Probe Aiyedatiwa’s alleged certificate forgery, Ondo aspirant petitions APC

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A governorship aspirant of the All Progressives Congress in Ondo State, Gbenga Edema, on Monday pleaded with the National Chairman of the party, Dr Abdullahi Ganduje, and the National Working Committee to investigate the certificate forgery allegation levelled against Governor Lucky Aiyedatiwa.

The appeal was contained in a petition made available to journalists in Abuja.

The plea comes few hours after a legal practitioner, Oladotun Hassan, similarly petitioned the Inspector General of Police, Kayode Egbetokun, and the Police Service Commission over an alleged move by a top-ranking police officer to tamper with the report of an ongoing probe into the academic credential of the governor; an allegation that
Aiyedatiwa’s lawyer has since refuted.

Addressing newsmen on Monday, Edema said he was not deliberately petitioning the party leadership out of envy.

According to him, if the party fails to duly vet Aiyedatiwa’s credentials before clearing him for the primary, they may likely witness a repeat of the drama that led to the disqualification of Bayelsa APC Governorship Candidate, David Lyon, who was sent packing by the Supreme Court for a similar offence after winning the poll.

He said, “You will recall that the Supreme Court of Nigeria in the year 2019 annulled the election of David Lyon and his running mate as the duly elected Governor and Deputy Governor respectively on the ground of eligibility. The Supreme Court found as a fact that the running mate, Senator Degi-Eremienyo presented a forged document to the Independent National Electoral Commission.

“It is against this background that I wrote a letter to the chairman of the credentials/document vetting committee of the APC which the party set up, to critically look at the credentials which His Excellency, Lucky Ayedatiwa submitted.

“The reason for my information to the committee is not borne out of any animosity or ill-will towards Hon. Lucky Ayedatiwa or any person but to save the party and the entire APC members in Ondo State from the perdition that befell our members in Bayelsa State from which they are yet to recover.

“Accordingly, I wrote the advisory to the leadership of the party knowing that if due diligence is not followed, any lapse in the screening process would spell doom for the party as the issue of fake certificate is both a pre-election and post-election matter.

“Therefore, it would be suicidal to field a candidate that carries so much baggage and later lose to the opposition party through the Court. Infact, we have it on good authority, that the PDP aspirants, knowing these facts, are praying fervently that the APC fields Hon. Lucky Ayedatiwa as its candidate in the forth-coming Ondo State gubernatorial election.”

Earlier, The According reported that the governor, through his lawyer, Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa (SAN) debunked the claim, saying Aiyedatiwa sat for the West African School Certificate Examination and his results were genuine.

In a letter addressed to Oladotun on Monday, Adegboruwa disclosed that some conscious steps had been taken to confirm the allegations against the governor, which later turned out to be untrue.

Consequently, the Senior Advocate of Nigeria demanded that a public apology be published in three major newspapers and an immediate withdrawal of the publications made regarding the governor’s certificate.

He also demanded compensation for the false publications made against the governor.

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