PDP National Chairman, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur
By Chuks Okocha
Ahead of the Local Government election in Bayelsa State, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) chairmanship candidate for Ogbia Local Government Area, Abah Enaye Richard, has been accused of forging several certificates and parading credentials from a non-existing university in London.
Richard emerged winner of the December 15, 2012 PDP Local Government primaries with overwhelming 215 votes with his closest rival, Monday Eribo, securing 14 votes while the third aspirant, Afagha Tutuganam Peter, got only three votes.
In a petition to the PDP national chairman dated January 19 with reference number OOC/Vol 4/536, lawyers to Eribo said fielding the winner of the primary might backfire for PDP as he has questionable academic and tax clearance certificates which opponents of PDP might latch on to remove him from office if he eventually wins the election.
According to the petition which was signed by Barrister Olu Ojujoh, they alleged that in the West African Examination Council (WAEC) certificate number SC448754A which Richard submitted to the PDP screening committee, which the party has in turn presented to the Bayelsa State Independent Electoral Commission, “the subject, Mathematics, is omitted contrary to the normal practice with the only conclusion that it is forged.”
The petitioner also raised questions about the authentic age of the PDP candidate and how he was able to obtain a certificate of exemption from the mandatory National Youth Service Corp (NYSC) service at the age of 28 when he claimed he graduated from University of North London.
“This candidate, who entered secondary school on the claim that he was born on the 18th day of March, 1967, could have been 28 years of age in 1995 when he claimed to have graduated from University of North London, yet he did not find it difficult to obtain a certificate of exemption from the National Youth Service Corps on the ground of age, a clear proof that the certificate of exemption was obtained by fraud,” the lawyers said, adding “Our enquiries show that there is no university known as University of North London in the compendium of universities in Britain.”