The governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Akwa Ibom State, Mr. Umo Eno, who is standing trial for alleged certificate forgery, on Tuesday 13th September, finally bowed to pressure by tendering what he claimed to be the original of his WAEC certificates.
This was sequel to a demand to produce his certificate by the court and continuous pressure from the masses.
Umo Eno’s 1981 and 1983 WAEC certificates have been subjects of litigation in an alleged forgery case filed against him by Mr. Akan Okon at the Federal High Court in Uyo.
The certificates which were tendered in Court today during the continuation of hearing in the case is a fallout of an appeal made on Monday by the lead counsel to Mr. Eno, Mr. Paul Usoro, SAN, to allow his client more time to produce the certificates.
When the certificates were tendered in Court, counsel to Mr. Akan Okon, Mr. Okey Amaechi, SAN, demanded that the 2nd defendant, Mr. Eno should also tender the letter of confirmation of result filed in response to the originating summons.
In response, Mr. Usoro, denied the existence of the document.
The 2nd defendant had withdrew the confirmation of the 1981 WAEC result he earlier field in his response to the originating summons.
The certificates were admitted in evidence by the Court.
During cross-examination, the plaintiff, Mr. Akan Okon, told the court that he sat for the West African Senior School Certificate Examination, WASSCE in 1981 and obtained a certificate from WAEC, that when he compared his certificate, that of Mr. Emmanuel Enoidem and others who wrote the same examination that year with that of Mr. Eno, Eno’s certificate stood out as the only one with a different serial index number.
Mr. Okon said while his own certificate, that of Mr. Enoidem whom he said had an ‘impeccable result’ and others that he sighted had a serial index number beginning with 09, the 1981 certificate presented by Eno begins with 15.
He said Umo Eno’s certificate carries a front loaded examination number markedly different from that of other people who wrote the same examination, including that of one of the defendant’s lawyers, Mr. Emmanuel Enoidem.
Mr. Okon also told the Court that he observed that the authorizing signatures on the certificates of Eno were inconsistent with others who also sat for the same examination.
Though the plaintiff told the court that he was not an expert in forensic analysis, he said the difference in the serial index number on the certificate presented by Mr. Eno, was the first thing that rose his curiosity.
Also in his oral testimony, Mr. Okon admitted that he did not personally write to WAEC to confirm the authenticity of Eno’s result but that he relied on the report obtained by an NGO called Association for Advancement of Democracy in Nigeria, AADN, which stated that Eno.
At the commencement of cross-examination on Monday, a forensic expert subpoenaed by the Court, Chief Reginal Udunze, in his testimony said based on his professional analyses the WAEC results paraded by Mr. Eno were forged.
The case was adjourned to Wednesday 14th September for continuation of hearing.