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Imo speaker indicts other lawmakers for certificate scandal

By Collins Osuji and Charles Ogugbuaja, Owerri
05 May 2020   |   4:13 am
Speaker of the Imo State House of Assembly, Chiji Collins, has indicted some lawmakers in the state, saying they are currently being investigated over the authenticity of their educational certificates.

Speaker of the Imo State House of Assembly, Chiji Collins, has indicted some lawmakers in the state, saying they are currently being investigated over the authenticity of their educational certificates.

Collins has been on the spotlight recently as he has come under severe attacks from some quarters alleging that he has been parading fake certificates and should be persecuted.

Consequently, the House had in November last year set up an ad-hoc committee headed by a former Majority Leader, Chigozie Nwaneri, to investigate the matter after a prominent journalist made the allegations.

Also, a former lawmaker in the state, Lawman Duruji, had at the weekend, accused the Speaker of prevailing on the ad-hoc committee to sweep the matter under the carpet, insisting that such attempt would not save him from being prosecuted.

He said, “Quote me, Chiji parades fake credentials, his PhD is fake and he also forged National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) exemption certificate. Why has he refused to publish his certificate for public scrutiny? No amount of delay tactics and intimidation can save him this time.”

But Collins, who insisted that his credentials were authentic and verifiable and that his position was not under any threat, stated that the Committee was not specifically set up to investigate only his certificates, but those of other members of the House.

He disclosed that NYSC has also cleared him on the allegations, and challenged his opponents to take him to court if they feel otherwise.

Meanwhile, Imo residents yesterday rejoiced over the state government’s decision to relax the lockdown that had been placed for over a month.

Governor Hope Uzodimma in his statewide broadcast at the weekend directed supermarkets and small businesses to commence activities from Sunday, while major streets of Owerri were flooded with vehicular and human movement yesterday after over a month of lockdown.

Douglas, Wetheral, Okigwe and other roads were bubbling with people and vehicles after the relaxation, even as traffic was witnessed for the first time since the restriction orders.

However, The Guardian observed that the residents did not completely observe face masks and other precautionary measures, because while some persons wore the masks, others did not.