Ex-presidential aide arraigns over alleged certificate forgery

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A former Presidential aide, Okoi Obono-Obla, was on Tuesday arraigned by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) over allegations of certificate forgery.

Obono-Obla is the former Chairman of the Special Presidential Investigation Panel (SPIP) for the Recovery of Public Property.

He was charged with two counts before Justice C.L. Dabup of the Jos Judicial Division of the High Court of Plateau State.

This was contained in a statement issued by ICPC’s spokesperson, Azuka Ogugua, on Tuesday.

According to the ICPC, the former Presidential aide presented a fake result with a credit pass in English Literature to the University of Jos, with which he secured admission to study law.

“The charge was filed before Justice C. L. Dabup revealed that while Obono-Obla did not sit for the Ordinary Level, General Certificate Examination (GCE) in English Literature in 1982, he presented a result of the same GCE to the University of Jos, in 1985, containing Credit 6 from Mary Knoll College, Ogoja,” the statement revealed.

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“He was alleged to have committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 366 of the Penal Code Law of Plateau State.”

But Obono-Obla was said to have entered a not guilty plea on each of the two counts when they were read to him.

Thereafter, his counsel, M.A. Agara, filed an application in which he urged the court to grant his client bail on self-recognisance.

In his argument, ICPC’s lead counsel, Henry Emore, who opposed the motion challenging the jurisdiction of the court, submitted that the defendant was brought before the court because the offence of certificate forgery was allegedly committed in Jos where the court seats.

In her ruling, Justice Dabup admitted Obono-Obla to bail in the sum of N1 million with one surety in like sum.

She also ruled that the surety must be resident within the jurisdiction of the court and must submit an affidavit of means, including a tax clearance certificate showing evidence of payment for three years.

The judge later adjourned the case till November 25, 2021, for trial.

Also, in a related case, the EFCC today, Tuesday, October 12, 2021 arraigned a former Vice Chancellor of Federal University Gusau, Professor Magaji Garba before Justice Maryam Hassan Aliyu of the Federal Capital Territory High Court, Jabi Abuja on a five count charge bordering on obtaining money by false pretence and forgery.

He allegedly extorted various sums from a contractor on the pretext of awarding him a N3 billion contract for the perimeter wall fencing of the University.

The offence is contrary to section 1 (1) (a) and punishable under section 1 (3) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2006.

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