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

2019: Jonathan’s Loyalists Seek Lifeline For PDP

Loyalists of former President Goodluck Jonathan are trying very hard to end the crisis in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) ahead of the 2019 general elections, it was learnt Saturday. The loyalists especially former ministers and governors during former administration of Jonathan were said to be visiting different state chapters of the PDP to seek reconciliation among aggrieved PDP members. It was was gathered that Jonathan’s men were working under the auspices of the Ministers’...

Nigerian Becomes First Female To Win VSO Award In UK

Oluwatosin Folarin has won the Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO) National Youth Volunteer Award for 2016 and is the first Nigerian to win this award.  The 23-year-old graduate was posted to Ilesa in Osun state with fifteen other volunteers for three months. VSO, an International Development Charity works to address poverty under which their volunteers were sent to work in rural communities in order to secure Livelihoods. At the ceremony which took place in the United Kingdom,...

Waziri Responds To Ribadu’s Accusation Of Frustrating Corruption Fight

Former Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Mrs Farida Waziri has challenged her predecessor in the commission Malam Nuhu Ribadu to give account of billions of funds and assets recovered from suspects under his watch as EFCC boss and stop using her name for cheap political cards. A statement signed by her Personal Assistant, Ms Omolara Oluremi on Saturday quotes Mrs Waziri as saying Ribadu had accused her of being ‘’part of his...

Abuja Carnival Providing Credible Platform For National Unity– Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari says that the Abuja Carnival has continued to provide a credible platform for national unity, peaceful co-existence and understanding of our ethnically and culturally diverse nation. Buhari said this at the opening of the 2016 Abuja Carnival, with the theme; “The Creative Industry: A Pivot to Economic Growth” in Abuja on Saturday. According to him, the present quest for authentic and homegrown approach to national security, peace and harmony, as well as...

Nigeria, Morocco To Build Gas Pipeline Link

Nigeria and Morocco on Saturday resolved to jointly promote a gas pipeline that will connect the two countries and some other African countries. This was one of the agreement reached during the three-day visit of Moroccan King President Mohammed VI. The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr Geoffrey Onyema, disclosed this to reporters on Saturday at the Presidential Villa, Abuja. Onyema said the...

Buhari Hails Victorious Super Falcons

President Muhammadu Buhari has congratulated Nigeria’s Super Falcons on their victory over the senior female football team of Cameroon at the final game of the women’s Africa Cup of Nations in Yaounde. The president described the hard-earned victory over the Indomitable Lionesses as “very sweet and well-deserved”. In a statement issued by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, Mr. Buhari commended the Falcons for their “indomitable spirit, resilience and team work” which...

Popular Yoruba actress, Mulikat Adegbola is dead.

Veteran Yoruba actress, Mulikat Adegbola is dead. Adegbola popularly known as Ashabi Iya Adinni died of brief illness. Nollywood actor, Muyiwa Ademola broke the sad news via his instagram page. According to him:“This is quite sad but who are we to question the Almighty? Sleep on Iya Adinni.May the Almighty forgive your sins.” She is popular for her roles in movies like “Ìlù gángan” (2009), “Ogbologbo” (2003) and“Ogbologbo 2” (2003).

Abuja Carnival records poor turnout

The Abuja Carnival which began on Saturday recorded poor turnout of FCT residents. Some of the residents who spoke with the ?News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), said the carnival should not be the priority of the Federal Government, and that measures should be taken to alleviate the sufferings of Nigerians. NAN reports that this year’s carnival was devoid of the usual funfare that used to characterise the event. NAN also observed that some designated streets of the FCT that were usually decorated...

JUST IN: Shehu Sani blames El-Rufai for attack on campaign office

Kaduna State senator, Shehu Sani, on Saturday said the attack on his campaign office in Kaduna was carried out by men working for Governor Nasir el-Rufai. The office was invaded by armed men on Saturday morning. Witnesses said police arrived quickly and stopped the attackers from torching the building. The senator said the attack took place as his social media aides held a meeting. No casualties were immediately reported. Mr. Sani blamed the attack on Mr. el-Rufai in a statement on Saturday afternoon. “Some few...

Kwara Government To Commence Construction of KWASU Campuses in Osi, Ilesha-Baruba

The Kwara State government has approved the construction of two campuses for the Kwara State University in Osi and Ilesha-Baruba at a contract sum of N2.8billion. The Commissioner for Information and Communication, Alhaji Mahmud Ajeigbe, who announced this during a media briefing on Friday, said that the projects will be implemented through through a PPP model under the Kwara Infrastructure Development Fund (IFK). He stressed that the State government is committed towards ensuring that the university is continually repositioned in order...

Kwara State: Police launches public complaint response unit.

The Kwara State Police Command, in an attempt to ensure that the officers comply with the change begins with me policy of the federal government has launched a unit called ‘Public Complaint Rapid Response Unit’. This is planned to ensure that members of the public are not cheated or maltreated in anyway. The State Commissioner of Police, Olushola Amore, who led other officers in a walk around the major streets and roads in the state capital Ilorin distributed pamphlets to motorists...

