By Kenneth Atavti
Recently, series of reports have been in circulation in both print and electronic media linking of a distinguish lawmaker in the Nigerian Red Chambers to a certificate scandal as well as the purported assassination plot.
Considering the reputation of the man involve, the reports have sparked controversy within the rank and files in the nation, and have caused many Nigerians who personally knows the pedigree and character of the lawmaker to question the authenticity of the reports.
In Nigeria today, we have seen Senator Andy Uba, a gentle man who have against all odds refused to dabble in campaign of calumny, vituperation, vendetta and animosity against anyone despite several attempt to drag his hard earned reputation to the mood by peddlers of lies in the likes of one Victor Osita Uwajeh.
It didn’t come as a surprise to many Nigerians when Senator (Dr.) Emmanuel Andy Uba, MFR, refuted and described as false and baseless, the publications sponsored by one Victor Osita Uwajeh through a faceless group known as Anti-Corruption and Integrity Forum, ACIF, which was carried in both print and electronic media, namely Sahara Reporters, Vanguard, Leadership Newspapers, Naij.com, Blueprint Newspaper, The Cable News and Pulse News in the form of news reporting and paid advertorials where his name was been mentioned as one of the prominent Nigerians with certificate scandals.
Nigerian pilot law recalled that Victor Osita Uwajeh, the man behind the vilifying and damaging allegations has alleged that he was once engaged by Senator Emmanuel Andy Uba to lift an exclusion order baring Senator Emmanuel Andy Uba from traveling to the United Kingdom (U.K), and that it was in course of his efforts to get the U.K Border Agency and the office of Home Secretary to rescind the exclusion order that he discovered that Senator Emmanuel Andy Uba’s WAEC certificate is fake.
The Senator in a statement by his aide, Chike Okeke, said “We want to state in categorical terms that these allegations are unfounded, false, misleading, and are refuted and denied by Senator Emmanuel Andy Uba.
“Contrary to Mr. Victor Osita Uwajeh’s vilifying claims, he was never at any time or event engaged or authorized by Senator Emmanuel Andy Uba to deal with anybody or government agency in the UK and US on his behalf. The Distinguished Senator and his family are seriously embarrassed and outraged at these false and injurious publications against his academic qualifications.”
Also in one one of such cheap and sullying campaigns, particularly in the Sahara Reporters online news of 7th March, 2018 under the banner headline “How IGP Is Shielding Andy Uba From Prosecution For Certification Forgery, Extortion”, ACIF alleged that the Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of Police in charge of Force Criminal Intelligence and Investigation Department (FCIID) is protecting the Distinguished Senator from being arrested and prosecuted for Certificate forgery extortion as well as intimidation.
The same publication also alleged that some unknown persons that possibly assessed Victor Uwajeh’s personal phone numbers from a published petition against him to the IGP by Senator Andy Uba have been calling to warn him to ‘back off or get killed’.
The statement noted that in another vain attempt to raise false alarm and tarnish the image and reputation of Senator Emmanuel Andy Uba, in what appeared like a sponsored news on Pulse News under the headline “Investigator Writes Buhari, Accuses APC Senator of trying to kill him”, Victor Osita Uwajeh claimed that Senator Andy Uba has made several attempts to assassinate him.
Uwajeh alleged that the threat over his life was coming from the Distinguished Senator because of the case he instituted against the Senator at the High Court of FCT for the recovery of his professional fees.
Okeke said that the Distinguished Senator’s attention has also been drawn to another online news report published on or about the 8th of March, 2018 by one Nnenna Ibeh on Naij.com, with the headline “Certificate Forgery” Trouble For APC Senator as court grants order seeking his arrest”, when in actual fact, the Federal High Court merely granted Anti-Corruption and Integrity Forum (ACIF) an ex parte application for leave to use mandamus to get the Attorney General of the Federation and the Inspector General of Police (IGP) to investigate its complaint against the Senator.
He decried that although the substantive mandamus has not been heard nor granted by the trial court, Victor Uwajeh still compromised and made the Reporter to twist the news under a wrong banner headline that portrayed the Distinguished Senator to the public as a criminal whose arrest has already been ordered by court.
