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Alleged Certificate Forgery: Sokoto Rep Member Under Investigation

.....Rights Groups To Petition Igp Over Slow Pace Of Probe
By Emmanuel Onwubiko
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The Abuja Civil Society Community has waded into the alleged certificate forgery scam against a serving member of the Federal House of Representatives Honourable Abdullahi Mohammad Wamakko with a decision to storm the office of the Inspector General of Police Mr. Solomon Araseto protest against alleged Police compromise.

In a three paragraphs communiqué issued after a meeting of the coalition of Abuja attended by several registered civil society groups including the Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) ; Association of African Writers of Human and Peoples Rights (AFRIRIGHTS); Green Environmental Crusaders; Transparency and Accountability platform, the Abuja Civil Society community said it was in recipient of a petition against the legislator who is younger sibling of the immediate past Sokoto State governor Senator Aliyu Magatakarda Wammakko.

The coalition has therefore tasked the retiring Inspector General of Police Mr Solomon Arase to ensure that transparency is restored in the investigation of the alleged certificate scam. The organisations said information available to them showed that the team from the IGP's office handling the investigation may have been financially induced to tamper with vital exhibits originally tendered by the parties in the matter.

The coalition said it has followed the various stages of the matter since one year and expressed regret at the serious delay by the police to wrap up the matter and reach a determination given the fact that the weighty allegations were made by a prominent Sokoto politician and a top management consultant -Honourable Sadiq Abubakar Mohammed through a respected Abuja based constitutional lawyer Mr Ikechukwu Ezechukwu a Senior Advocate of Nigeria.

Specifically, in the petition endorsed by a Senior Advocate of Nigeria Mr. Ikechukwu Ezechukwu, Honourable Abdullahi Mohammed Wammakko was accused of parading allegedly forged school certificate and higher diploma certificate with which he scaled through the electoral huddles of the Independent National Electoral Commission’s screening prior to the 2015 general elections.

Excerpts from the petition dated May 20th2016, stated as follows;

“Please kindly refer to the above subject matter. We are solicitors to Hon Sadiq Abubakar Mohammed hereinafter refers to as our client and on whose firm instruction we write.”

“You will recall that upon our petition on the above subject matter, the Inspector General Police through your office directed that a thorough and proper investigation against Hon Abdullahi Mohammed Wammakko, consequent upon which our investigation Team was set. Investigation Police Officer (IPO) and CSP Dalhatu as the Supervision Officer.”

“The team commenced investigation as directed, the sequence of which we adequately and duly followed, ranging from the invitation and questioning of all actors suspected to have been involved in the act. With the way the investigation was being conducted, we were satisfied, convinced and confident that the investigation was going in accordance with the standard and international best practice and that it will be diligently handled but unfortunately, this turned out otherwise with regards to the invitation and questioning/interview of the principal suspect (Hon Abdullahi Mohammed Wammakko).”

Firstly, Hon Wammakko was earlier invited by the team (vide the Letter of Invitation issued and signed under the hand of your esteemed office) to appear before the Investigation Team on certain date and time but Hon Wammakko blatantly ignored and neglected the invitation, thus, refusing to honor it for a period of about three weeks. As a result of this, the Investigation Team subsequently resolved to our knowledge to issue an arrest warrant against Hon Wammakko. The arrest warrant was not issued nor was a further or another invitation sent to Hon. Wammakko to our knowledge. However, and strangely, while we were still waiting for the nest step on the investigation, we were greeted with the news that Hon Wammakko has been invited and interviewed solely by the IPO (ASP Clifford) on Wednesday the 18thday of May, 2016. We further learnt that, apart from the fact that invitation and interview took place after the close of work (at about 5:30pm), the process did not last for even an hour (Hon Wammakko arrived the Force Headquarters at about 5:30pm and left at about 6:01pm).

ASP Clifford solely conducted and supervised the process on his own without any other officer to our knowledge. We and our client were neither informed nor were we allowed to at least one present and observe the process.

It is worthy of note to further state that at the commencement of the investigation, we kindly requested that for purpose of transparency, fairness, just and equity that as solicitors to the complainant, we be carried along in the process of the investigation, also alongside our client we undertook to assist the police in conducting a hitch-free and proper investigation, we were obliged on this request until this recent charade called invitation and interview with regards to the principal actor and suspect, Hon Wammakko solely by ASP Clifford.

Moreover, you will also recall that in our earlier letter on this subject, we did requested that the original copied of these certificates be forwarded to the Nigeria Security Printing and Minting Company for forensic analysis and authentication as they requested vide their letters dated 9th June, 2015 and 29th June, 2015 respectively. These certificates are yet to be forwarded to the Nigeria Security Printing and Minting Company.

In the lights of the foregoing, we write to register our client’s displeasure ans dissatisfaction in the way and manner in which ASP Clifford handled the Invitation and Interview of the Principal actor and suspect, Hon Wammakko. We therefore humbly appeal and request as follows:

a. That you kindly use your goods office and nominate another senior Officer/Investigator and a possibly a Lawyer within your unit to take over the headship of this investigation and re-invite and conduct fresh interview/interrogation for Hon Wammakko under the continue supervision of CSP Dalhatu.

b. That the original copies of the certificates be forwarded to the Nigeria Security Printing and Minting Company as they requested for verification and authentication in furtherance of the investigation.

Our request is born out of the fact that the manner and conduct in which the invitation and interview of the principal suspect, Hon Wammakko has handled by ASP Clifford is capable of eroding the firm confidence our client reposes on the Nigeria Police. This is particularly so especially having regard to the recent resolves of the current leaders of the country’s stance that all agencies of the government should shun corrupt activities within their rank, this resolves has been clearly upheld by the indefatigable Inspector General of Police.

We sincerely regret any inconveniences occasioned by this our client’s request and we look forward to your kind and prompt consideration of this our humble request.