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Court Adjourns Alleged Forgery Suit against Uzodimma
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Sen. Hope Uzodimma

A Federal High Court in Abuja has fixed December 4 to hear the suit filed against the senator representing Imo West senatorial district, Hope Uzodimma, over allegations that he forged his West African Examinations Council (WAEC) certificates.

In the suit filed by Ebubeagu Godwin Ekenulo through his counsel, Alex Williams, he was also alleged to have claimed that he possessed a Higher National Diploma (HND) certificate from the Federal University of Technology Owerri (FUTO), a degree awarding institution

The plaintiff  cited the Registrar FUTO), the Attorney-General of the Federation and Uzodimma as defendants.

He asked the court to declare that Uzodimma did not have the requisite ordinary level qualification (WASC or GCE), which is the condition precedent to be admitted to FUTO for the purported HND in Maritime Technology or at all.

He asked for the court to declare that the purported admission, study of Maritime Technology by the fourth defendant at the 2nd defendant and any certificate purportedly issued to Uzodimma in that behalf was fraudulent, unlawful, illegal, null, void and ultra vires the powers of the 2nd defendant.

He also sought an order of the court compelling the defendants particularly the 1st defendant to make available the information sought for by the plaintiff to wit  certified true copy of the letter which FUTO gave him to study Maritime Technology at HND levels, the details of his course of study and duration, the degree or certificate awarded and year of graduation, the GCE or WASC certificate submitted by the 4th defendant that qualified him for the purported admission.

He is also seeking an order compelling the 4th defendant to bring the original copy of his WASC or GCE certificate or his O-level qualifying certificate with which he obtained the admission to study Maritime Technology at HND levels to the court for inspection.

The plaintiff also wants the court to determine whether the Registrar of FUTO upon a proper reading and interpretation of the Freedom of Information Act 2011, is not under obligation under the law to avail him the information he sought from him vide a letter dated July 19, 2012 which was received and acknowledged by the 1st defendant on July 26, 2012 or give the plaintiff the reason why the information sought for would not be made available to him?

In the affidavit in support of the suit deposed to the plaintiff, he alleged that  Uzodimma had in an interview he granted to THISDAY on Sunday, June 24, 2012, claimed among other things that he attended Government Secondary School Etche in Rivers State and got his O’level certificate there, that he got admission into FUTO and studied Maritime Technology at HND level and that he obtained a Masters Degree in Maritime Technology from Washington University USA, in 1998.

He said: “I instructed my solicitor to apply to the Principal of Government Secondary School Etche, Rivers State for clarification of the information and the Principal replied my solicitor’s letter and stated that Uzodimma attended the school from 1978 to 1981 when he dropped out after class 3 and did not sit for WASC attached is a letter from the said Principal.

“My counsel also wrote to the 1st defendant to verify the authenticity or otherwise of the claims that the 4th defendant attended FUTO and obtained HND degree in Maritime Technology, he refused to avail me the information. I then asked my solicitor to write the National Universities Commission (NUC) to ascertain whether the 2nd defendant (FUTO) was accredited to award HND degrees and the NUC replied my solicitors and stated that the 2nd defendant is not approved by the NUC to award National Higher Diploma in any programme.”

Justice Ahmed Mohammed adjourned the case to December 4 and directed the plaintiff to make sure the processes were served  o?n all the defendants.

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