…as forged documents flood Nomination files

By Ime Silas

A councillorship aspirant on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in the October 31, 2020, council election in Akwa Ibom state, has been asked to find any other means of proving his educational qualification, as according to his Principal, he had no means of helping him.

The altercation between the former student, now councillorship aspirant, and the Principal (names withheld) at his house, which attracted the attention of neighbors, resulting to the invitation of our correspondent, stemmed from suspicion that the Principal was being paid to delay the issuance of testimonial certificate to the aspirant as a ploy to sabotage his aspiration.

According to the ex-student, who claimed that he sat for the Senior Schools Certificate Examination, SSCE, at a popular secondary school (name withheld), headed by the Principal in Uyo, Akwa Ibom state capital, last year, but his and some of his colleagues’ results were withheld, he needed the testimonial certificate to buttress his claim in his affidavit that he sat for the said examination.

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The Councillorship aspirant said: “I wrote the exams last year in his (Principal’s) school but unfortunately, my results and those of some of my colleagues were withheld.

When I came for the result late last year, he (Principal) told me to exercise a little patience that it would be released. I came again earlier this year, shortly before the Covid-19 lockdown, while they were writing the second terminal exams.

“I took time to explain to him what I intended to use the result for, which is my political ambition this year, and he promised to issue me with a testimonial certificate while awaiting the result. He asked me to pay some money for it, which I did. We exchanged contacts and I have been calling him since then.

But, he has refused to issue it to me now and I am sure he is trying to frustrate me. Last week, he gave me a handwritten testimonial and when I complained, he told me to come back today”.

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On his part, the Principal absolved himself of any wrong doing and advised the ex-student to think of any other means of authenticating his qualifications.

When asked whether he could recognize the young man as his ex-student, the Principal said: “Well, we use to have some mature candidates coming to register for the Schools Certificate Examination in our school and he might have been one of them. But the year he mentioned, some results were withheld.

According to him, he claimed he registered at our school from SS2 (Senior School 2), but you see, we are having difficulty tracing his academic records to authenticate his claims”.

When asked whether he had checked the school’s register for the ex-student’s name, he quipped “which register?”, and added “I told him from the onset that we don’t have record of his studentship in our school. He was unlucky that his results were withheld.
What students do nowadays is that they just go online to print their results when released without having to come to the school”.

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On why the situation was peculiar to his school, he retorted “I won’t doubt you, but you can carry out your investigation as pressmen. I have even told him (ex-student) to crosscheck from Principals of other schools. Although schools have not resumed but students still have access to their Teachers and Principals for issues like this”.

Our preliminary investigation reveals that most aspirants have forged academic qualifications claiming to have attended unverifiable Secondary Schools in the state.

Efforts to reach the Akwa Ibom State Commissioner for Education, Prof. Nse Essien, for comments on the matter, were futile as at press time. Our Correspondents who visited his Idongesit Nkanga Secretariat office were told by his clerical staff that visits were curtailed due to the Covid-19 prevention protocols.

Telephone calls to the Chairman, House of Assembly Committee on Education, Rt.Hon. Godwin Ekpo, were neither answered nor returned.

More details soon