Albert Bassey, candidate of the Young Progressives Party (YPP) in Akwa Ibom, has alleged that Umo Eno, governor-elect of the state, was expelled by the University of Uyo in 2005 over certificate forgery.
In a petition filed at the governorship election tribunal in Uyo, Bassey claimed that Eno was one of the students expelled from the university in 2005 for obtaining admission with a fake West African Examination Council (WAEC)/Senior School Certificate Examination (SSCE) certificate.
In the petition marked AKW/GOV/01/2023, Bassey through his lawyers, asked the tribunal to nullify the declaration and return of Eno as the winner of the governorship election in the state.
Bassey alleged that Eno was not at the time of the election qualified to contest because he presented a forged WAEC June 1981 certificate to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) during his nomination by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
In a response opposing Bassey’s petition, Eno through his lawyers, filed a 63-paragraph statement denying forging the WAEC result.
He added that he also possesses a bachelor of science and master’s of science degrees in political science and public administration obtained from the University of Uyo.
But backing his claims, Bassey said findings from the university showed that Umo was expelled from the institution in 2005 for presenting a fake 1998 WAEC certificate.
He also alleged that the WAEC certificate presented by Eno to the university while he was seeking admission, bears the examination number 15725119 — the same as his 1983 WAEC certificate he (Eno) claims to also possess.
“It was also revealed that while Eno Umo Bassey claimed to have used his WAEC/SSCE certificate of December 1998 to gain admission into the university, the admission for 1998/1999 academic session was in October 1998,” the petition reads.
“Eno Umo Bassey was listed as No 19 in the University of Uyo’s senate list of expelled students dated 10th February 2005.”
A similar alleged certificate forgery case was filed against Eno by Akan Okon, a former governorship aspirant of the PDP, but was struck out by a federal high court in Uyo for want of merit. The sum of N15 million was also awarded against the plaintiff.
Agatha Okeke, the presiding judge, ruled that Okon’s petition was based on assumption and that he was unable to prove to the court that Eno’s certificates were forged.
The high court judgement was upheld by the appeal court in January.
A three-member panel of the appellate court presided over by Elfreda William-Dawodu, upheld the judgment of the high court, but reduced the N15 million awarded to Eno to N5 million.