The Human and Environmental Development Agenda Resource Centre (HEDA) has asked the police to probe the certificate scandal involving Foster Ogala, senator representing Bayelsa west senatorial district.
The senator’s official national assembly profile credits him with earning a PhD in Christian (sic.) Leadership in 2012, from the GMF Christian University, Lagos.
But investigations by Leaks.ng had revealed that the federal government has not licensed the university where Ogola claimed to have earned his PhD.
The founders of the said institution had also confirmed it was not registered under the National Universities Commission (NUC).
In a petition forwarded to the commissioner of police in the special fraud unit, HEDA said the senator should be probed to stop “the ugly trend of certificate fraud/forgery especially in the ‘hallowed’ chambers”.
The petition signed by Olanrewaju Suraju, HEDA national chairman, read: “We are writing with respect to the confidential report on the Leaks.NG platform as regards the certificate scandal involving Senator Foster Ogala.
“HEDA as a member of the Leaks.NG is privy to the said report which was published on TheCable.ng; an online newspaper, on the 11th day of April 2018. The Leaks.NG is a coalition of news and civil society organisations, which provide a platform for Nigerians to submit evidence of wrongdoing perpetrated by public office holders in Nigeria.”
HEDA added that since the inception of democracy in Nigeria, lawmakers at various times have been exposed for the offence of certificate fraud.
“From the Salisu Buhari scandal in 1999, the recent Dino Melaye Harvard certificate issue, the most recent being the Nse Ekpenyong certificate forgery issue in March,” Suraju said.
“We thereby humbly urge you to use your good office to address this issue vide a detailed investigation and prosecution of the embattled senator where indicted.
“Failure to forestall this unfortunate development by a decisive action that will serve as an effective deterrence is likely to make our legislature a laughing stock of the global community, in addition to offending the sensibilities of well-meaning Nigerians who believe and also choose to work towards the possibility of a ‘corruption free’ Nigeria.”