HomePoliticsPoliticsAlleged Certificate Forgery: CSO Faults Abia Committee

Alleged Certificate Forgery: CSO Faults Abia Committee

A storm of controversy has beset the Abia State Security Trust Fund committee, inaugurated just over a month ago, as the Centre for Reform and Public Advocacy (CRFA) takes strong exception to its constitution, casting doubt on the committee’s ability to tackle the state’s security challenges.

The Centre for Reform and Public Advocacy (CRFA) has written to Governor Alex Otti, expressing outrage over the appointment of an Aba businessman with a questionable past, allegedly involving certificate forgery, to the Abia State Security Trust Fund committee, which has cast a shadow over the committee’s integrity.

The CRFA’s letter, dated June 5, 2024, and received on June 19, contains explosive allegations against Owelle Greg Okafor, linking him to a certificate forgery scandal that rocked Abia State Polytechnic, Aba, in 2021, a development that has raised eyebrows and cast a shadow over his integrity.

The CRFA suggests that Governor Alex Otti may have unwittingly appointed Owelle Greg Okafor to the sensitive committee without thorough vetting, underscoring the need for a reassessment of his membership to ensure the committee’s integrity.

The Centre for Reform and Public Advocacy has implored Governor Otti to take immediate action and dismiss Okafor from the committee, citing his alleged complicity in the certificate forgery scandal, which makes him unsuitable for a position of trust.

The Centre for Reform and Public Advocacy (CRFA) claims to have obtained documents from Abiapoly that provide clear evidence of certificate forgery, specifically a National Diploma Certificate allegedly issued to Owelle Greg Okafor in November 2021, which they say is a blatant fabrication.

According to the CRFA, the alleged certificate forgery has its roots in Okafor’s admission to Abiapoly in 2018, which they claim was the first step in a fraudulent process that ultimately led to the issuance of a fake certificate.

“for a course that should run for at least 2 years and 4 months or 3 years as the case may be, inclusive of the Industrial Training (IT) period”.

The CRFA points out that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, academic activities were disrupted, making it impossible for Okafor to have completed all the necessary requirements to graduate in August 2020, as claimed in his statement of result.

Read also: NAF Set To Establish Military Base In Abia State

The CRFA notes that Abia State Polytechnic, Aba, did not adopt online learning or examinations during the lockdown, making it impossible for Okafor to have completed his studies and graduated in August 2020, as claimed.

CRFA stated: “Thus, the statement of result issued by the Abia State Polytechnic, Aba, has August 2020 as effective date of graduation. The outbreak of Covid 19 pandemic brought academic programmes to a stand-still, worldwide.

“Nigeria experienced a total lockdown from March 2020 till around October 2020. It is thus, not possible that Owelle Greg Okafor graduated and fulfilled all the requirements within the Covid-19 total lockdown.”

The CRFA alleges that the statement of result in Okafor’s ND certificate was signed by a retired Registrar, while another document dated the same day was signed by the incumbent Registrar, which they say is a clear indication of forgery.

“The statement of result issued by the Abia State polytechnic, Aba, to Owelle Greg Okafor, is in the letter head of a retired Registrar, Mrs. C.A. Nwabughiogu, as at the date of issue”.

Curiously, the verification letter of the student status of Okafor as demanded by Aba Sports Club was signed on same date by incumbent Registrar, Mr. Chinyere C. Oriaku, hence CRFA insisted that “the Polytechnic couldn’t have had two registrars on the same date of November 30, 2021”.

While urging Governor Otti to remove the “forgery infected” member of the Security Trust Fund committee, in line with his avowed best practices, the group also called for a probe of certificate forgery in the state polytechnic.

Recommendation has been made for a special investigative panel to be set up without delay to look into the certificate forgery allegations at Abia State Polytechnic, Aba, and hold accountable those responsible, thereby ending the entrenched culture of fraud in the institution.

The Eastern Updates 

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