Revealed! Lagos State Deputy Speaker in Certificate Forgery Scandal

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One would have thought that the era of certificate forgery to make way into elective positions in Nigeria has been laid to rest, but recent trend of affairs in Lagos State House of Assembly has ultimately faulted that; this has also dragged the integrity of

the entire lawmakers in the Assembly into total disrepute and avoidable shame. This revelation came to light few weeks after the former Deputy Speaker of Lagos House of Assembly, Funmi Tejuosho was impeached by over two-third members from her former prestigious office. Some Honorable members loyal to the former speaker have however petitioned the Lagos State Police Commissioner claiming that the WAEC Certificate of the new Deputy Speaker, Hon. Mrs. Bola Badmus-Olujobi was forged.

Based on the complaint, the Police invited the new Deputy Speaker for questioning last week to come and respond to the charges and she went to the Police to make a written statement in line to the Police directives. In the petition it was claimed that among other things that the Lagos Deputy Speaker, is not qualified to occupy the seat she presently occupies. Honourable Bola Badmus-Olujobi, then Bola Badmus –Adenekan, was first elected in 2003 after the sudden demise of the former Chief Whip of the House, the late Buraimoh Yussuf, who represented Amuwo Odofin constituency. Again, her present position as the Deputy Speaker of the House was after the impeachment of the former Deputy Speaker, Hon. Funmilayo Tejuosho.

The allegation remains that Olujobi presented a fake certificate to the then Alliance of Democracy (now Action Congress) and Independent National Electoral Commission to scale through to her present position. In her documents submitted to the required authorities and sworn an oath before a Commissioner of Oaths at t he Ikeja High Court Registry on the 15th of December 2006, the Deputy Speaker stated that she had her Primary education at the Local Authority School Ajegunle, Lagos, after which she proceeded to Awori Ajeromi Grammar School, Agboju, Lagos for her Secondary School and completed same at the Agboju Grammar School, Agboju Lagos , where she sat for the Joint Examination for the School Certificate and General Certificate of Education and obtained the following results: English Language-6 (Credit), Government-6 (Credit), Economics-6 (Credit), Mathematics-8 (Pass), Commerce-6 (Credit), and Introduction to Business Management-5 (Credit). The Certificate is dated December 1998 with candidate number: 15663/107 and certificate number: NGSG 785767. The Certificate states that she sat for the exams at the Amuwo Grammar School, Agboju, Lagos.

The allegation is that when the date on the Certificate and the Candidate number was cross-checked at the Commission, it came up with a different name and Grades. Real results are for Fashina Olubunmi Apinke, who sat at Abesan Grammar School for the Nov/Dec1998 Joint Examination for the School Certificate and General of examination with examination number 15663/107 and the results are: English Language-4 (Credit), English Literature-nil, CRK-7 (Pass), Government-6 (Credit), Economics-2 (Excellent), Mathematics-9 (Fail), Biology-9 (Fail), and Commerce-7 (Pass). This allegation further exposed to the world that it is the same Certificate she presented to the Lagos State University (LASU), to secure admission in the University. What she did was that to present the certificate to Lagos State University after she worn in December 2003, knowing fully well that her position as a member of of the House automatically eradicates the screening of her credentials. And with this certificate, she got admitted to study History and International Studies at the Lagos State University, from which she graduated in 2006 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree (B.A. Hons).

Although the Deputy Speaker is not the only one under attack over certificate scandal, other Lawmakers have also been dragged to the Police, having been slammed with similar allegations. These are all lawmakers who were openly behind the former Deputy Speaker removal. One of the lawmakers currently under attack too is Hon. Risikat Ajoke Adegeye (representing Amuwo Odofin Constituency 1), wife of the ace Juju musician, King Sunny Ade, is also accused of falsifying her O' level Certificate. It would be recalled that Hon. Adegeye was the Lawmaker who seconded the motion at the floor of the House in the impeachment process of Hon. Tejuosho (former Deputy Speaker). But she has stood her ground denying any falsification whatsoever, saying ''My WAEC Certificate is genuine and authentic''. She also said whoever that is interested in the authenticity of her Certificate or Schools attended knows where to go, boasting that she did her School Certificate in 1977 in St. Timothy's College. I was known in my school in as a bright student, I went and they should equally go to INEC and find out. Reacting further she said her certificate was screened and confirmed to be.

