John Shiklam in Kaduna
The senator representing Kaduna Central senatorial zone, Senator Shehu Sani, has been accused of alleged certificate forgery.
Making the allegations at a news conference yesterday in Kaduna, a group, Kaduna Central Peoples Forum KCPF), called on the President of the Senate, the Clerk of the National Assembly, the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the Inspector General of Police and theÂ Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation immediate investigation and prosecute Sani.
The Chairman of the group, Mallam Muhammad .Y. Idris and the Secretary,Â Alhaji Aminu Shaâ€™aibu, who addressed the press conference alleged that
Sani forged his secondary school certificate and lied on oath to INEC about his academic qualification and falsified documents in his bid to sustain the lies and false claims in the nomination form and affidavitÂ he submitted to the commission during the 2015 elections.
â€œOur call for his prosecution is premised on our detailed and incontrovertible findings that Shehu Sani lied on oath and misled the Independent National Electoral Commission, leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and of course the good people of Kaduna Central senatorial zone by making false claims about his educational attainment and qualification and indeed going as far as forging documents to back up the false claims he made to INEC in the form he filled to contest the 2015 senatorial election,â€ the group said.
The group maintained that its petition was centredÂ on the fact that at the time the 2015 senatorial election was conducted by INEC, Sani was not qualified to vie for the position of a senator given that he lied on oath to the about his academic qualification and falsified documents.
Giving further details of their allegations, IdrisÂ said: â€œAfterÂ months of thorough investigation, we have deemed it important to make public our findings.
â€œHaving carefully studied all the documents submitted to INEC by Sani, we are convinced beyond reasonable doubt that the authenticity of the entirety of his academic attainments that he submitted to INEC is not only suspect but also fraudulent.
â€œFor starters, Sani claimed on oath, in his deposition to INEC, that he undertook his secondary school education between 1981 to 1984 at Government Science College, Kagara, under the Senior Secondary School (SSS) system.
â€œThis claim is clearly false as 6-3-3-4 system of education was not in place in the country during the material period. What Nigeria had then was the five-year secondary school system. Besides, even if it is to be conceded that the 6-3-3-4 policy was in place during that period, there is no indication of where Sani completed his JSS and the period he did that.â€
According to him,Â â€œThe puzzle as to when Sani enrolled for his secondary school education is further highlighted by the discrepancies in his APC nomination form and his Government Science College, Kagara, Testimonial submitted to INEC. While Sani indicated that he attended Government Science College, Kagara between 1980 to 1984 in the APC nomination form, the testimonial supposedly issued by the school on the other hand, showed glaringly that Shehu Sani attended the school between 1981 to 1984…
â€œIn the light of these stated facts, we are not sure which of the information is correct; but any discerning person can make out all too easily that if indeed Sani was in Secondary school up to 1989 as indicated in his INEC affidavit of personal particulars, it would be impossible for him to at the same time attend Kaduna Polytechnic between 1984 to 1986 for his National Diploma (ND) in Water Engineering. These inherent contradictions provoked further poser on the number of years Shehu Sani spent in the secondary school. Is it four years (1980 â€“ 1984) as indicated in the APC nomination form or three years as indicated in the school testimonial submitted to INEC or nine years as indicated in column 8(2) of INEC Affidavit he deposed to in support of personal particulars he submitted to the electoral commission…..
â€œEven more intriguing is the fact that the Registration Number CST/84/1791 indicates that Shehu Sani was admitted to Kaduna Polytechnic in 1984 but no reason was given in any of his depositions to INEC or the APC, as to why it took him until 1988/89 Academic Year to round off the Diploma Course in Water Engineering, which he began in 1984…..
â€œBy virtue of the Certificate of National Service submitted to INEC, Shehu Sani only submitted himself for national service at the age of 43 years which is about 15 years beyond the statutory limit of under 30 years eligibility for service in the scheme.
â€œBy virtue of section 2(1)(c) of the National Youth Service Act, LFN Cap. N84, the senator was under a compulsory legal obligation to have submitted himself for national service in 1994 when he purportedly obtained his HND from Kaduna Polytechnic unless of course his call-up was deferred with the approval of the National Defence and Security Council in accordance with the provisions ofÂ sections 17(1-3) of the NYSC Act (Supra)…
However, in hisÂ reaction, SenatorÂ Saniâ€™s Special Adviser on Politics and Ideology, Suleiman Ahmed, dismissed the allegations.
According to him,Â Nigeria is not an animal kingdom where without possessing qualifications, you can keep on going to various stages of education.
He blamed the Kaduna State Governor, Mallam Nasir El-RufaiÂ for allegedly sponsoring the allegations.
Ahmed declaredÂ that the senator has Higher National Diploma certificate in Soil and Water Engineering from Kaduna Polytechnic.
He explained that Sani did his National Youth ServiceÂ at the age of 43, stressing that,Â there is a clause in the NYSC law that allows those above the age of 30 to participate in the NYSC scheme.
â€œSo, the issue of going to search where Shehu Sani has gone to school, that is an issue that if INEC is not satisfied should be able to go and make verification on.
â€œShehu Sani studied Agriculture, option of Soil and Water Engineering in Kaduna Polytechnic. He graduated in 1993 and he did his NYSC service after he finished serving his jail termâ€, he said