Mr Adams Oshiomhole, the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress,and the Edo State Governor, Mr Godwin Obaseki, on Tuesday criticised each other over the first degree certificate presented by the governor from the University of Ibadan.
Oshiomhole, in Abuja at the inauguration of the APC’s screening and appeal committees for its members contesting governorship primary in Edo State, expressed doubt over the authenticity of Obaseki’s UI certificate.
But the governor, through his spokesman, Crusoe Osagie, challenged Oshiomhole to go and confirm the authenticity of his certificate at the UI. He also said the national chairman should tell Nigerians the university he attended.
The dispute, which began last year between Obaseki and his predecessor has defied efforts of the APC governors and the African richest man, Aliko Dangote, to reconcile the two politicians.
Doubting Obaseki’s UI certificate, the national chairman on Tuesday directed the screening committee to confirm it from the nation’s premier university
Oshiomhole said, “Someone should approach the UI and end this matter once and for all. If the certificate Obaseki parades is that of the UI, find out how did he pass senate screening of those days? I’m aware that in those days when this man never dreamt of becoming a governor, every student, no matter your status or your family name, must pass screening.
“It is done every third term at the UNN (University of Nigeria Nsukka), then we ran terminal not semester programme. The final screening was in the third year, before you go in for your final year.
“How comes the UI allowed him then. Did he do a remedial? which was not unlikely. These are questions. Many came in especially in education and linguistics, did remedial for one year and if the result was good, gained direct entry and graduated three years after.’’
While inaugurating the two committees, Oshiomhole said the APC had learnt bitter lessons from the sad experience it went through after winning the Bayelsa State governorship election only to lose at the Supreme Court on account of the submission of a questionable academic credential by the deputy governorship candidate.
He charged members of the two committees not to spare any effort in ensuring that they conducted due diligence on all claims contained in the documents submitted by all six aspirants seeking to contest the party’s primary.
He stated, “The screening is not a formality and we expect you to be very meticulous in every material in particular to protect our party so that it would not be said that we did not learn anything from Bayelsa. As you know sometimes when things go wrong, everybody sees it that NWC did not do a thorough job. So, people personalized it. They say, ‘If the chairman is thorough, if he has done his job this will not happen but that is the price for leadership.”
He urged the screening committee to interact with all those who had aspirations to contest the Edo State governorship poll.
According to him, if anybody is dissatisfied with the screening committee’s recommendations, he or she will file an appeal and it will be forwarded to the appeal committee.
Oshiomhole stated, “The NWC can reject the screening result. Screening committee is high court. The appeal committee is the Appeal Court and the NWC, the Supreme Court.”
Members of the two panels were drawn from the academia as well as the party’s team of legal professionals.
Members screening committee are Prof Jonathan Ayuba (Chairman), Prof Agbo Madaki, Ibrahim Zailani, Senator Aishatu Dahiru Ahmed “Binani, Dr Jane- Frances Agbu, Fort Dike while Dr Rabe Nasir will serve as secretary.