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Forensic institute: We’ll authenticate certificates of politicians seeking elective offices

Forensic institute: We’ll authenticate certificates of politicians seeking elective offices
May 15
16:03 2024

The National Chartered Institute of Forensics and Certified Fraud Investigators of Nigeria (CIFCFIN) says it will set up laboratories to verify the documents and certificates of politicians seeking elective offices. 

Iliyasu Gashinbaki, president and chairman of the institute’s governing council, said this on Tuesday during a meeting with the leadership of the Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC) in Abuja.

Gashinbaki said the institute will collaborate with IPAC to authenticate the documents of candidates before primary elections, to ensure credibility of the electoral process.

The institute’s president said certificates that will be verified include NYSC, tax clearance, and academic.

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According to Gashinbaki, the institute’s intervention is aimed at preventing “embarrassing situations” where the election of a candidate is nullified due to fake certificates.

“Politics is too important to be left in the hands of politicians. We will engage all political parties through IPAC to see how we can strengthen the electoral management process,” he said.

“We have had several instances where we know that if forensic tools had been deployed it would have saved the country embarrassment and even the stress the electorate went through.

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“A typical case in point is the case of Bayelsa where the election of an elected governor was nullified because of certificate forgery (of his deputy) that shouldn’t have happened. The person that the masses elected was a different person from who became the governor because the court nullified it.

“We are talking to all the political parties in Nigeria. We have seen the decline of governance in Africa.

“This is the reason for multiple coups across Africa. One of the ways to address impunity is to tackle the recruitment process of people that occupy political offices from the councillor to the president.

“For this reason, we are setting up two laboratories that would be too critical for the 2027 general elections to ensure that no dubious or forged document of any kind will be submitted by politicians during the elections.

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“We have had instances of forged NYSC and tax clearance certificates, and this leads the country to embarrassment and the electorate are shortchanged.

“We will work with IPAC to help in authentication of the documents of candidates before the primary elections.”

In his remarks, Yusuf Dantalle, IPAC chairman, commended the institute for the move to tackle the nation’s electoral challenges.

“We all agree as Nigerians that we want a better system for all of us,” he said.

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“As long as we refuse to domesticate the solutions to our problems or refuse to identify the foundation of our problems… because I think some of these problems are self-inflicted because we know what to do to get out of the mess we are in but somehow for personal gain, we do not want to.”

Dantalle said the partnership with the institute is a welcome development and must be “encouraged and consolidated”.

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