Oshiomhole vs Airhiavbere: A Tale of Certificate Forgery – Theophilus Ilevbare @tilevbare

Published:9 Dec, 2012

Oshiomhole vs Airhiavbere: A Tale of Certificate Forgery – Theophilus Ilevbare @tilevbare

 

The resounding victory the Comrade Governor, Adams Oshiomhole recorded over the combined cult of fixers, godfathers and godsons who for ten harrowing years withheld the dividend of democracy from the Edo people for the grand satiation of their ancient greed and rapacious tendencies have left a bitter pill in the mouth of the PDP big wings as they watched retired Major General Charles Airhiavbere’s high hopes for the July 14, 2012 elections crumble like a pack of cards when he failed to win in his polling unit where he voted, losing by a landslide across the 18 local government areas of the state, to proof that when the electorate are allowed to make the best possible choice on who governs, Nigerians and indeed the Edo people, can make a difference with democracy.

In his first tenure in 2008, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole on assumption of office, after a prolong court battle to reclaim his stolen mandate from Prof. Oserheimen Osunbor, he was in a hurry to perform and demonstrated to Edo people that the change they crave is not impossible as the PDP made it seem. Across the State, schools were refurbished and built, portable water provided for areas without water for 25years due to rocky and low level of water table, road construction and reconstruction, the agricultural sector has been repositioned, internal revenue leapfrogged from a paltry 200million to about 2billion naira monthly. In the health sector, hospitals were built and renovated. For the first time in almost a decade, Edo was truly working as it became a massive construction site. His unprecedented achievements earned him accolades and awards from within and outside the state. His impressive first term scorecard resulted in a clamour from royal fathers, chiefs, professionals, clerics, civil societies, organisations, groups and the Edo man on the streets to seek a second term in office. As the elections drew near, the Edo people were not just rooting for him but prepared to defend their votes to ensure that the Comrade Governor, as he is now fondly called, is given an opportunity to consolidate on the giant strides in his first term. The Oba of Benin, Oba Erediauwa, CFR, while receiving ACN leaders to his palace prior to the July 2012 elections summed up the wishes of well-meaning people of Edo state this way “we are all praying for Oshiomhole to be re-elected in 2012. I and my chiefs are also hoping that he comes back and complete unfinished projects.”

Despite the elections widely considered as free and fair, the PDP went ahead to contest the outcome of the poll at the State Election Petition Tribunal. After consultation with the leadership of the party, within and outside the state they made a U-turn and withdrew their petition barely three days after it was filed. The state chairman of the party, Chief Dan Orbih in a press statement titled Let God Be The Judge remarked ‘we have resolved not to file election charges at the tribunal in the interest of the state’. However, they still maintained that the results where manipulated to favour the incumbent. Apparently the PDP weighed its options and decided not to proceed with its case, thinking it would turn out to be an exercise in futility.

General Airhiavbere (rtd) would not have any of this as he proceeded to file an application challenging Oshiomhole’s re-election on the basis of certificate forgery and perjury. He alleged that the elementary school Oshiomhole claimed to have attended was not in existence at that time, he also tendered fake certificate on oath to INEC from Blessed Martins Modern Secondary School from which he dropped out, going by constitution provision does not qualify him to contest the election. Against this background, General Charles Airhiavbere told the Tribunal that all certificates presented to INEC by Comrade Adams Oshiomhole to contest the July 2012 election were mere documents.

 

A closer look at Governor Oshiomhole’s credentials showed that though he claimed to have attended Iyamoh Primary School, Iyamoh, in the then Midwest state from 1957-1962, his claim is however, contrary to investigation at the Edo State Ministry of Education which revealed that Iyamoh Primary School was founded in 1963, a year after the governor said he graduated from it. His name is said not to be in the Class Register nor among the graduated class of the Blessed Martins Secondary Modern School he claimed to have graduated from in 1965. If he was born in 1953 and graduated from a secondary school in 1965, as declared on oath, could it be correct that he complete secondary school at the age of 12? Curiously, the name on Oshiomhole’s primary and secondary school certificates simply bore Adams Aliu, and his Ahmadu Bello University Adult Education certificate submitted to INEC, bore Adams O. Aliyu, while subsequent certificates bore his current name Adams Aliyu Oshiomhole. This disconnect in his names were made evident when the comrade governor in a handwritten affidavit he personally deposed to INEC stated that he had no previous names other than Adams Aliyu Oshiomhole. The discrepancy in Oshiomhole’s stated dates, names and schools belie the veracity of his claim and may be considered as perjury on oath. The PDP’s candidate argue that in line with the provisions of the constitution, he was not eligible to stand as a candidate in the election.

