Another Federal Lawmaker in Certificate Scandal
A member of the House of Representatives, Nse Ekpenyong has been arraigned in court for alleged forgery of a Polytechnic diploma.
Ekpenyong represents the Oron Federal Constituency, Akwa Ibom State.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had arraigned Ekpenyong on a 9-count charge of forgery and alteration of documents.
He was alleged to be in possession of a fake Abia State Polytechnic’s Ordinary National Diploma (OND) certificate.
The commission also accused Ekpenyong of altering a December 1999 West African Examination School Certificate (WASSCE), which he presented before an electoral tribunal, claiming that the certificates are genuine.
Ekpenyong was arraigned before Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu of the Federal High Court , Uyo on Thursday.
The defendant pleaded not guilty to the charges when they were read to him.
Ahmed I. Arogha and S. Hussaini, prosecution counsels, asked for a trial date and accelerated hearing of the matter.
However, counsel to the defendant, Emmanuel Isangidoho, told the court that he had filed an application for the bail of his client, and urged the court to admit him to bail.
Ojukwu granted the defendant bail in the sum of 10 million Naira with one surety in like sum.
The judge said the surety must depose to an affidavit of means, provide 2 recent passports photograph and three years tax clearance certificate.
The surety was also asked to write an undertaken to produce the defendant throughout the trial, while the registrar was asked to verify all the documents of the surety.
Ojukwu ordered that the defendant remain in custody pending the perfection of his bail.
Ekpenyong's case is coming amid controversies over the genuineness of the university certificates of two senators- Dino Melaye and Andy Uba.
Melaye, a former member of the House of Representatives, from Kogi State, was accused of falsely claiming to have graduated from the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria.
On Tuesday, ABU vice chancellor told the Senate Mr. Melaye graduated from the school with a third class bachelors in Geography.
Meanwhile, Uba representing Anambra South has been accused of obtaining his Ph.D form a vendor university.