In the documents making the rounds, Hon. Adegeye had her Primary education at the L.A Primary School, Agege, Lagos, between 1965-1970, after which she moved to St. Timothy's College Onike, Yaba, Lagos, for secondary education between1972-1977. From there she sat for the Joint Examination for the School Certificate and General Certificate and purportedly qualified for the award of a school certificate. The WAEC Certificate which she presented to the Commission dated June 1977 with Candidate number 15781/081 and certificate number: SC 103391 has the following results: English Language -4 (Credit), English Literature-5 (Credit), Religious Knowledge-7 (Pass), Government-4 (Credit), Economics-4 (Credit), Mathematics-7 (Pass), Accounts-6 (Credit), and Commerce-8 (Pass). In this result she, recorded 5 credit passes and this she swore to Oaths before a Commissioner of Oaths at the Ikeja High Court Registry on the 18th day of December, 2006, declaring that it as being true and correct. She also presented a testimonial from the same School.

Those fighting Adegeye have cast doubts on the authenticity of her claims. Their position is that the Testimonial did not have an Admission number neither did it have required signature for that year. Her Certificate reads 1977 and the Commission has computerized its results only up to1978 so the results from 1977 downwards are not in the Commission's updated system, they are safely locked away in the vaults of the Commissions National office in Yaba, Lagos. Their grudge is that there are some mistakes made on the documents. They said instead of St. Timothy's College, Onike, Yaba, it reads St. Timothy's College Onike Iwaya, and the signature is irregular. The Lagos Speaker has also stepped into the controversy, saying the Police should do their job, but on the basis of proper investigation, and no lawmaker should be detained except due process is extremely adhered to.

From available information gathered by, former Deputy Speaker of the House Hon. Funmi Tejuosho who many have accused to be responsible for this scary audit however denied being behind the scandal. She said it is also news to her and that she would choose not to believe the entire escapades. Tejuosho also said nobody has discussed that with her and that she would have to liaise with the Speaker in order to be privy to the whole development.

According to retrospective checks Certificate scandal such as this is not new in Nigeria democratic rule especially in Lagos politics. Recently this year, the Court of Appeal nullified the election of Hon. Tunde Isiak, a member of the Action Congress (AC), who represented Ibeju-Lekki Federal Constituency for almost two years in the House of Representatives. He was axed over certificate forgery after the court had considered a petition filed by Okanlawon Soniyi of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). The court ruled that the AC candidate, Isiak was not eligible to participate in the last April 21, 2007 House of Representatives election and called for a re-run election. The court decision however, gave PDP in Lagos another opportunity to prove its popularity at the poll. It is against this background that the PDP card carrying member candidate was eventually returned as the winner with a landslide victory in June 2009.

Similarly in the early period of the Nigeria 4th Republic, immediate past Governor of Lagos State, Bola Tinubu was also enmeshed in certificate scandal in which questions were raised about his secondary school and University Certificates. Discovery was made about Tinubu's claim to have acquired a degree from Chicago University, USA. This occurred against the background of a similar case involving the presumed youngest fourth Speaker of the House Representatives, Alhaji Ibrahim Salisu Buhari. Buhari was discovered to have lied about his age and academic qualification when he ran for the House in 1999. The media and social critics went to town over the news. This eventually forced Buhari to resign as speaker. A recurrence of a terrible scenario like this is not the best for our democracy particularly in Lagos State which has been setting enviable milestone and track records in governance

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