Certificate forgery is the creation or alteration of a certificate with the intent to deceive. This can include creating a fake certificate from scratch, or altering an existing certificate to change the information contained within it.
Certificate forgery can be used for a variety of purposes, such as gaining employment or political appointments.
It is a serious crime in most countries including Nigeria, and those who are caught forging certificates can face significant penalties, including fines, and imprisonment.
Although many Nigerian politicians have been accused of certificate forgery, only few has voluntarily resigned over the allegation. Others were either forced to vacate their position by a court order or unbothered, regardless.
Here are Nigerian politicians who have voluntarily resigned over certificate forgery:
Salisu Buhari, a former Speaker of the Nigerian House of Representatives, resigned in 1999 after allegations of forging his academic credentials.
Buhari only lasted for six weeks as the Speaker before the University of Toronto scandal.
He was later convicted and sentenced to two years in prison with the option of a fine. He opted to pay the fine instead.
Buhari will later be pardoned by the administration of President Olusegun Obasanjo.
According to The News Magazine, which followed the Salisu Buhari saga carefully, the Kano-born politician claimed that he obtained a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of Toronto, Canada in 1990; a diploma in accountancy from the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, in 1988, and that he served under the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) in 1991. Again, Buhari was said to have been born on 3 January 1963.
But it later emerged that Salisu Buhari was actually born on January 3, 1970, making him 29 years at the time he contested and won election to the House, whereas the constitution pegs the age limit for a member of the House at 30. It was also revealed that he actually got admission into ABU but that he was withdrawn because he falsified his credentials.
Again, available records at the time showed that he never went to the University of Toronto in Canada and did not take part in NYSC, according to The News Magazine.
On 23 July 1999, disgraced and cornered, Buhari admitted to falsifying his age and forging certificates as well as other allegations from the TheNews report.
According to reports, his statement reads; “I apologize to you. I apologize to the nation. I apologize to my family and friends for all the distress I have caused them. I was misled in error by a zeal to serve the nation, I hope the nation will forgive me and give me the opportunity to serve again.”
He then resigned from House of Representatives.
Kemi Adeosun is the former Finance Minister of Nigeria and former chairman of the Board of African Export–Import Bank (AfreximBank).
Kemi was in 2011 appointed by the then-governor of Ogun state, Ibikunle Amosun as the Commisioner of Finance. She served in role from 2011 to 2015.
Former President Muhammadu Buhari, during his tenure in 2015, appointed Kemi Adeosun as the Minister of Finance.
On July 7, 2018, a media report alleged that Kemi Adeosun had illegally obtained her National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) exemption certificate to qualify for public office.
On July 9, NYSC Director of Press and Public Relations Adeyemi Adenike confirmed that Adeosun had submitted a request for an exemption certificate, but said that investigations were ongoing to verify its approval.
On September 14, 2018, Adeosun resigned as Minister of Finance in a letter to the President, citing the alleged NYSC certificate forgery scandal.
On 7 July 2021, the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court cleared Adeosun, holding that, as a British citizen, she had not been qualified to take part in the NYSC as at the time she graduated at the age of 22 and that when she returned to the country and became a Nigerian citizen aged over 30 she was not eligible for youth service.
The information in this article was curated from online sources. NewsWireNGR or its editorial team cannot independently verify all details.
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