Gang hacks nursing mother to death, sells five-month old baby for N300,000

The Imo State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Taiwo Lakanu, yesterday paraded four alleged notorious crime Syndicate who specialised in armed robberies, murder and child theft for crime bothering on hacking a nursing mother to death, smashing the husband’s head with an axe and stealing their five months old baby.   The CP told newsmen in Owerri, the state capital, that the suspects sold the infant for N300,000 to an already waiting buyer in Okporo community in the Orlu local Government Area...

Illegal Recruitment: Kwara State Government to sanction indicted officials

Five individuals indicted for the illegal recruitment of 971 workers into Kwara State Teaching Service Commission (TESCOM) are to face disciplinary action. Addressing journalists on Friday after the State Executive Council(SEC) meeting, the State Commissioner for Education and Human Capital Development, Engr. Musa Yeketi, noted that the affected officials had recruited workers in excess of the number approved by the State Governor, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed. According to Yeketi, two of the indicted officers are retired, while the remaining three are still...

Arsenal to make decision on Cazorla future in January

Arsene Wenger says Arsenal will make a decision about Santi Cazorla’s future at the club come January. The experienced midfielder’s contract at the Emirates Stadium is due to expire at the end of the season and he has been heavily linked with a move to Atletico Madrid in recent months. Arsenal have an option to extend his stay at the club, though, and Wenger is adamant the 31-year-old’s injury problems do not play a role in deciding whether Cazorla will stay,...

Ifako/Ijaiye residents resort to trekking over restrictions

Residents of Iju-Ishaga, Ogba, Agege and Ifako/Ijaiye areas on Saturday resorted to trekking due to partial road restrictions resulting into heavy traffic over the ongoing Ifako-Ijaiye Federal Constituency By-election in Lagos. There was heavy traffic along Agege/Ogba and Fagba axes; shops were also closed and security men with patrol vans were seen in the areas. Some of the residents who spoke to NAN lamented low publicity as they were not aware of the by-election. Mr Seye Adeoti, a civil servant, said that...

FRSC Officials To Start Bearing Arms

The Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) says it is taking steps to arm its roadside personnel for their safety.   The Corps Marshal of the Federal Road Safety Commission, Mr Boboye Oyeyemi, made this known after detailing an increased rate of personnel casualties at the commission.   This was one of the issues that emanated from the year-ending strategy session convened by the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC).   Bringing together all state commanders and sector heads of the FRSC, Corps Marshal Boboye Oyeyemi noted...

Damaturu IDP camp records 22 marriages, 81 deliveries in 20 months

No fewer than 22 marriage contracts were sealed and 81 babies delivered in the past 20 months at the Pompomari Internally Displaced Persons camp in Damaturu,  Executive Secretary, Yobe Emergency Management Agency, Musa Jidawa , has disclosed. He told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Damaturu on Saturday that the camp, established in March 2015 for IDPs from villages in Gujba Local Government Area displaced by insurgents, also recorded 18 deaths during the period under review. Mr. Jidawa, who is also...

Bodies of Chapecoense crash victims reach Brazil for memorial.

The victims of the Colombian air crash which killed 71 people including almost a football squad, arrived in Brazil on Saturday for a memorial. The bodies left the airport in the Colombian city of Medellin on Friday and were accompanied by representatives of Colombia’s civil aviation authority, soldiers, police officers and rescue workers. Among those killed were 19 first-team players from Brazilian football team Chapecoense. The club will hold a stadium memorial service at its Arena Conda later on Saturday. The stadium’s capacity...

Boko Haram has taught us unforgettable lessons – Ndume

The Senate Majority Leader, Ali Ndume, has said people from Boko Haram affected areas have learnt unforgettable lesson, realised their mistakes and would never allow such to happen again. Mr. Ndume, in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria ( NAN) in Yola on Saturday, said that affected communities who were forced to leave their villages and towns are now anxious to return home and were ready to fight back. NAN reports that Mr. Ndume was in Yola , where...

Gambia’s president-elect promises two-term limit for presidency.

Gambian President-elect Adama Barrow on Saturday vowed to work for national unity and economic growth after power was peacefully transferred in the small West African nation for the first time in its history. The real estate mogul pledged to introduce an independent judiciary, promote media freedom, establish a two-term limit for the presidency and make the civil service transparent and accountable. He said that political prisoners would be freed and a truth and reconciliation process to “amend past injustices” launched. “The position...

Eko Disco apologises to Lagos residents for prolonged blackout

The management of Eko Electricity Distribution Company on Saturday apologised to customers for continuous shortage of electricity supply. A statement by Godwin Idemudia, the company’s Head of Corporate Communications in Lagos, blamed the shortage on a drastic reduction in the amount of electricity coming to EKEDC from the national grid. According to the statement, the company could only distribute what was allocated to it from the national grid. “We are, therefore, appealing to all our customers to bear with us as we...