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Alleged Certificate Forgery: Court Orders Obaseki To Open Defence Tuesday

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The All Progressives Congress, APC, on Monday, closed the forgery case it instituted against Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State, after it called a total of six witnesses and tendered 17 Exhibits.

Lead counsel to the APC, Chief Akin Olujimi, SAN, announced decision of the party to rest its case, shortly after the court discharged the sixth witness, PW-6, Dr. Mikano Asekome, who is an Associate Professor in Banking and Finance Department at Benson Idahosa University, Benin city, Edo state.

The PW-6 told the court that he was on December 23, 2020, summoned to appear as witness in the matter.

The witness went ahead and tendered in evidence, the original copy of his certificate in Agricultural-Economics, which the University of Ibadan awarded to him on July 31, 1978.

Under cross-examination, the witness told the court that as at 1974 when he gained admission into University of Ibadan, the Join Admission & Matriculation Board, JAMB, was not in existence.

“As at then, it was the responsibility of the University of Ibadan to set criteria for admission. However, in order to guide students, the criteria was always documented and published.

“The conditions differed from Faculty to Faculty, though the number of credits that must be passed by intending students remained basic.

“There were two modes of admission then, which was either by direct entry or through consessional entrance exam that was also called prelim or pre-degree.

“In my case, I went in through prelim. That was why I spent four years in school.

“As at then, the University of Ibadan was not offering prelim on courses in Faculty of Arts. Even in sciences, certain students entered through direct entry and they only spend three years”, the witness added.

Under further cross-examination, the witness told the court that he had never seen governor Obaseki’s original certificate.

Earlier, the PW-4, Mr. Raphael Onwuzuligbo, who is a retired Assistant Superintendent of Police and a forensic document examiner, said he analysed governor Obaseki’s certificate following a request that was made by a person he identified as “Faithful Steward”.

He however admitted that what was sent to him for analysis was not the original copy of the certificate, but the Certified True Copy, CTC.

“I don’t know who certified it, but on the face of the document there is Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.

“I don’t know the origin of the document”, the witness added.

The PW-5, Engineer Gabriel Iduseri, identified himself as the former South South zonal youth leader of the APC and the present caretaker zonal youth leader of the APC.

He tendered a copy of a suit marked FHC/B/CS/124/2016, which the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, previously instituted against Obaseki for allegedly forging his certificate.

The witness told the court that the case was subsequently struck out after the time for its determination elapsed.

He told the court that Obaseki had in 2016, submitted an affidavit of loss of certificate to INEC, adding that the said affidavit was not part of documents he submitted alongside his nomination form (Form EC9) in the 2020 election circle.

The witness told the court that Obaseki had in the Form CF001 he submitted in 2016, claimed that he attended University of Ibadan between 1976 to 1979.

Asked if he ever visited University of Ibadan or WAEC to confirm the authenticity of Obaseki’s credentials, the witness answered in the negative.

Meantime, following APC’s decision to close its case, Justice Ahmed Mohammed, directed governor Obaseki to open his defence on Tuesday.

The APC had in the suit it jointly filed with one of its members in Edo, Mr. Williams Edobor, alleged that Obaseki forged the University of Ibadan degree certificate he submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, in aid of his qualification for the election.

In the suit marked FHC/B/CS/74/2020, the Plaintiffs equally alleged that there were discrepancies in the subjects that Obaseki claimed he passed in his West African Examination Council (WAEC) exam and subjects in his testimonial.

They are therefore praying the court to declare that Obaseki’s claim in his INEC form EC9 at column C, sworn to on June 29, 2020 at the Federal Capital Territory High Court Registry to the effect that he obtained from the University of Ibadan in 1979, a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Classical Studies, is false and contrary to Section 31 (5) and (6) of the Electoral Act, 2010.

As well as an order declaring that Obaseki lied on oath when he swore to an affidavit on June 29, 2020 that he worked in Afrinvest Limited from 1994 to 2014 when he retired.

The INEC was listed as the 3rd Defendant in the matter.

