Controversy Swirls Around Tinuade Sanda’s Credentials and Conduct as Former Electricity CEO Credibility Crisis: Allegations of Falsified Qualifications and Dishonesty Cloud Tinuade Sanda’s Legacy


The corporate world was recently rocked by the controversial saga surrounding Tinuade Sanda, the former Managing Director and CEO of a major electricity company based in the south west region of Nigeria. But now her credentials and qualifications have also come under intense scrutiny. With serious questions about the veracity of her claimed postgraduate degrees from foreign universities.

Before joining the electricity firm in 2013, Sanda claimed to have headed the Finance and Administration department at Vanguard Energy Resources, a non-operational portfolio oil and gas trading company founded by her then husband Olusola Adebayo Sanda.



Sanda is also the founder of EmHERging, a platform for female young professionals, that prides itself as a mentoring platform out “to create a world where every female young professional, graduate and undergraduate, to be mentored by Tinuade Sanda and other accomplished female business leaders would emerge into leadership roles to maximize their potentials without gender bias in all major sectors of the economy.”

Sanda claims on her resume and LinkedIn profile that she obtained an MBA specialising in Strategic Planning from the University of Edinburgh in Scotland, but findings from the online degree awarding institution does not support her claim, as the school does not offer any MBA program in Strategic Planning.

Furthermore, Harvard Business School, one of the world’s most prestigious institutions, does not award undergraduate Bachelor’s degrees, yet Sanda states she obtained a Barchelors in Applied Sciences “BASc” from there.

Perhaps most egregious is Sanda’s Doctor of Philosophy in Financial Management and Entrepreneurship allegedly awarded her on December 5th, 2020 by ICON University Republic of Benin. This institution claims on its website to be recognized by a non-existent “Nigeria’s Ministry of Higher Education.”

These revelations cast a long dark shadow over Sanda’s meteoric corporate rise propped by these questionable qualifications to the zenith of one of Nigeria’s largest electricity distribution companies. A novel feat of becoming the first female to head the establishment – prominently bragged about in her personal corporate profile.

Her rise to the top powered by these bogus seeming qualifications beg questions about the rigor of due diligence conducted on her qualifications by those involved in vetting and appointing her to such critical roles.

Disturbingly, Sanda also flaunts the dubious PhD from the Republic of Benin-based ICON University, a country notorious in recent years for mills churning out fake academic credentials overnight according to investigative reports.

A cursory look at the ICON University website raises obvious credibility issues based on poor grammar and grandiose claims to rival Ivy League institutions.

“ICON University is a fast growing, dynamic vision-birthed, vision driven University founded on a fueled passion to creating a differences and committed to pioneering excellence at the cutting edge of learning. We are driven by the compelling vision of raising a new generation of Leaders for West African and the entire Continent through Human Development, integrated learning curriculum and research.”

That she would take much pride and confidently flaunt these qualifications so confidently on her CV and LinkedIn page really raises a lot of questions about her character and personal integrity.

More damningly, a November 2nd, 2022 letter from Nigeria’s Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) to the Disco raised professional concerns about “her lack of technical capacity, administrative competence as well as emotional maturity to run the affairs of the Company.”

If all these claims of having earned these certificates are false, it graphically paints a picture of a desperate individual who can go to any length to acquire corporate status, even if that includes lying and forging certificates.

As fallout from the crisis surrounding her removal continues, it is important for Sanda to come clean on the true nature of her educational qualifications, not just for her corporate reputation, but as a test of integrity as a self-acclaimed mentor to young aspiring girls.

While claiming she shattered the corporate glass ceiling through hard work, intellect and integrity, her questionable qualifications and attempt to bring a revered institution like Harvard Business School into disrepute is a repugnant stain on the class she claims to represent. Her type should never be allowed near reputable organizations that prize talent quality.

The scandal further raises bigger questions about lapses in regulatory oversight and corporate governance that enabled Sanda’s ascent despite the seeming inauthenticity of her ccredentials.

Stronger verification mechanisms to uphold standards and integrity in executive appointments must be exercised to promote merit and preventing frauds from discrediting institutional reputation.

The unfolding saga surrounding Tinuade Sanda serves as a cautionary tale, highlighting the significance of ethical conduct, honesty, and accountability in corporate leadership. As the dust settles on her tenure at the Disco, the episode prompts a broader reflection on the integrity and credibility expected from individuals entrusted with critical roles in the business landscape.




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