The West African Examination Council (WAEC) on Thursday appeared before the Ogun State election petition tribunal without tendering a copy of Governor Dapo Abiodun’s certificate.
The examination council had earlier been subpoenaed by the tribunal to produce a copy of Dapo Abiodun’s 1978 WAEC certificate as attached to the form he filled with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Ladi Adebutu, candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in the March 18 governorship election, had alleged that Abiodun forged his WAEC certificate.
In his petition, Adebutu stated that Abiodun “presented a forged West African Examinations Council School Certificate of June 1978 to the 1st Respondent” (INEC) on July 25, 2022..
The petitioner further state that he had written a letter to WAEC, to verify the authenticity of the said examination certificate presented by Abiodun to INEC.
“Surprisingly, up till date, the West African Examinations Council has failed and/or neglected to respond to the said Petitioners’ letter.
“The petitioners shall at the trial subpoena officials of the said West African Examinations Council to testify on the falsity of the said certificate,” the petition read partly.
Our correspondent reports that an official of the examination body, Olufemi Olaleye, appeared before the tribunal sitting in Isabo, Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, on Thursday, but he was not with the disputed certificate, neither did he confirm whether or not the governor sat for the examination as claimed.
The WAEC official was not sworn, neither was he allowed to enter the witness box as he said “the requested certificate is not here with me.”
However, Olaleye was allowed to tender in evidence, a copy of the subpoena issued to the examination body, upon which he was at the tribunal.
Speaking, Olaleye told the tribunal he did not bring the requested certificate “because WAEC does not keep duplicates of collected WAEC certificates.”
He stated that to confirm whether or not somebody partakes in the council’s examination, “the original certificate given to the candidate will be forwarded to WAEC” for verification.
Olaleye was discharged immediately he was recorded as having testified before the tribunal as PW73.
When he was contacted outside the court room to give further explanations on why WAEC did not produce the requested certificate, Olaleye tersely replied: “My lips are sealed.”