Meanwhile, in line with section 285 (10) of the 1999 Constitution, as amended, the 180 days stipulated for the trial court to conclude hearing on the pre-election suit, will elapse on Sunday.

In a related development, the court, dismissed a joint suit the National Rescue Mission, NRM, and one of its chieftains, Mr. Steven Ozoro, filed to challenge the eligibility of APC’s governoship candidate in Edo State, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu and his Deputy, Abdulganiyu Daudu.

The court held that the suit had become academic, stressing that no legal benefit could accrue to any of the parties in the matter.

Cited as Defendants in the matter were INEC, APC, Ize-Iyamu and Daudu.

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BREAKING: Fire Breaks Out In Aso Rock

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A fire outbreak has been reported at the Presidential Villa in Aso Rock, Abuja, causing confusion among workers in President Muhammadu Buhari’s abode, SaharaReporters reports.

It was learnt that the fire started at 4 pm as the fire service officials tried desperately to put it out.

“The security men were chasing people not to capture the incident, but I tried my best to capture it. The fire is still on,” a source disclosed around 9 pm.

Although the cause of the fire is not yet known, fire service trucks have moved in and were seen in the villa.

More details soon….

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We Won’t Allow Hijab In Kwara Mission Schools, CAN Insists

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The Christian Association of Nigeria in Kwara State has insisted that it will not allow its pupils to wear hijab, despite the Kwara State Government’s directive that Muslim female pupils in Christian mission schools should wear hijab.

The state government, last week, said it had approved wearing of hijab by Muslim female pupils in Christian mission grant-aided schools in the state.

It also said the 10 Christian mission schools closed down in the wake of the hijab crisis would be reopened on Monday, March 8.

However, the state branch of the Christian Association of Nigeria said it would not agree to the use of hijab in schools established by Christian missions, alleging that they were surprised that the government was trying to make a decision on a matter that was still before the Supreme Court.

CAN said, “The body condemns the use of hijab in Christian missions grant-aided schools as this will cause discrimination in schools and allow terrorists to easily identify our children and wards.”

Two missions, Evangelical Church Winning All and the Kwara Baptist Conference, said they would not allow the wearing of hijab in their respective schools when the schools reopen on Monday.

The leadership of ECWA said it would not welcome the directive in all its schools in the state.

The Chairman, ECWA Ilorin District Church Council, Rev John Owoeye, who spoke at a press conference in Ilorin on Friday, said ECWA schools were established by Christian missionaries for purposes of reaching communities with the love of Christ and to meet educational needs of the indigenes irrespective of religious affiliations, among other reasons.

The ECWA church leaders, who demanded return of ECWA schools to them, said since 1974 when there was agreement on collaboration between the state government and the proprietor for the school to be grant-aided schools, “the policy has never been total takeover of our schools by the government.”

Owoeye, who said Christians are bona fide citizens of the state, added, “We have equal rights under the provisional constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”

He argued that the government was aware that Christian Religious Knowledge teachers were not posted to Muslim grant-aided schools and that the gathering of Fellowship of Christian Students was not allowed in Muslim grant-aided schools.

“Similarly, we want the government to be informed that her decision and plan to provide hijab and enforce its use in our Christian mission grant-aided schools will not be tolerated as it is an infringement on our freedom of religion as enshrined in the constitution of Nigeria,” he said.

Also, the President of Kwara Baptist Conference, Rev Victor Dada, in a separate press conference, said the mission would not allow the use of hijab in its 38 schools across the state, adding that the government was wrongly advised in taking the decision.

Dada argued that the state government took a wrong decision by its blanket approval of wearing of hijab for female pupils in mission schools.

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“The state government was wrongly advised to take that decision. The state even acted in contempt of court as the case is still pending before the Supreme Court.

“We want to warn the government that the step it wants to take by approving the use of hijab for all public schools and grant-aided schools in the state will lead to an avalanche of reactions, the end of which no one can predict.

“With this move, the state government is saying the Muslims’ purported rights are superior to those of the Christians.

“What we are saying is that no one, whether the Kwara State Government or even the Federal Government, can force hijab on our children or in our schools. We shall not hesitate to use all legitimate means to protect our heritage. We will defend our faith and protect our property.”

