Akwa Ibom 2023: PDP candidate opens defence in certificate forgery case

Akwa Ibom 2023: PDP candidate opens defence in certificate forgery case
Umo Eno, a candidate for the Peoples Democratic Party in Akwa Ibom State, has had his certified true copies of his West African Examinations Council credentials from 1981 and 1983 accepted by the Federal High Court in Uyo.

Akan Okon, a PDP governorship candidate, had accused the defendant of forging West African Examination Council certificates. On Thursday, the defendant began presenting his defence.

Eno was brought before the court by Okon over an alleged certificate forgery and inconsistencies in his age declaration. Okon asked the court to disqualify Eno since the party's screening committee, which met in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, had mistakenly cleared him.

One of the three defence witnesses, Noble Ihejirika, Senior Assistant Registrar 1 at WAEC, Uyo, presented the certified real copies of the certificates.

Eno's WAEC General Certificate of Education from June 1981 was the first document accepted as evidence, followed by his General Certificate of Education, Ordinary Level, from December 1983.

The WAEC Registrar also produced a letter the examination board wrote to the Akwa Ibom State Police Command disowning a letter reportedly addressed to the Association for Advancement of Democracy in Nigeria saying that Eno's certificate was forged, which was led in testimony by Uwemedimo Nwoko, SAN.

The second witness was Emmanuel Essien, a lawyer from the office of the Attorney-General of Akwa Ibom State, who tendered a letter of confirmation of results from the West Africa Examinations Council, confirming that Eno’s certificates of 1981 and 1983 were genuine and not forged as alleged by Okon.

The last witness, Chris Endelie, a Chief Superintendent of Police attached to the Akwa Ibom State Command, tendered the letter from WAEC for the investigation of the purported letter from the examination body.

Counsel for Okon, Okey Amaechi, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, objected to the admissibility of all the documents and the discharge of the WAEC official from the witness box, without cross examination.

His objection was, however, overruled by the court.

After the testimony of the police witness, counsel for Okon applied for adjournment to cross-examine the witness and the court, presided over by Justice Agatha Okeke, adjourned the matter to Tuesday, September 20, 2022 for continuation of hearing.
Chima Ugo is a patriotic Nigerian, a journalist, blogger and singer who is so much interested in the internet, journalism, and blogging and have been for half a decade.