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Is Ize-Iyamu’s running mate the next victim of a certificate scandal in Edo State?

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A twitter user claims that the running mate of Ize-Iyamu, Audu Ganiyu, is caught up in certificate forgery as the documents submitted to INEC contain discrepancies.

The claim that Audu Ganiyu is caught in certificate forgery is misleading.

Full Text

A Twitter user, @von_Bismack, has claimed that Audu Abudu Ganiyu, the running mate of Osagie Ize-Iyamu,  the All Progressives Congress(APC) candidate, has been caught up in a crisis of certificate forgery. The post claims that documents submitted to INEC show discrepancies in his academic qualifications as well as with his other means of identification.

Some of the discrepancies highlighted by the Twitter user include: Gani Audu’s name on his sworn affidavit submitted to INEC is Audu Abudu Ganiyu,  while his voter’s card carries the name Audu Abdul Ganiyu. Von Bismack also claimed that on his APC membership card, his name appears as Gani Audu while the WASSCE certificate submitted bears Audu Ahudu Ganeyu.

“Breaking News: Running mate to Ize-iyamu of APC in the governorship election in Edo State, Gani Audu, has been caught neck deep in a certificate forgery case, as “ALL “documents submitted to INEC shows discrepancies in his academic qualifications and other means of identification documents show four name variants.”

 Excerpt from the twitter thread.

Screenshots of the twitter thread.

Verification

Dubawa conducted a keyword search which produced news reports on the issues and on ADP’s suit against the APC candidate. The credentials Audu Ganiyu submitted to INEC as the running mate of Osagie Ize-Iyamu were also studied. 

Dubawa also reached out to the APC, its candidate, and the ADP which is coming hard against the ruling party.

What does the candidate’s form show?

Going through the forms submitted by Mr Ganiyu ahead of the election to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), we discovered four different name arrangements. Mr Ganiyu’s affidavit form, which is the second page of his credentials with INEC, shows his name as Audu Abudu Ganiyu while on his school-leaving certificate, his name appears as Audu .A. Ganiyu.

On his West African Examination Certificate, his name is written as Audu Ahudu Ganeyu while on his party’s card, his name is written as Audu Gani (Hon). Also, on his voter’s card, his name appears as Audu Abdul Ganiyu.

Credit: The Independent National Electoral Commission.

Did ADP file a court case against APC’s candidate??

The Vanguard on August 9, 2020, reported that the Action Democratic Party (ADP) instituted a court case at the Federal High Court, Abuja, seeking the court to disqualify the candidate of the APC because of the defective certificates of his running mate, Gani Audu.

Screenshot of Vanguard’s report.

Also, Business Day on August 9, 2020, reported that the ADP filed a suit seeking the disqualification of the APC’s candidate.

Screenshot of Business Day’s report.

In a similar report on August 10, 2020, Sahara reporters quoting the report by Vanguard, said the ADP instituted a court case at the Federal High Court, Abuja, seeking the court to disqualify the candidate of the APC.

Screenshot of Sahara Reporters’ report.

Aside from these reports, ADP’s National Chairman, Yabagi Sani, confirmed this to Dubawa in a telephone interview.

“Yes, we did. The suit was filed about two weeks or so ago, I can’t remember correctly.”

Seeking clarification on the progress of the suit, the chairman said he cannot discuss further on the issue because the matter is before the court.

What does the APC have to say?

The National Publicity Secretary of the APC, Yekini Nabena, in a telephone interview, said the party is unaware of the case by the ADP. He, however, noted that such claims can not be made until there is a judgement from the court, so everyone should allow the court to make a decision before making a conclusion. 

“It’s only when there is a judgement that you know a person is guilty. I am not aware of the case but if you say someone is guilty, [that can only be] until the pronouncement from the court. So, for now, the man is not guilty.”

Mr Nabena is also asking if anybody has come up to claim the name or if the school has come up to say he didn’t attend the school, adding that the candidate is not guilty till the court makes a pronouncement.

Efforts to reach the party’s candidate was unsuccessful at the time of filing this check. 

Conclusion

The claim that Audu Ganiyu is caught in certificate forgery is misleading. While the discrepancies in name arrangement are true as documents of the candidate on INEC’s site show, the claim of certificate forgery cannot be made or sustained because there is neither a judicial pronouncement on this nor a challenge on the authenticity of his certificates.

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