Certificate forgery: Nine Ekiti Assembly members to face trial
Olusola Fabiyi, Kamarudeen Ogundele and Ade Adesomoju
The Federal Government is planning to prosecute nine out of 26 members of the Ekiti State House of Assembly for alleged forgery of their academic results, The PUNCH has learnt.
A security source told one of our correspondents in Abuja on Sunday that the decision to prosecute them was based on the outcome of “an intensive investigation carried out by the Department of State Services into the state lawmakers’ certificates.’’
The DSS, it was gathered, carried out the investigation into the credentials submitted by the politicians to the Independent National Electoral Commission during the last general elections.
The PUNCH gathered that the probe was sequel to a myriad of petitions sent to the agency and the Police by aggrieved members of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party and the opposition party in the state, the All Progressives Congress.
Investigation was said to have been carried out in schools allegedly claimed to have been attended by the lawmakers and their former places of work.
The source explained that the files of the affected lawmakers had been sent to the office of the Attorney General of the Federation for prosecution.
The source added, “We have investigated the academic credentials of the lawmakers based on petitions sent to us by the politicians in the state.
“The petitions were based on alleged false declaration of academic qualifications and alleged age falsification in the papers presented to the INEC.
“We have been able to know that petitions against nine members of the State House of Assembly are genuine.
“We have already presented our report and we are expecting the office of the AGF to study it and prepare the charges against the suspects.”
Apart from the lawmakers, it was also gathered that the security agencies were planning to reopen the murder cases of three prominent sons of the state.
They are Mr. Tunde Omojola, Kehinde Fasuba and Dr. Ayo Daramola.
Daramola was murdered on August 14, 2004; Omojola on May 28, 2005; while Fasuba was murdered on January 3, 2009.
There were allegations in the state that their killings were politically-motivated and carried out in mysterious circumstances.
A Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mr. Femi Falana, once wrote a petition to the Police, demanding the prosecution of those behind their killings.
When contacted on Sunday, the Special Adviser to the AGF on Media and Publicity, Mr. Salihu Isah, said he was not aware of the planned prosecution, but promised to find out.
“I am not aware of whether there is anything like that. I promise to find out during the week,” he said.
It is propaganda –Ekiti Assembly
Reacting to the planned prosecution, the Chairman, Committee on Information of the Ekiti State House of Assembly, Mr. Gboyega Aribisogan, said no member had been invited by any security agency for questioning.
He argued that there could be no prosecution of their members without investigation and subsequent indictment.
Aribisogan added, “Up until today, none of our members has been invited by any security agency. There can be no prosecution without investigation by the police. This is part of the rumour and propaganda from the enemies of the government.
“None of our members forged certificates. We went through screening with the DSS and we duly submitted our certificates to INEC and underwent proper documentation.
“Have they checked with the West African Examinations Council or relevant educational institutions to confirm their (certificates) authenticity or otherwise. No security agency will buy into the propaganda.”