Alleged Certificate Forgery: Sokoto Rep member under investigation; rights groups petition IGP over slow pace of probe

Posted by News Express | 9 June 2016 | 2,864 times

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The Abuja Civil Society Community has waded into the certificate forgery allegation raised against a serving member of the Federal House of Representatives, Honourable Abdullahi Mohammad Wammakko, with a decision to storm the office of the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Solomon Arase, to protest against alleged Police compromise.

In a three-paragraph communiqué issued after a meeting of the coalition of Abuja civil society groups, attended by several registered groups including the Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA); Association of African Writers of Human and Peoples Rights (AFRIRIGHTS); Green Environmental Crusaders; Transparency and Accountability platform, the Abuja civil society community said it was in receipt of a petition against the legislator who is a younger sibling of the immediate past Sokoto State governor Senator Aliyu Magatakarda Wammakko.

The coalition has therefore tasked the retiring Inspector General of Police Mr. Solomon Arase to ensure that transparency is restored in the investigation of the alleged certificate scam. The organisations said information available to them showed that the team from the IGP's office handling the investigation may have been financially induced to tamper with vital exhibits originally tendered by the parties in the matter.

The coalition said it has followed the various stages of the matter for one year and expressed regret at the delay by the Police to wrap up the matter and reach a determination. This is against the backdrop of the fact that the allegations were made by a prominent Sokoto politician and a top management consultant, Honourable Sadiq Abubakar Mohammed through a respected Abuja based constitutional lawyer Mr. Ikechukwu Ezechukwu, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN).

Specifically, in the petition endorsed by the SAN, Honourable Abdullahi Mohammed Wammakko was accused of parading allegedly forged school certificate and higher diploma certificate with which he scaled through the electoral huddles of the Independent National Electoral Commission’s (INEC) screening prior to the 2015 general elections.

Excerpts from the petition dated May 20th, 2016, stated as follows;

“Please kindly refer to the above subject matter. We are solicitors to Hon. Sadiq Abubakar Mohammed hereinafter refers to as our client and on whose firm instruction we write.”

“You will recall that upon our petition on the above subject matter, the Inspector General of Police through your office directed that a thorough and proper investigation against Hon. Abdullahi Mohammed Wammakko, consequent upon which our investigation team was set (With) Investigation Police Officer (IPO) and CSP Dalhatu as the Supervision Officer.”

“The team commenced investigation as directed, the sequence of which we adequately and duly followed, ranging from the invitation and questioning of all actors suspected to have been involved in the act. With the way the investigation was being conducted, we were satisfied, convinced and confident that the investigation was going in accordance with the standard and international best practice and that it will be diligently handled but unfortunately, this turned out otherwise with regards to the invitation and questioning/interview of the principal suspect (Hon Abdullahi Mohammed Wammakko).”

Firstly, Hon Wammakko was earlier invited by the team (vide the Letter of Invitation issued and signed under the hand of your esteemed office) to appear before the Investigation Team on certain date and time but Hon. Wammakko blatantly ignored and neglected the invitation, thus, refusing to honor it for a period of about three weeks. As a result of this, the Investigation Team subsequently resolved to issue an arrest warrant against Hon. Wammakko. The arrest warrant was not issued and no further invitation was sent to Hon. Wammakko. However, while we were still waiting for the next step on the investigation, we were greeted with the news that Hon. Wammakko has been invited and interviewed solely by the IPO (ASP Clifford) on Wednesday the 18th day of May, 2016. We further learnt that, apart from the fact that the invitation and interview took place after the close of work (at about 5:30pm), the process did not last for even an hour as Hon. Wammakko arrived the Force Headquarters at about 5:30pm and left at about6:01pm.

ASP Clifford solely conducted and supervised the process on his own without any other officer. We and our client were neither informed nor were we allowed to at least be present and observe the process.

It is worthy of note that at the commencement of the investigation, we requested that for the purpose of transparency, fairness, just and equity that as solicitors to the complainant, we be carried along in the process of the investigation, also alongside our client we undertook to assist the Police in conducting a hitch-free and proper investigation, we were obliged on this request until this recent charade called invitation and interview with regards to the principal actor and suspect, Hon. Wammakko solely by ASP Clifford.

Moreover, you will recall that in our earlier letter on this subject, we requested that the original copied of these certificates be forwarded to the Nigeria Security Printing and Minting Company for forensic analysis and authentication as they requested vide their letters dated 9th June, 2015 and 29th June, 2015 respectively. These certificates are yet to be forwarded to the Nigeria Security Printing and Minting Company.

In the lights of the foregoing, we write to register our client’s displeasure and dissatisfaction in the way and manner in which ASP Clifford handled the Invitation and Interview of the Principal actor and suspect, Hon. Wammakko. We therefore humbly appeal and request as follows:

(a.) That you kindly use your goods office and nominate another senior Officer/Investigator and possibly a Lawyer within your unit to take over the headship of this investigation and re-invite and conduct fresh interview/interrogation on Hon. Wammakko under the continue supervision of CSP Dalhatu.

(b.) That the original copies of the certificates be forwarded to the Nigeria Security Printing and Minting Company as they requested for verification and authentication in furtherance of the investigation.

Our request is born out of the fact that the manner in which the invitation and interview of the principal suspect, Hon. Wammakko was handled by ASP Clifford is capable of eroding the confidence our client has on the Nigeria Police. This is particularly so, having regard to the recent resolves of the current leaders of the country’s stance that all agencies of the government should shun corrupt activities within their ranks, this resolve has been clearly upheld by the indefatigable Inspector General of Police.

We sincerely regret any inconveniences occasioned by this our client’s request and we look forward to your kind and prompt consideration of this our humble request.

•Photo shows Hon. Abdullahi Mohammad Wammakko.


Source: News Express

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