Akwa Ibom gov aspirant, drags PDP candidate to court over alleged certificate forgery

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A Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) governorship aspirant in Akwa Ibom State, Mr. Akan Okon has instituted a lawsuit against the party’s governorship candidate, Pst Umo Eno over alleged certificate forgery.

He prayed the court to disqualify Eno, who has since collected his certificate of return.

Okon, who is the immediate past Commissioner of Economic Development and Ibom Deep Sea Port, in suit no. FHC/UY/CS/110/2022 and dated June 7, 2022.

Joining the PDP, Eno, and the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, as defendants, he alleged that Eno presented to the PDP governorship screening committee in Port Harcourt “forged West African School Certificate issued to him in 1981 and 1983 respectively. He also presented forged voter’s card as well as altered his date of birth.”

Okon averred that the 2nd defendant, who was cleared by the committee to participate in the primaries of the 1st defendant and who actually participated in the primaries, was cleared in error as he presented a forged West African School Certificate said to have been issued to him in 1981 and 1983 respectively.

The plaintiff argued further that the defendant also presented a forged voter’s card as well as altered his date of birth and so ought not to have been cleared to participate in the primaries.

‘’Under particulars of forged WASC, the plaintiff alleged the candidate number in the West African General Certificate of Education presented by the 2nd defendant to the Governorship Screening Committee of the 1st defendant is 15725119, whereas all the candidates that wrote West African Examination Council General Certificate of Education, Ordinary Level ‘O’ Level do have the first two digits as 06, not 15.

”The signature of Chairman of Council and the registrar of the council on the certificate of the 2nd defendant is all boldened but other certificates issued by West African Examination Council for that year do not have boldened signatures of the principal officers of West African Examination Council. The implication is that the certificate of the 2nd Defendant has computer-generated signatures of the Chairman and Registrar of the examining body.

”When certificate presented by the 2nd Defendant to the Governorship Screening Committee of the 1st Defendant is compared with genuine certificates issued by the examining body, it will be noticed that the letter CD and PO are the only boldened items, the alphanumeric that follows are not boldened as seen on the certificate presented by the 2nd Defendant.

”Photocopy of the certificate presented by the 2nd Defendant to the Screening Committee of the 1st Defendant fails to show the security background of the examining body. It only shows a white background, admitting that West African Examination Council, General Certificate of Education, Ordinary Level candidate No. 15725119, and Certificate No. PO 275878A from December 1983 was not issued by the Council to the 2nd Defendant,’’ he claimed.

Mr Okon further claimed that Mr Eno altered his date of birth, resulting in three different dates of birth – 24/25 April 1964 and January 1, 1964.

However, reacting to the suit while addressing party supporters at the Victor Attah International Airport after his arrival from Abuja, where he received his certificate of return, Pst Eno said the certificate forgery levelled against him is nothing but a proof of evil mindset and frustration by the complainant.

Eno described all failed attempts at blackmailing him out of the race as proof of the biblical admonition that “a man’s enemy will come from his household”.

“I don’t know if it’s WAEC if it’s West African Examination Council, but don’t bother about them. It shows you the desperation of human beings, and the Bible said that a man’s enemy will come from his household.

“These are the same people we sat together in EXCO. I can tell you, on a one-on-one, none of them can stand me. The least they can do is blackmail. Please disregard their cheap blackmail.

“In 1981 when I went to school, Victory High School, Ikeja, Lagos, I was the Senior Prefect of that school. How can I forge a certificate of the school I attended? So please they have nothing to say.

“Let them look for something else and say. The Bible says “Many are the affliction of the righteous, but the Lord delivers them out of them all. The ones they did before, the ones they are doing now and the ones they’ll do tomorrow, God will deliver us from them all.”, the governorship candidate stated.

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He urged Akwa Ibom people not to be distracted but to remain resolute, focused and determined to enthrone a government of continuity, peace, and prosperity come 2023 which he and the PDP symbolizes.

Also speaking, the immediate past PDP National Legal Adviser, and National Chairman, Maintain Peace Movement, MPM, Barr Emmanuel Enoidem said “Mr Okon’s latest misadventure is bereft of and lacking in substance.”

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