 

.After Oshiomhole’s claim to secondary education, he obtained an adult education certificate from Ahmadu Bello University before proceeding to Ruskin College, Oxford, an educational institution that specializes in providing education opportunities for adults with few or no formal qualifications, where he obtained a diploma in Economics and Industrial Relations. He is an Alumnus of the prestigious National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies, Kuru.

 

The 1999 constitution stipulates, “a person shall be qualified for election to the office of Governor of a State if
(a) He is a citizen of Nigeria by birth;
(b) He has attained the age of thirty-five years;
(c) He is a member of a political party and is sponsored by that political party; and
(d) He has been educated up to at least School Certificate level or its equivalent.”

Sub section (d) above is the relevant section Airhiavbere is holding unto, asking the election tribunal to quash Oshiomhole’s election.

 

Pertinent to note, on Sept. 27,  Justice Suleman Ambrusa of the election petition tribunal , struck out several paragraphs of the General Airhiavbere’s petition, on the basis that it was a pre-election issue, which only the regular court had jurisdiction to handle. Consequently, on Arhiavbere’s appeal, the court of appeal ruled in his favour that the tribunal erred in law to have disqualified itself from entertaining the reliefs that bothered on Oshiomhole’s educational qualification to contest the governorship election and therefore restored its pleadings and ordered that the Acting President of the Court of Appeal should re-constituted a new tribunal to revisit the petition filed by the retired Major General.

 

#Because of his grand performance since been in office, There has been a show of public  sympathy towards Governor Oshiomhole’s travails at the tribunal , many consider Airhiavbere’s petition as a desperate attempt to clinch power at Osadebey Avenue. A more objective angle to the tribunal proceedings can be a simple clarification of the Nigerian constitution as it applies to qualifications when running for public office. Its not unusual in Nigeria to have cases of certificate forgery post election. As it is with other court cases, evidence is key and certificate forgery is a very difficult one to prove.

Senator Yisa Braimoh, had his suit of certificate forgery against Senator Domingo Obende representing Edo North Senatorial district dismissed by a Federal High Court in Abuja. Similarly, Benue State Governor, Mr Gabriel Suswan won a case of educational qualification instituted against him at the Federal High Court Abuja by a Chieftain of the PDP, Mr Terver kakih. On the flipside, Former Speaker of Federal House of Representative, Alhaji Salisu Buhari was disgraced out of office for awarding himself a fake certificate he claimed to have obtained from the University of Toronto. Today, there abound numerous cases of certificate forgery in the country. Issues of certificate forgery is not uncommon in other political climes. President Barack Obama, during the run-up to his re-election into the White House had to proof his place of birth was Hawaii by publishing his original birth certificate to effectively silence his critics.

 

What has certificate got to do with performance in Public Office? Past Governors, Lucky Igbinedion and Prof. Oserheimen Osunbor with degrees had nothing to show for the combined ten years they were in office. We have a President Jonathan who makes a mockery of the Ph.D degree with poor grasp of National issues, his government’s profligacy and lack of will power to fight corruption.

History reminds us of great men, no fault of theirs that they had little or no formal education, but aspired to become authority in various fields. The likes of Abraham Lincoln, Albert Einstein, William Shakespeare, Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, Michael Faraday and many others. The emphasis placed on certificates and formal education in this part of the world is another reason numerous cases of certificate forgery are periodically unraveled in the country. If charisma, leadership skills, political sagacity and such like are yardsticks for public office holders, then Governor Oshiomhole is light-years ahead of his contemporaries. Governor Oshiomhole’s remark about General Airhiavbere sums it up ‘Ironically, the guy, who is saying that I did not go to school does not know the difference between UN and the World Bank. He does not know the difference between European Union and IMF’.
Undeniably, Governor Oshiomhole has lifted Edo State from the doldrum and inept leadership of the heisty hands of former PDP Governors, putting the state on the path to economic recovery and sustainable development. The election petition tribunal sitting is a distraction, though Oshiomhole has tried to brave the odds, sources close to the governor say he has been shaken by the discovery of discrepancies in his academic qualification. Earlier, Oshiomhole in his response to the petition filed against him at the tribunal said he considered it frivolous. These allegations have gathered momentum and now seem capable of truncating his giant strides and unwavering commitment to the upliftment of Edo state and its people.

 

The big questions remain; can Governor Adams Oshiomhole proof his certificates? Can he weather the storm?

 

Only time will tell.

