Law News
Uzodimma Dragged to Court over Certificates
Senator Hope Uzodimma

Senator Hope Uzodimma

The senator representing Imo West senatorial district, Hope Uzodimma, has been dragged before a Federal High Court in Abuja over allegations that he did not possess a West African Examinations Council (WAEC) certificate.

He was also alleged to have claimed that he had a Higher National Diploma (HND) certificate from the Federal University of Technology Owerri (FUTO), a degree-awarding institution.

In the suit filed by Ebubeagu Godwin Ekenulo through his counsel, Alex Williams, the plaintiff who cited the Registrar, Federal university of Technology, Owerri (FUTO), FUTO, the Attorney-General of the Federation and Uzodinma as 1st to 4th defendants, asked the court to declare that Uzodinma did not have the requisite ordinary level qualification (WASC of GCE) which is the condition precedent to be admitted to FUTO (2nd defendant) for the purported HND in Maritime Technology or at all.

The plaintiff also sought a declaration that the purported admission, study of Maritime Technology by the 4th defendant at the 2nd defendant and any certificate purportedly issued to Uzodimma 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 to him a certified true copy of the admission letter issued to Uzodimma 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 him that qualified him for the purported admission.

He asked the court to compel Uzodimma to bring the original copy of his WASC or GCE certificate or his ordinary 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 (1st defendant) 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 19th day of July 2 012 which was received and acknowledged by the 1st defendant on the 26th July, 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 by plaintiff he alleged that Uzodinma 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 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.

According to him, “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 HND in any programme.

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