The Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission has arraigned a former chairman of the Special Presidential Investigation Panel for Recovery of Public Property, Mr Okoi Obono-Obla, for certificate forgery.
The commission, in two charges filed at the Jos Judicial Division of the High Court of Plateau State, said the former SPIP head presented a fake result with a credit pass in English Literature to the University of Jos, with which he secured admission to read Law.
According to the ICPC spokesperson, Mrs Azuka Ogugua, the charge filed before Justice C. L. Dabup, revealed that while Obono-Obla did not seat for the Ordinary Level, General Certificate Examination in English Literature in 1982, he presented a result of GCE to the University of Jos in 1985 containing Credit 6 from Mary Knoll College, Ogoja.
He was alleged to have committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 366 of the Penal Code Law of Plateau State.
Obono-Obla, according to the statement, entered a not guilty plea on each of the two counts, following which his counsel, M. A. Agara, filed an application for bail on self-recognition.
Agara had earlier filed a motion contesting the jurisdiction of the court on the matter, as well as accused the prosecution of bringing a defective charge before the court.
ICPC’s lead Counsel, Henry Emore, who opposed the motion challenging the jurisdiction of the court, submitted that the defendant was brought before the court because the offence of certificate forgery was allegedly committed in Jos where the court seats.
He however did not oppose the bail application, but urged the court to admit him to bail on stringent terms.
Justice Dabup, in her ruling on the bail application, admitted Obono-Obla to bail in the sum of N1m with one surety in like sum.
She further ruled that the surety must be resident within the jurisdiction of the court and must submit an affidavit of means, including a tax clearance certificate showing evidence of payment for three years.
The case was adjourned to November 25, 2021, for trial.