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Kwara governor-elect may lose seat over alleged WAEC certificate forgery

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tiamin rice

The Kwara State All Progressive Congress, APC, Governor-elect Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq has a case to answer as the West African Examination Council, WAEC, has said that the copy of the certificate allegedly submitted to the electoral body did not meet the required standard, DAILY NIGERIAN can report.

This is just as the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Razaq Atunwa and the runner-up of the APC governorship primaries Prof Oba Abdulraheem may emerge contenders in the unfolding drama.

The Kwara Governor-elect Abdulrazaq claimed to have obtained his result from WAEC in July 1976 examination at the Government College, Kaduna, but search by DAILY NIGERIAN revealed that the certificate could be fake.

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The least educational qualification anyone interested in public service or contesting for any political position must have is the ‘O’ Level General Certificate of Education, GCE, or the West African School Certificate, WASC.

Mr Abdulrazaq, who is now in the eye of the storm, has been allegedly using the result to contest for political positions in the past years and presented the result to the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to qualify him to contest in the 2019 governorship election in Kwara.

A critical perusal at the result indicated that for WAEC result to appear as genuine, the names on the certificate must appear without abbreviation and in this case the names were abbreviated and even super-imposed on the certificate just as the candidate’s number, including the certificate number were non-existent in WAEC records.

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There were allegations that the Governor-elect, Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq did not sit for the examination in the said year, 1976 as claimed at Government College Kaduna.

A top WAEC official, who did not want his name revealed, confided in DAILY NIGERIAN, saying the WAEC certificate in possession of the governor-elect doesn’t look like the originals the examination body issues.

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“As you can see, this wasn’t the WAEC result given to you when you graduated from the secondary school look this?

“We do not abbreviate names when issuing our certificates, but as you can see the alleged certificate in circulation is abbreviated and that absolves us from any link with such certificates.

“Moreover, the certificate number and the candidate’s number embossed on the certificate for the year 1976 do not exist in our books,” the source added.

However, his schoolmates who graduated from the Secondary school in Kaduna have condemned the claim that the politician dropped out.

The Government College Kaduna Old Boys Association, GCKOBA, in a statement signed by members of the Old Boys namely, Kabiru Yaro, Abdulmalik Giwa and Sanusi Ramallam, said that the claim was a “smear campaign” just a day before the election.

The statement noted that Mr AbdulRazaq had the school registration number 1841 and was a member of the popular El-Kanemi House.

“We, the Class of 1976 at the Government College Kaduna wish to strongly condemn attempts to tarnish the image of one of us, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, in the name of politics,” according to the statement.

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“We state that AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq (1841), who was a member of the Elkanemi House, did not drop out of Government College Kaduna as is being alleged by the mischievous elements behind the smear campaign.”

Meanwhile, a constitutional Lawyer who has handled several election tribunal matters, James Abutu, a Principal Partner with J.B. Abutu &Co, when contacted by DAILY NIGERIAN on the implication of the case on the governor-elect, said: “If the court confirms that the WAEC Certificate is fake or forged, he might be disqualified, lose his crown i.e. lose the governorship seat to the runners-up who in this case is the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Razaq Atunwa.”

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Mr Abutu, a multi-faceted lawyer, further posited that the runner-up can only take-over the seat if he won at least one third of all the local government areas in Kwara state otherwise a fresh election would be conducted to determine who takes the number one position in the state.

Another lawyer who is involved in the case but preferred to be anonymous said that if any of the runners-up in the APC Primary that produced Abdulrahman Abdulrazak as the candidate, contest the nomination of the flagbearer or join the suit, such a petitioner could likely be declared the governor-elect in the court.

The lawyer pointed out that: “The National Working Committee (NWC) APC had on Monday, October 8, 2018 announced the election of Alhaji Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq as the Kwara State governorship candidate of the party. Mr. AbdulRazaq, an oil mogul, polled 29,098 votes to defeat Prof. Oba Abu Abdulraheem who got 23,298.

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“Another aspirant Yammah Abdullahi got 22,116 votes, Hakeem Lawal 18,758, Lukman Mustapha 14,233,  Moshood Murtala 9,511, Isaq Modibbo Kawu 5,060,Tajudeen Makama Audu, 3,127 and Yakubu Gobir, 2,420.

Meanwhile, the Kwara State High Court order has put the APC governor-elect, Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq on ‘high jump’ as he was given 30 days to defend the authenticity of his West African Examination Council, WAEC, certificate.

The court issued the ultimatum following a suit instituted against the APC gubernatorial candidate by the applicant, Adekunle Oluwafemi Abraham.

The case with suit number KWS/73/2019 has been assigned to the court of Justice Adenike Akinpelu.

In the writ dated March 7, 2019, the court ordered the defendant (Abdurahman Abdulrazaq) to “within 30 days after the service of this writ on you inclusive of the day of such service, you do cause an appearance to be entered in an action at the suit of

Adekunle Oluwafemi Abraham and take notice that in default of you doing so, the claimant may proceed therein and judgment may be given in your absence.”

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DAILY NIGERIAN, however, gathered that the defendant in tandem with top APC stalwarts have been meeting with relevant officials if there could be a headway in the resolution of the matter as the 30 days ordered by the court expires in two weeks.

 

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