 

 

God Bless Edo State, God Bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

 

 

Theophilus Ilevbare

theophilus@ilevbare.com

http://ilevbare.com

twitter: @tilevbare

Related Posts

Recent Posts

Edo 2016: Of Afemailand, Its Politics And Legacies by Daniel Afekhume

A video emerged last week where a dispassionate President Obama was telling the Black Community that it will be a "Personal Insult" to himself and Michelle if blacks don’t come out in their numbers to vote Hillary Clinton. His argument was that Trump was coming to destroy his "legacies" and by extension that of African-Americans. In the same light, I wish to state the Edo Governorship election of Sept 28th is one for either the preservation or destruction of the...

Boko Haram Leader Shekau Mentally Ill – Army

The Nigerian Army has described the embattled leader of Boko Haram, Abubakar Shekau, as mentally ill following the release of the latest video in which the terror group leader denied claims made by the army that he was seriously injured. “The video has shown beyond all reasonable doubt the earlier suspicion that the purported factional terrorist group leader is mentally sick and unstable,” the spokesman for the Nigerian Army, Sani Usman, said in a statement on...

Ambode Seeks Stronger Tie With Judiciary

The Governor of Lagos State, Akinwunmi Ambode, has called for the continuation of the cordial relationship and peace, which he said exists between the judiciary and the executive arm of government in Lagos State. The governor, who described the judiciary as the last hope of the citizens, also admonished the Chief Judge of the state, Justice Oluwafunmilayo Atilade, and the rest of the judges to continue to dispense justice with the fear of God. Ambode...

Edo guber: IGP Idris orders restriction of movement

The Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, has ordered restriction of movement during Wednesday’s governorship election in Edo State. He also ordered the activation of the revised operation plan for the election. The operation plan, according to a statement issued in Abuja on Monday by the Force Spokesman, Don Awunah, is expected to guarantee free, fair and credible election, secure electoral process, enable eligible voters exercise their franchise freely and voluntary, protect election materials and officials and ensure adequate security before, during...

No amount of intimidation will stop our reconstruction efforts — Shettima

Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno on Monday said he was going ahead with the planned rebuilding of damaged buildings in spite of recent attacks by Boko Haram insurgents in some parts of the state. Shettima stated this while interacting with newsmen in Bama, headquarters of Bama Local Government Area of the state. He was reacting to the recent attacks by insurgents at the border villages of Logumani and Dara/Jamal, where an army officer and two soldiers were killed. The governor, who relocated...

Despite recession, Dangote vows to scale up investments in Nigeria, Africa

In recognition of his immense contribution to human capital development in Africa through the establishment of businesses across the African continent, a United States of America-based Organization, Africa-America Institute (AAI) has honoured the President of Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, with the “2016 African Business Leader Award.” The business guru was named and presented the award at a colourful ceremony held on the side-line of the United Nations Congress held in New York city, United States alongside other prominent Africans like...

Boko Haram: You have not seen the worst – Shekau

The leader of Boko Haram has mocked claims he was seriously injured by the Nigerian military and warned “you have not seen the worst yet”. In a video posted on social media, Abubakar Shekau dismissed claims by the Nigerian air force that he had been seriously wounded in a raid, telling them: “I will not get killed until my time comes”. The leader of the Islamist militant group also taunted parents of the kidnapped Chibok schoolgirls, telling them their children would...

Lagos begins enforcement of Ikoyi, Victoria Island clean-up

Four weeks after issuing public notices and ultimatum, the Lagos State Special Task Force on the Clean-Up of Ikoyi, Victoria Island over the weekend started the clearing of all illegal structures and shanties. The Clean-Up operation team which was led by the Chairman of the Task Force on Environmental and Special Offences, Supol Yinka Egbeyemi, commenced simultaneously in Ikoyi and Victoria Island at 8am on Saturday and has continued on Sunday morning. It featured the removal of kiosks, sheds by the...

Únity Schools Old Students’ Association (USOSA) Announces Date And Theme For 2016 Annual General Meeting

The Unity Schools Old Students' Association (USOSA) has announced November 4th and 5th as dates for its 2016 annual general meeting. According to details released by the organising committee, the annual general meeting is scheduled to hold by 10am on 4th November with a dinner set for the following day by 4pm. The theme for the 2016 annual general meeting is Education, National Unity & Security. The event will hold at Lekki Coliseum, Lekki Phase 1, Lagos.

Labour threaten to shutdown Nigeria over planned national assets sale

Oil workers, under the aegis of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, have threatened to shut down the country should the Federal Government carry out its plan to sell national assets to augment revenue shortfall. Also, the Trade Union Congress on Sunday said it would join PENGASSAN to shut down the country if the government remained adamant on its plan to sell some national assets. PENGASSAN, in a statement on Sunday by its National Public Relations Officer,...

