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ONDO SSS REPORT FORGERY: GROUP CALLS FOR INVESTIGATION

By Kazeem Adekunle

As controversies continue to rage over the alleged forgery of State Security Service (SSS) report presented to the Ondo State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal by the State Governor, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko, a pressure group, the Elections Transparency Group (ETG) has called on the police, SSS and other security agencies in the country to conduct a thorough investigation into the allegation.

ETG, in a release signed by its National Coordinator, Alhaji Kazeem Adekunle and made available to journalists in Abuja noted that; “forgery to get judgment at the tribunal has become a national embarrassment that must be addressed forthwith.”

The group said: “We have followed with keen interest allegations and reactions on the usage of forged SSS report to secure judgment at the tribunal by the Governor of Ondo State, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko, and we wish to state that this allegation, which is grievous, must be investigated and whoever that is found culpable brought to justice without further delay.

“We are particularly miffed because this is not the first time opposition parties in Nigeria are enmeshed in forgery, especially in their quest to secure electoral victory through the judiciary.

“Presently, the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) governorship candidate in Osun State, Alhaji Rauf Aregbesola and others are being tried over forgery of Police report with which Appeal Court judgment, ordering a retrial of Aregbesola's petition against the election of Governor Olagunsoye Oyinlola. Curiously, the police report, with which the Appeal Court judgment was gotten, was not presented at the retrial.

“Also, we have heard about the forgery of an affidavit in the name Late Adrian Forty, a forensic expert in Ekiti State and the presentation of a forged SSS report to the tribunal. Though the tribunal then rejected the SSS report because it was not signed, dated and authored by anyone, it is on record that the report would have been accepted and formed one of the basis for the judgment if Governor Segun Oni's counsel had not been able to sustain their objection to it.

“Furthermore, in Ekiti State, we heard the case of tampering with tribunal exhibits, Ibo lehin ibo (removal of used ballot papers from ballots boxes and replacing them with freshly thumb-printed ones) and publication of tribunal judgment 72 hours before the judgment was delivered.

“This time around, it is now forgery of SSS report in Ondo State and unfortunately, the State governor, who benefitted from the alleged forgery, has not been able to say categorically that the SSS report was fake or original. Instead, we are being told that the tribunal judgment was not based on the fake SSS report.

“To us, the argument that the tribunal judgment was not based on the SSS report does not hold waters because even if it was not used by the tribunal, that does not remove the criminality of forgery and seeking justice with forged document.

“Therefore, the police, SSS and other security agencies in the country must investigate this grievous allegation and bring those found culpable to book so as to serve as deterrent to others, who might planning to do more damages to our judicial system after the 2011 general elections.”