NASS Election Tribunal: Hon Okpolump Etteh Absent In Court And Declines To Enter Defence •Got FSLC in 1988 with inconsistent name •Gained Admission in Polytechnic in 1990, got OND in 1992, got WAEC Certificate in 2002

The Evangelist news Edition, May 18, 2023. Joseph Atainyang

It was a tale of drama and inconsistency on Wednesday, 17th of may 2023 at the National Assembly election petition tribunal seating in Uyo.

In a resumed hearing at the Tribunal in the case of Rt Hon. Eseme Eyiboh and Hon Okpolump Etteh, startling revelations were made on how Etteh obtained OND Certificate in a non existing private polytechnic in Aba without any qualifying Certificate.

Testifying before the tribunal, one Ozemene Goodluck James who is claimed to be Registrar of Temple Gate Polytechnic, Aba (formerly School of Management Technology), presented a letter of undertaking to provide his qualification in a letter date, attestation letter, admission form, ND Certificate, application he wrote to get the certificate to back up his claim that Etteh attended the school.

However, when crossed examined by counsel to the petitioner, Jumbo Umoh Esq, James admitted that Etteh got his FSLC in 1988 and two years after primary education, he gained admission into the polytechnic in 1990.

He also admitted before the tribunal that Etteh got WAEC in 2002, ten years after he got his ND.

But when confronted with names of tertiary institutions (public and private) in the country from 1926 till date, neither School of Management Technology nor Temple Gate Polytechnic was found.
Tribunal rejected the governing council’s attendance register tendered by the 1st Respondent.

In another testimony at the Tribunal by a second witness and Deputy Registrar, Federal Polytechnic, Oko, Anambra State, one Alexander Anukam, tendered documents that included, IT, letter of admission, certificate in marketing from Polytechnics Oko, pre-national HND results from Oko, statement of results from Institute of Management and Technology, Aba.

However, counsel to the Petitioner objected to the documents, noting that there is no admission letter to back up the claim.

Akaninyene Inyang, Deputy Director of Examination Certification Division, Ministry of Education, Akwa Ibom State, also testified as another witness on the matter.

He tendered before the tribunal, First School Leaving Certificate, FSLC, which the ministry issued in 1998 to Hon. Etteh upon completion of primary school education in the state, submitting that the document was not forged. On cross examination, he accepted the inconsistency in the FSLC and other documents including birth certificate
The fourth witness from the People’s Democratic Party in the state, Mr. Oku Johnny, who identified himself as an administrative officer, also testified before the tribunal. He submitted some documents to back up his claim.

It would be recalled that the National Board for Technical Education, NBTE, on Monday denied existence of the School of Management and Technology, Aba.

It would equally be recalled that the Petitioner, Eyiboh approached the Tribunal that Etteh presented forged certificates to INEC, thus making him unqualified to have contested the election for Eket Federal Constituency seat. Hon Eyiboh’s petition is premised on the single ground of eligibility.

On Monday during the resume hearing, Eyiboh subpoenaed the National Board for Technical Education, NBTE, an agency empowered to approve, regulate, accredit and sanction Polytechnics, Monotechnics and related institutions.

The NBTE was represented by its director of legal, Rekiya Shuaibu, Esq who confirmed the non existence of the school that issued Etteh the diploma certificate.

Meanwhile, Gyang Dung Esq who represented the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, also tendered the disputed certificates that were submitted by Etteh to INEC.

The testimonies set the stage for the star witness – Rt Hon. Eseme Eyiboh who entered the witness box to adopt his witness’ statement on oath and reply to Etteh’s response.

Rt Hon Ette’s counsel, Ekpenyong Ntekim Esq met a resilient and sharp witness in Eyiboh.

In the face of barrage of questions from INEC and PDP lawyers, Eyiboh remain resolute, consistent and vehement in pursuit of his claims.

Before the adjournment for parties to exchange their brief of arguments, it is unexplainable why Hon Okpolump Etteh was absent in court to open his defense and defend such massive accusation with the preponderance of evidence to sustain the case of forgeries.

Related Articles


No Comment.

Back to top button