NAF explores agriculture to empower barracks youths

Nigerian military is not left out in the nation’s search for a solution to the economic recession the oil-rich nation slid into few weeks ago, as the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, is exploring agriculture to empower youths in barracks. He is confident that further involvement of youths in agriculture will deepen the economic diversification drive of the government. Nigeria is battling to get out of its present economic recession made obvious when the National Bureau of Statistics...

Stop terrorising Zimbabweans or we’ll impeach you – Church leaders tell Mugabe

He’s not as well-known as protest pastor Evan Mawarire. But this Zimbabwe church leader’s brave plea to President Robert Mugabe to stop terrorising protesters or face impeachment may attract the attention of the authorities. Already questioned by police and arrested at least once during the past few months, Bishop Ancelimo Magaya is one of five Zimbabwe church men who this weekend penned an open letter to the 92-year-old Mugabe asking him to “stop unleashing terror on citizens for expressing genuine...

Insane Shekau must release Chibok girls unconditionally – Army

The Nigerian Army has described the controversial factional leader of Boko Haram terrorists, as mentally ill and unstable person whose end is near, despite issuing threats in the latest video. The Director of Army Public Relations (DAPR), Col. Sani Usman, in a statement yesterday, said the video clip is a mere propaganda and sign of desperation for a man who was reported to have been “Fatally wounded” in military air strike. “The attention of the Nigerian Army has been drawn to...

NESREA warns against cutting of trees without replacement

The State Coordinator of National Environmental Standards & Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA) in Kwara, Mr. Martins Enenwaene, has warned that cutting of trees without replacement leads to ecological imbalance. Enenwaene gave the warning while speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) Ilorin on Monday. He said that massive deforestation contributed to the destruction of properties by heavy storm. The NESREA boss said the state had faced different flood cases which were later traced to not having enough trees. Enenwaene said that, “NESREA...

Lungu Lied at UN Summit – Ex-Zambian Leader Scott

Former Zambian president Guy Scott has criticised President Edgar Lungu over the remarks he made during the recently ended United Nations summit in New York. Lungu told the UN 71st summit last week that Africa did not need any strong leaders but strong institutions, adding that his country endeavoured to build a peaceful, just and inclusive society “through the consolidation” of power. Lungu described Zambia as a democracy with an inclusive society where its people enjoyed many freedoms. “The importance of democracy...

BREAKING: Judge Withdraws From Nnamdi Kanu’s Trial

John Tsoho, the judge handling Nnamdi Kanu’s trial, has returned the case file to Ibrahim Auta, chief justice of federal high court, for reassignment. This was sequel to an application by the legal team of Kanu led by Chuks Muoma, claiming that the court was biased in its handling of the matter. “We are only asking the court to hands off; my client has lost confidence in this court,” he said. He claimed that the court was acting in line with the...

Minister Denies Spending N3.4bn On “Change Begins With Me” Campaign

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has demanded a retraction of libelous publications by the Daily Independent newspaper, Omo Bazuaye and Akin Fadeyi over “Change Begins With Me” campaign. The minister made the demand in letters written to the newspaper, Bazuaye and Fadeyi by Falana & Falana’s Chamber, a law firm of a renown civil right activist and lawyer, Femi Falana. The letters dated Sept. 19 and signed by a lawyer Oludare...

Patience Jonathan To Drag EFCC Before West African Court

Former first lady, Mrs Patience Ibifaka Jonathan has concluded plans to drag the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to the African Commission of Human and Peoples Right in Gambia. Sources close to the legal team said they took the decision to seek legal redress in a court free from manipulation. Already a new group, The Rebranded Indigenous People of Biafra (TRIPOB) has thrown its weight behind the decision to drag the EFCC before the African Commission of Human and Peopless...

Rihanna Named Global Ambassador for Childhood Education

Rihanna is “Work”-ing on education. The global superstar’s Clara Lionel Foundation has partnered up with Global Partnership for Education and Global Citizen on a multi-year initiative to support education across the world. Through this push, Rihanna hopes to advocate for more than a quarter of a billion children who are not currently in school as well as about 330 million students who aren’t learning in the schools they’re in.

3 People You Should Never Take Relationship Advice From (MUST READ)

1. Anyone who is angry and bitter Was your best friend a jilted bride or a groom who was stood up at the altar? Don’t ask friends or family with a chip on their shoulder how to win at love. If you hang around them long enough, their attitude could rub off on you. Then no one will want to date you because you have such a bad attitude. Don’t let someone else’s bad experiences warp...

The 1 Thing Happy Couples Do Every Day

Happy couples communicate with each other. Constant communication seems so obvious, but it can easily slip through the cracks. In order to keep your relationship healthy and happy, there's three things you need to do to communicate successfully. 1. Express your needs and feelings. There's no way for your partner to know what you want out of your relationship if you don't say so. Make sure to clearly express how you are feeling —...