Gov Suswam's Certificate Scandal: Lawyer urges Police to investigate


Gabriel Suswam
The certificate scandal that has put tar on the integrity of Benue State Governor, Gabriel Suswam has refused to go away, as an attorney with Festus Keyamo chambers, Alex Okenta has called on the Inspector-General of Police to investigate the strings of allegations.

Suswam who battles a formidable opposition in his reelection bid including former adviser to California governor, Prof. Steve Ugbah and Senator George Akume, has consistently denied forging his high school diploma.

His critics also queried his post graduate degrees in personnel management and law, plus a doctorate in law in five years despite his tight schedule as Governor.

Oketa, a citizen of Benue State , anchored his petition, which is dated 2 March 2011, on the experience of Chigozie Ukpabi, a former member of the staff of the West Africa Examinations Council (WAEC), who has claimed that Mr. Suswan engaged him in 2005 to forge a WAEC certificate for him. The successful forgery, Mr. Ukpabi has said, led to the termination of his employment by WAEC.

But that forged certificate, Mr. Oketa said in the petition, has allegedly been used by Mr. Suswan, including in an application to the University of Jos to study for a Masters degree in Public Administration as well as in the institution's PhD. Programme in law.

He said that rather than debunk the allegation of forgery and use of the certificate, Mr. Suswan has instead chosen to persecute anyone, including journalists, who has dared to talk about the issue and even used policemen to destroy copies of newspapers which reported the story.

Pointing out that Mr. Ukpabi has been charged for forging the WAEC certificate for Suswan and attempting to get paid for his illegal work, Mr. Oketa called on the IGP to launch a dispassionate investigation into the matter and make his report known to the Hon. Attorney-General of the Federation to enable him arrange for the prosecution of Gabriel Suswan immediately he steps out of power in May this year.

Oketa reminded the police boss: “The only way we can clean up the mess in our government and promote good governance in Nigeria is to ensure that highly placed individuals who occupy sensitive positions are made to face the wrath of the law for indulging in criminal acts capable of eroding the confidence of the people in government. This will also act as a deterrent to others.”