PDP Minders Forum (PMF), a support group of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has advised the acting Chief Justice of Nigeria, Olukayode Ariwoola, to distance himself from the ongoing certificate forgery case against the Akwa Ibom State PDP governorship candidate, Mr Umo Eno.
Eno is being dragged to court by Akan Okon, a contestant in the May 25 PDP governorship primary election, over allegations that Eno is parading forged WAEC certificate in his bid to actualize the governorship ambition.
In a press signed by the coordinator of PMF, Idoreyen Umah, the group disclosed that the governor of Akwa Ibom State, Udom Emmanuel had secretly visited the CJN and begged for his intervention in the case.
According to Umah, the visit, which happened last week Monday in Abuja, was coordinated by a senior judge close to the governor, adding that the governor is doing everything possible to influence the outcome of the case in Umo Eno’s favour.
He further revealed that Mr Emmanuel told the CJN that he has explored all avenues to reach the plantiff, Okon for an understanding but has only met series of frustrations because Okon is adamant on pursing the case.
“We are aware that the certificate forgery case, which is before Justice Agatha A. Okeke of the Federal High Court, Uyo, has generated a lot of vested interests that are not in synch with the interest of our state and consequently, there are attempts to stifle the case.
“According to reliable source, Governor Udom Emmanuel and leader of our party in the state, had, on the night of Monday, July 18, 2022, secretly visited the acting Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Olukayode Ariwoola over the ongoing forgery case against Mr Umo Eno.
“The visit, we further discovered, was part of Governor Udom Emmanuel’s desperate attempt to kill the case in court by seeking the CJN’s intervention. We are informed that the during the visit, the governor begged the CJN to impel the trial judge, Justice Agatha Okeke to deliver a judgment in favour of Umo Eno,” he said.
Mr Umah further revealed that Governor Emmanuel has released about N1billion naira through the managing director of an indigenous construction in the state, which is meant to help Umo Eno’s legal team to influence the case.
“We are also aware that Governor Udom Emmanuel, who left the meeting looking even more disappointed and frustrated, had on Thursday, July 21 (barely three days after the vist to the CJN), moved the sum of one billion naira (N1,000,000,000) from the state coffer and handed it over to the Managing Director of a popular indigenous construction company in the state, and the said MD immediately moved the money to Bureau de Change for it to be converted to the U.S. dollars.
“We are aware that the governor intends to give the money to Umo Eno’s lead counsel, Paul Usoro, SAN, whom according to the government, will know how to influence the judgment with money.
“We are even more concerned considering the fact that Paul Usoro was once standing trial for offences bothering fraud and money laundering made against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
“It is also in our knowledge that Governor Udom Emmanuel has made a commitment to part with additional one billion naira (N1,000,000,000) of our state’s resources if Paul Usoro succeeds in the task. It is our belief, that beyond his expertise in law, Governor Udom Emmanuel particularly brought Paul Usoro into the case (which was earlier led by Assam Assam, SAN) because his experience in exchanging money for favourable judgements.
“We are therefore appealing to the CJN, who, by his position, is the face of the country’s judiciary, to distance himself from Governor Udom Emmanuel’s evil antics which is capable of bringing the image of the CJN and by extension, the Nigerian judiciary into disrepute. As the last hope of the common man, the people of Akwa Ibom State are looking up to the judiciary with faith to do justice to the case.
“So much of the state’s resources have been recklessly and outrageously wasted on the case by the government while millions of our people are languishing in poverty, the state’s debt profile as well as unemployment rate are skyrocketing. It will amount to doom if the CJN should allow the judiciary bend to Governor Udom Emmanuel’s ego-driven wish.
“We are confident that the CJN will remain upright to protect the sanctity of the judiciary and sanity of Akwa Ibom people,” he added.
Recall that we had exclusively reported that in a joint statement of defence, Umo Eno and PDP withdrew the ‘Confirmation of Result’ earlier tendered to the court in defence of the certificate forgery allegation and replaced it with a ‘Leaving Certificate and Testimonial’.
We can authoritatively report that the said testimonial, which was issued by Victory High School II, Ikeja, does not carry Umo Eno’s name.
In an affidavit attached to his statement of defence, Umo Eno declared that his name is “Umo Bassey Eno” which is the same name on his birth certificate and his 1983 WAEC result.
However, the testimonial tendered as a replacement for the ‘Confirmation of Result’ bears “Bassey Umo Eno”. This latest revelation has further incriminated Eno in the forgery allegation.
In our previous report, we had revealed other discrepancies in the testimonial like the name of school and number of subjects record.
“The testimonial, which is not in the list of documents submitted to INEC, was issued by Victory High School II, Ikeja, as against the ‘Confirmation of Result’ which carried Victory High School I, Ikeja, and WAEC results bearing Victory High School, Ikeja.
“According to the testimonial dated 10th July 1981, Umo Eno offered ‘Bible Knowledge’ as one of the subjects in the examination, but his WAEC result of June 1981 records ‘Religious Knowledge’ as one of the subjects.
“Again, the testimonial indicates that Umo Eno offered eight (8) subjects but his WAEC result records four (4) subjects while the withdrawn ‘Confirmation of Result’ recorded a total of six (6) subjects with four (4) passes and two (2) fail,” we reported.
Further investigations have revealed that the testimonials issued as at 1981 does not have space for “student’s signature” which is clearly different from what Umo Eno tendered in court.
In his response to Umo Eno’s statement of defence, Akan Okon said WAEC failed to grant Umo Eno’s request to validate his 1981 and 1983 certificates but rather the examination body only highlighted the discrepancies in the name.
“In their responses both dated 27th June, 2022, the West African Examination Council failed to validate the 2nd Defendant’s claims to possessing the claimed school certificate status, but rather disclosed that the results belonged to one BASSEY UMO ENO (as regards the 1981 WAEC result) and one ENO UMO BASSEY (regarding the 1983 WAEC result) respectively.
“The examination body also inserted a caveat in these letters, stating unequivocally that the Honourable Attorney General would need to satisfy himself that the 2nd Defendant and the said Bassey Umo Eno and ENO UMO BASSEY referred to one and the same person,” Okon, through his legal team, said.
Mr Okon also alleged that in an attempt to “fraudulently validate his school certificate status”, Umo Eno superimposed his current passport picture on the said letter from WAEC, insisting that as at 1981 and 1983, WAEC did not attach pictures of candidates to their certificate and results.
He further revealed that forensic evidence has confirmed that Umo Eno altered the confirmation of result issued by WAEC.