by Our Reporter
More revelations have emerged on the Umo Eno certificate saga, following the recent summons of Prof Nyaudoh Ndaeyo, the Vice Chancellor of the University of Uyo, by the National Universities Commission (NUC).
Disturbed by the negative reports linking the University of Uyo with the Umo Eno scandal as well as its suspected compromising involvement with the Akwa Ibom State government, the NUC summoned the VC to its head office in Abuja, last week, for verification.At the meeting, according to our investigation, the attendant implication of the scandal on the image of the school was said to be an issue. However, according to a source, an X-ray of Umo Eno’s file opened a Pandora’s box, revealing so much confusion,  irregularities and conflicting information.

After hours of  critical evaluation of the situation and the implications, the Commission, it was gathered,  cautioned  the vice chancellor  not to mortgage the school’s reputation for the selfish interest of one man.

*The Cable Report and the Controversial WAEC/ GCE Certificate.*

It was further learnt that a cursory checks confirmed the accuracy of The Cable report a few weeks back. The documents in Umo Eno’s academic file, it was gathered, revealed that his WAEC/Senior Secondary Certificate of December 1998 could not have gained him admission into the university because the admission for 1998/1999 academic session was done  in October 1998.

That assertion tallies with the petition of the YPP Governorship Candidate, Senator Bassey Albert, before the Governorship Election Tribunal, seeking to nullify Umo Eno’s purposed election in the March 18, 2023 election.

From the documents, copies of which we obtained from the tribunal, one of Sen Albert’s arguments is that at the time of that election, Umo Eno was not qualified to contest in line with Section 134 of the Electoral Act, 2022 and Section 182 of the 1999 Constitution as ammended ,  since he possessed no valid secondary school qualification.

We also came across Umo Eno’s responds at the tribunal, denying any wrongdoing. Much of his defence, however, centred on how he won the March 18 election in a fair, free and competitive manner because he garnered more credible support than his opponents, particularly the YPP candidate.

Still, political watchers argue that on grounds of Umo Eno’s  qualification,  it is clearly commonsensical that an examination which took place after the admission had been processed could not have been the  foundation for the said  same admission. “It is even more interesting to note that the said result of the December 1998 Senior Secondary examination was released in March, 1999,” one of them, a retired educationist, said.

*No 19 and  Feb 10, 2005 Expulsion*

Another  issue thrown up by Umo Eno’s academic records before the NUC, according to our investigation, was his expulsion from the university  in 2005. “I have seen many cases of certificate forgeries and manipulations, I have never seen anything like this, ” exclaimed an insider source.

The facts,  according to investigation go thus:  On Dec 10, 2004, a letter signed by P.J. Effiong, Registrar and Secretary to Senate, with reference no: UU/REG/DAA/SNT/001/Vol.IV/270, invited Umo Eno to a Screening Panel. It read in part: “Senate noted that the Dec 1998 Secondary School Certificate No NGSS 0027932 used by you to gain admission into the university in the 1998/1999 session was confirmed to be at variance with the records of the issuing body, the West African Examinations Council.”

The Senate further expressed its displeasure at the student’s dubious action which it viewed “as a serious breach of the rules and regulations of the University.”

On February 10, 2005, having not been furnished with any plausible reason, the University of Uyo expelled Umo Eno. The punitive measure  was clearly also because the SSCE with which he fraudulently  used to obtain admission could not be verified by WAEC in line with Umo ÉNo undertaking during the screening and verification of results exercise leading to the graduation of 2004/2005 academic year.

Our investigation has therefore confirmed The Cable and Legit.ng’s earlier  reports that: “Eno Umo Bassey was listed as No 19 in the University of Uyo’s senate list of expelled students dated 10th February 2005.” In fact, we are in possession of a list of 48 students, expelled in one fell swoop, along with Umo Eno.

Umo Eno’s name was number 19 on the list. While there were only four(4) students expelled from the Faculty of Social Science, Umo Eno was the only one from the department of Political Science/ Public Administration. The story of that expulsion was duly reported  by Juliana Taiwo in the Thisday newspaper of March 20, 2005.

*Akan Okon & the Forged Documents*

Although Mr Akan Okon had challenged Umo Eno up to Supreme Court on the issue of certificate forgery, the case was however decided against Okon because his case was “misplaced and misappropriated”.

Akan Okon’s problem was that he did not specifically accuse Umo Eno of presenting forged documents to INEC. Instead, from the lower courts to the Supreme Court, his case was that Umo Eno present forged documents to PDP, prior to the primaries.

Thus, relying on the provision of section 182(1) (J) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) which states that: “No person shall be qualified for election to the office of Governor of a State if – (j) he has presented a forged certificate to the Independent Electoral Commission,” the Supreme Court said it was “abundantly clear by the pleaded facts/ case of the Appellant that his case is misplaced and misappropriated.”

What that means is that the certificate forgery case was neither touched nor determined by any of the courts in the land. The application, therefore, is that it is still fresh and open for judicial determination.

*Discordant Tunes: Three WAEC Results, One University Admission.*

The process of Umo Eno’s admission into the University of Uyo is still shrouded in mystery, just like his miraculous clearance and purported graduation.

To start with, there are three different WAEC/ SSC documents supposed to have been used in the admission of one Umo Eno. While the June 1981 WAEC/ GCE  result recorded four subjects (Religious Knowledge; Econs;Chemistry & Agric Sci), the December 1983 result also had four different subjects (Eng; Lit; Govt & Econs). However, the 1998  Senior School Certificate had seven subjects (Eng; Econs; Commerce; Biology; CRK; Maths & Geo). He failed Mathematics and Biology.

