By NBF News

Civil Society Coalition Against Corruption has called for the removal of Deputy Speaker, Lagos State House of Assembly, Risakat Ajoke Adeniyi Adegeye and Bola Badmus-Olujobi over alleged certificate forgery.

In a media briefing addressed by leaders of the group, Debo Adeniran and Lanre Suraju, the two legislators were said to have forged the West African School Certificate and General Certificate of Education respectively with which they filled the Form CF001 of the Independent National Electoral Commission.

According to the civil society organisation, ' Adegeye had on December 18, 2006 sworn before the Commissioner for Oaths at the Lagos State High Court, Ikeja, as the bona fide holder of the West African School Certificate No. SC103391 and by which form and certificate she stood election into the Amuwo-Odofin Constituency I seat of the Lagos state House of Assembly on April 14, 2007. Similarly, by CF001 of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Bola Badmus-Olujobi, on December 15, 2006, swore before the Commissioner for Oaths at the Lagos state High Court, Ikeja, as the bona fide holder of the General Certificate of Education No. NGSG785767A and by which form and certificate she stood election in to the Amunwo-Odofin Constituency 11 seat of the Lagos state House of Assembly on April 14, 2007.'

The group noted that these two legislators have been representing their constituencies in the state assembly till date. The civil society group got wind of the certificate scandal through a publication in a national daily on November 21, 2009, titled, ' Super scandal: Lagos Deputy Speaker in certificate scam'

Following the publication, the group wrote a petition dated December 7, 2009 to the leadership of the House and copied to the Commissioner of Police, Lagos State command, the Chairperson, Economic and Financial Crime, Commission (EFCC), Executive governor, Lagos State and the Inspector General of Police, calling on the House to conduct an independent investigation in to the matter and make the outcome public in order to preserve the integrity of the House.

' We were piqued by the flagrant disregard of the House for the petition and condemnable failure to conduct an investigation. Discreet investigation and reactions by the West African Examinations Council (WARC), revealed through official letters dated on December 15, 2009 and January, 2010 respectively that the certificates allegedly issued to both Mrs. Adegeye and Mrs. Badmus-Olujobi did not emanate from the west African Examinations Council and by extension must have been forged.' the group said.

The civil society group remarked that forgery, uttering and making false declarations under oath are offences under the Nigerian law and wonders why all its efforts to make the Lagos State House of Assembly conduct necessary investigation into these allegations proved abortive as the leadership of the legislative body has swept the allegations under the carpet. ' We have it on good authority that the Lagos state police Command concluded its investigations into the allegations and has found the said Mrs. Adegeye and Mrs. Badmus -Olujobi culpable but has refused to institute necessary criminal proceedings against the two suspects apparently intimidated by their weights as prominent members of the ruling party in the state, Action Congress.'

On June 14, 2010, the group wrote another petition to the Commissioner of Police and copied to EFCC, IGP and Senate Committee on Police Affairs demanding that criminal proceedings be instituted against the two legislators.

The group pointed out that it has become a moral burden for AC that pressurized president Goodluck Jonathan to drop PDP members in the recently constituted INEC not to tow the path of integrity by making public its position on the allegation of certificate forgery on its members.

It is unfortunate for AC, the party that prides itself as the beacon of democracy and justice to play the ostrich when their members are being accused of certificate forgery.'