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Controversy as Ebonyi takes over certificate forgery trial of Assembly member

By Charles Iwuoha, Enugu on 12/06/2018

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•Hon. Chike Imo Ogiji
•Hon. Chike Imo Ogiji

The alleged certificate forgery trial before a chief magistrate court in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State, against the Chief Whip of the State House of Assembly member, Hon. Chike Imo Ogiji, has been taking over by the state government.

In a suit No MAB 33/C/2018, Ogiji was arraigned a month ago by the Nigeria Police for alleged forgery of his first school leaving certificate and primary school testimonial. The lawmaker represents Ikwo south constituency in the state House of Assembly.

The offence is punishable under section 118 of the Criminal Code Act, Cap C38 Laws of the Federation 2004 and section 467 Cap C38 Laws of the federation as applicable in Ebonyi State.

The charges read “that you Ogiji Chike Imo, on the 10th day of November, 2006 at Abakaliki in the Magisterial district of the court did knowingly swore false affidavit touching on a first school leaving certificate purportedly issued to you in the year 1984 by

“Community Primary School Uduku Ettam Okpuitumo in Ikwo Local Government Area, Ebonyi State and thereby committed an offence punishable under section 118 of the Criminal Code Cap C38 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004 as applicable in Ebonyi State of Nigeria.

“That you Ogiji Imo Chike, between 2007 and 2015 at Abakaliki in the Magisterial district of this court did forge an entry schedule mark sheet and state exams for community primary school Uduku Ettam Okpuitumo in Ikwo local government area of Ebonyi State for the year 1986 with intent that it may be used or acted upon as genuine and thereby committed an offence contrary to section 456 and punishable under section 467 of the Criminal Code Act, cap C38 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004 as applicable in Ebonyi state of Nigeria”.

But Ogiji pleaded not guilty to the charges.

The trial Magistrate, Stella Ogoke, had granted him bail for N20,000 and a surety in like sum and adjourned the matter to Monday, June 11, 2018 for trial.

It was gathered that when the matter came up as rescheduled on Monday, the state government through Department of Public Prosecution applied to take over the prosecution.

The development is, however, raising concerns and fears that government might be plotting to tamper with trial of the lawmaker.

When contacted, the accused, Ogiji, who said it would amount to contempt of court to begin to discuss a matter that was already in a court of competent jurisdiction.

However, he noted that the concerns and fears allegedly being raised in some quarters of plot to scuttle the matter was unnecessary, saying that he personally wants the matter to be expeditiously prosecuted so that the question mark placed on his certificate would be removed.

Ogiji noted that he schooled very well, adding that everything about the matter was politically motivated and maintained he would not be distracted.

Also, when the state Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Barr. Cletus Ofoke, was contacted over the government’s interest in the matter, he said he was not disposed to comment immediately but asked our correspondent to come today (Tuesday) for his comment.

Source News Express

Posted 12/06/2018 04:21:46 AM

 

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