The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) has arraigned a former presidential aide, Mr Okoi Obono-Obla, over allegations of certificate forgery.
Obono-Obla is the former Chairman of the Special Presidential Investigation Panel (SPIP) for the Recovery of Public Property.
He was charged with two counts before Justice C.L. Dabup of the Jos Judicial Division of the High Court of Plateau State, a statement by ICPC’s spokesperson, Azuka Ogugua, said on Monday.
ICPC maintained its allegations that the former SPIP chair presented a fake result with a credit pass in English Literature to the University of Jos, with which he secured admission to study law.
“The charge filed before Justice C. L. Dabup revealed that while Obono-Obla did not seat for the Ordinary Level, General Certificate Examination (GCE) in English Literature in 1982, he presented a result of the same GCE to the University of Jos, in 1985, containing Credit 6 from Mary Knoll College, Ogoja,” the statement alleged.
“He was alleged to have committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 366 of the Penal Code Law of Plateau State.”
But Obono-Obla was said to have entered a not guilty plea on each of the two counts when they were read to him.
Thereafter, his counsel, M.A. Agara, filed an application in which he urged the court to grant his client bail on self-recognisance.
Obono-Obla’s counsel had also filed a motion contesting the jurisdiction of the court on the matter, as well as accused the prosecution of bringing a defective charge before the court.
He prayed the court not to allow the charge to be read to the defendant.
In his argument, ICPC’s lead counsel, Henry Emore, who opposed the motion challenging the jurisdiction of the court, submitted that the defendant was brought before the court because the offence of certificate forgery was allegedly committed in Jos where the court seats.
He, however, did not oppose the bail application, he urged the court to admit the defendant to bail on stringent terms.
Justice Dabup, in her ruling on the bail application, admitted Obono-Obla to bail in the sum of N1 million with one surety in like sum.
She also ruled that the surety must be resident within the jurisdiction of the court and must submit an affidavit of means, including a tax clearance certificate showing evidence of payment for three years.
The judge later adjourned the case till November 25, 2021, for trial.