The confusion in the results become glaring when observed that the 1983 WAEC result provided no idea of examination centre, except “Ikeja.” Analysts noted that  every examination  is conducted at a specific location and that Ikeja being an entire local government in Lagos, could not serve as an exam centre.

Another confusion was when Umo Eno filled nine subjects in the Certificate Screening/ Verification Form of Uniuyo, including Maths and Biology, which he failed, claiming all to be from his 1998 WAEC result. The Verification form was however not dated.

Additionally, the Notification of Result of the Nov/Dec 1998 exam was issued on March 5, 1999, but the WAEC Certificate with No NGSS 0027932, under the school’s scrutiny and inquiry, could not stand the test of time as WAEC reportedly denied its authenticity, leading to Umo Eno’s expulsion from the university.

Pundits wondered how he could have used a result which came in March 1999 to gain admission in October 1998, calling for a thorough scrutiny of the admission process, the officials involved and the subsequent alleged attempts to cover up the discrepancies.

Curiously, it was also observed that Umo Eno only submitted his 1981 and 1983 WAEC results to INEC. However, his 1998 and the 1983 WAEC results have the same candidate number 15725119. He therefore could not have genuinely obtained his First Degree of Bachelor of Political Science /Public Administration, when the foundation of admission was faulty.

Our investigation also revealed that the ordering of subjects in Umo Eno’s 1998 WAEC Notification of Result is at total variance with the so-called original certificate, which is definitely against the standard of WAEC .

*Aftermath of the NUC Summons: Plan to Cook up Another Result*

Soon after Prof Ndaeyo’s return from the NUC summons in Abuja, sources at Government House hinted our reporters of nocturnal clandestine meetings involving him, the governor and some government officials. Discussions, we gathered, reviewed the allegedly exposed plan to set the Admin block of the university ablaze, perhaps in an attempt to cover up some documentation irregularities.

At one of the meetings, we learnt, the authorites of the school allegedly offered a huge sum as gratification for the doctoring of Umo Eno’s documents in the school record, the certified true copies (CTC) of which our reporters were able to obtain from the tribunal, already.

“Initially, the VC was offered N500 million. Then it was raised to N1billion naira, but it was supposed to be disguised as a donation for the development of the school,” revealed our dependable source.

However, we were told the VC was not comfortable with the timing of the offer, as he was reportedly already worried about the many scandals the Umo Eno issue has caused the school; though he was said to have succumbed when assured that the information will not leak.

He was reminded of Gov Udom Emmanuel’s support towards his emergence as the vice chancellor, through the connection of Dr Gloria Edet, once a Commissioner for Agriculture and Women Affairs in the state . Prof Ndaeyo is from  the same village with Gloria Edet in INI Local Government Area hence rumoured to be enjoying more than official relationship with the governor.

Already,   credible sources have hinted that efforts are allegedly afoot to cook up another file for Umo Eno, with a 1992 WAEC certificate, using Reverend Ime Akpabio , who is the Director of Academic Affairs and Records of the University.

However, some senior officials of the institution, including the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic), Professor Anthony P. Udoh and  the Registrar, Mrs. Blossom Ebere Okorie, were said to have distanced themselves from the nefarious  plan to maintain the integrity of the university as a citadel of learning and excellence.

While Prof Udoh reportedly said it was against his Christian belief, Mrs Okorie argued that she was too new in the office to be involved in a potential scandalous activity.

The alleged scheme however raises curious concerns how they expect to sail through as any new result can easily be detected through forensic analysis. An expert told us in the course of this report that using hi-tech equipment and expertise, the age of any document can be determined either by the age of the paper or even the ink. “Procuring another result now for Umo Eno won’t fly. Under careful analysis in court, the age of such document can be detected and the scheme will fall flat on its face”, she said.

*Former Students React: Threaten to Destroy Uniuyo Certificates*

The unfortunate scandal is already generating negative reactions from members of the society as some former students question the worth of the certificates issued by the institution, if forgery and certificate manipulations are condoned.

One former student and activist, Joseph Ndanyongmong, told our reporter that unless the right thing is done, he might be forced to destroy his credentials  as a proof that Uniuyo certificates are no longer worth the papers they are printed upon.

Another former student, Matilda Ubokudom, wondered why an ivory tower should destroy its character, reputation and integrity for selfish interests.  “I am seriously scandalised. If this story is true, then the VC and his team of charlatans should either resign or be booted out. Such people do not deserve to be in the academia”, she added.

They called on the Pro-Chancellor, Barr Njideka Bernadette Nwachukwu, to promptly step in, to rescue the depleting image of the university, following the lingering Umo Eno certificate scandal.

According to them, the NUC also needs to penalise the institution by withdrawing accreditation for the Political Science/ Public Administration courses, unless the department is able to explain how someone who was expelled later got clearance and acquired a certificate, same year, to qualify for post graduate studies.

They wondered why Vice Chancellor Nyaudoh Ndaeyo cannot emulate the Director General of NYSC, Brig Gen Y. D. Ahmed, who on Arise Tv, said he  rebuffed pressure to admit issuing a discharge certificate for a governor-elect of a state in the South East.

He said he was bold and frank to the person that the certificate was not from NYSC because, “we don’t tolerate certificate racketeering.”

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