Meanwhile, Muslim stakeholders in the state have urged the state government to stand by the rule of law in taking a final decision on the hijab issue.

In a statement signed by its Chairman, Alhaji Is-haq AbdulKarim; and Secretary, Professor Ibrahim Abikan, the Muslim Stakeholders said the state branch of CAN, which engaged the state government in a legal battle over the issue of ownership of the grant-aided schools since 2013 lost its two cases in Ilorin High Court in 2016 and the Court of Appeal in 2019.

In a related development, Chairman, Kwara State branch of the Nigeria Union of Teachers, Olu Adewara, said the union was not part of the hijab crisis currently going on in the state.

The NUT Chairman, Adewara, told reporters, “The hijab matter is basically an issue between the government, the Muslim parents and the owners of these schools, regardless that such schools are grant-aided by the government. The NUT is not involved because this is not a matter bordering on teachers’ rights.”

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My Ex-Wife Lied Against Me, She Is An Adulterer —Fani-Kayode

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Former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode, has said his ex-wife, Precious Chikwendu, lied against him, adding that he didn’t beat her at any point in time during their relationship.

Fani-Kayode also alleged that Chikwendu was an adulterer who tried to seduce his friends while he was in detention.

The former beauty pageant had accused her ex-husband of beating her up at several times including when she was pregnant.

The ex-wife further accused Fani-Kayode of confining her to a hospital when she attempted to escape.

Chikwendu subsequently demanded for full custody of their four sons.

The former beauty queen made the allegations in an affidavit she deposed to in support of an originating motion brought pursuant to Section 69 of the Child’s Rights Act, 2003.

But in a statement by his Media Consultant, Oladimeji Olaiya, the ex-minister described all the allegations as “lies and falsehood”.

The statement was titled, ‘Press statement on the vile and baseless allegations of Precious Chikwendu against Chief Femi Fani-Kayode’.

It partly read, “The statement of claim and affidavit that was filed in court by one Precious Chikwendu against Chief Femi Fani-Kayode is filled with lies and falsehood.

“Not one thing that she has alleged there is true. She is a pathological liar and a slanderer and we intend to prove this in court.

“We believe that the children’s lives would be in danger if they are with her and we shall prove this in court.

“Neither is it true that she was ever beaten by Chief Fani-Kayode or anyone else in his staff and security team, either when she was pregnant or not pregnant and it is not true that she was subjected to any form of physical or mental abuse from them.”

The statement also noted that Chikwendu walked out of the marriage despite pleas and entreaties.

“She walked out on her own saying she was hearing voices even when the entire household was begging her to stay and she abandoned her husband and four young children to meet other men outside.

“After she finished having her fun Chief Fani-Kayode refused to let her back into his and resolved to keep her out of his life. This is the best decision he has made in the last 7 years.”

Fani-Kayode also accused his ex-wife of adultery, saying, “Chikwendu’s only pastime was to post pictures and words on Instagram and sleep with men outside.

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“She also tried to seduce a number of Chief Fani-Kayode’s friends when he was in detention and extort money from them.”

Though Chikwendu demanded the full custody of her four sons, Fani-Kayode said the children’s lives would be endangered if left in her care.

“On one occasion she beat her first son so badly that his face swelled up like a football and he had to be rushed to the hospital where she admitted to her offence to the doctor. We have pictures of his damaged and badly swollen face.

“His crime was that he had called one of his 3 nannies “mummy” and this angered Chikwendu who then flew into an uncontrollable rage and punched him in the face in front of 7 nannies.

“On a separate occassion in front of three Pastors she also beat one of the triplets mercilessly simply because he had dared to cry during prayers. Again we have evidence of this and the Pastors and nannies will testify,” the statement added.

“We urge members of the public to wait until the truth is revealed about Chikwendu, her mental and physical abuse of her own children, her mental illness, her numerous attempts to murder Chief Fani-Kayode and his four children, her adulterous ways, her unfathomable cruelty, her gold-digging ways, her violence and so much more before they make up their minds,” it concluded.

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