchers are:

  1. Field-Weakening Control for Torque and Efficiency Optimization of a Four-Switch Three-Phase Inverter-Fed Induction Motor Drive
  2. A Field Weakening Control Strategy for Four Switch Three Phase Inverter Fed Three Phase Induction Motor Drive
  3. Evaluation of Transformation Matrix for Instantaneous Vector Control of Four Switch Three Phase Inverter fed Induction Motor Drive
  4. Improved torque and efficiency of a four switch three phase inverter fed induction motor drive
  5. Flux weakening control for torque and efficiency optimization of a vector controlled four switch three phase inverter fed induction motor drive
  6. Field oriented control of two phase inverter to drive a three phase induction motor
  7. Instantaneous Vector Control of Four Switch Three Phase Inverter Fed Induction Motor Drive

Ekong recides in Machida, Tokyo, Japan.

Categories: News

1 reply »

  1. Wow! Even after all the corrections made, someone still refuses to let go of the false news! Well, knowing the ways of journalists, he may have believed the said “additional information ” would appeal to readers of the piece! Or, what else can I say?

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