Certificate forgery: A’Ibom PDP gov candidate opens defence

The Federal High Court sitting in Uyo has admitted the certified true copies of the 1981 and 1983 West African Examinations Council certificates of the Peoples Democratic Party candidate in Akwa Ibom State, Umo Eno.

This came as the defendant opened his defence Thursday in a case of the West Arica Examination Council certificates forgery levelled against him by a PDP governorship aspirant, Akan Okon.

Okon had dragged Eno before the court over an alleged certificate forgery and discrepancies in his age declaration, praying the court to disqualify Eno, as he was cleared in error by the party’s screening committee which sat in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.

The Senior Assistant Registrar 1 of WAEC, Uyo, Noble Ihejirika, who is one of the three defence witnesses, tendered the certified true copies of the certificates.

The first certificate to be admitted as an exhibit was Eno’s WAEC General Certificate of Education of June 1981, while the second was his General Certificate of Education, Ordinary Level of December, 1983.

Led in evidence by Uwemedimo Nwoko, SAN, the WAEC Registrar also tendered the letter written by the examination body to the Akwa Ibom State Police Command in which WAEC disowned the letter purportedly written to the Association for Advancement of Democracy in Nigeria, alleging that Eno’s certificate was forged.

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.