While describing the act by the reporters as not only been “unethical in journalism but wicked and reprehensible news reporting” he said that the Blueprint Online Newspaper equally reported the same proceedings of Federal High Court, Abuja in the above case of FHC/ABJ/CS/175/2018 between Anti-Corruption and Integrity Forum (ACIF) vs. Inspector General of Police & Anor in a distorted and jaundiced in 10th March, 2018 under a banner headline “Certificate forgery: Court grants order to arrest, prosecute Andy Ubah”.
“It was deliberately reported in this manner in order to defame Senator Andy Uba as a criminal to the general public.” Okeke said.
Again, last year, the same Victor Osita Uwajeh sponsored a libelous advertorial through an association, known as Equity and Fairness Advocates on page 37 of Leadership Newspaper of Monday, 10th April, 2017 under the banner headline; OPEN PETITION TO THE EFCC AND THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY TO INVESTIGATED ALLEGED CERTIFICATE FORGERY BY SENATOR EMMANUEL NNAMDI (ANDY) UBA”.
In the said publication which was sponsored by Victor Uwajeh, through another group known as Equity and Fairness Advocates, they alleged that Senator Emmanuel Andy Uba had presented forged WAEC Certificate to the UK Border Agency which turned out to be fake investigation carried out by the Public Agencies.
They therefore called on the EFCC and the National Assembly to investigate Senator Emmanuel Andy Uba’s academic credentials.
It is worthy of note that Uwajeh’s blackmail and campaign of injurious falsehood about the WAEC certificate of Senator Emmanuel Andy Uba was targeted at ripping the Senator of his overwhelming support he enjoys from his people after he declared his intention to contest for the Governorship position of Anambra State in the last gubernatorial election held in 2017.
Speaking further, Okeke noted that as peace loving people, despite the news conference organized by Mr. Uwajeh on 11th and 12th of April, 2017, in Abuja where he appeared with copies of some documents, alleging them to be forged WAEC Certificates belonging to Emmanuel Andy does not have a genuine WAEC Certificate and dared the Police and other security agencies to arrest him the Senator regarded him then as a distraction and ignored all his shenanigans.
“However, it has become necessary to rebut these bunch of falsehood and confront Mr. Victor Uwajeh by all civil and lawful means. For purposes of rebuttal and clarifying these allegations, Senator Emmanuel Andy Uba was a Special Assistant to former President Olusegun Obasanjo between 1999-2007.
He was also a former Governor of Anambra State.
He is presently serving as a two-time Senator representing Anambra South Senatorial District. He has served this nation creditably; and he still willing to serve in whatever capacity that God entrusts him with.
“For the avoidance of doubt, in all Senator Emmanuel Andy Uba’s private and political career, he has consistently used the WAEC certificate he obtained from Union Secondary School, Awkunanaw, Enugu in 1974 with Examination No: 05465/089; his Degree Certificate from California State University, Los Angeles for the award of Bachelor of Arts in Geography and Urban Analysis; and his certificate of award of Honourable Doctorate Degree in Public Administration from Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka.
These are the certificates he used in his INEC Form CF 001 with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) submitted in the 2007, 2010, 2011 re-run and 2015 general elections. Being public documents, they are open to the general public for verification.
” We are not aware of any probe, allegation or litigation relating to his very well-known academic qualification. Luckily, many of Senator Emmanuel Andy Uba’s classmates from primary school through the university are still alive and are traceable.
” Therefore, the purported WAEC Certificate with Certificate No: SC 544753 issued in 1974 to one Uba Emmanuel Nnamdi does not belongdd to Senator Emmanuel Andy Uba and did not emanate from him. Perhaps, it was forged and/or prepared by Victor Osita Uwajeh in order to not only blackmail and extort money from him, but to also reduce the public estimation of Senator Emmanuel Andy Uba by portraying him as a person of unworthy character. He has continued to ceaselessly disparage the academic qualification of the Distinguished Senator without caution.
“Recently, Mr. Victor Osita Uwajeh also alleged in the news that report of various print and electronic media that the Distinguished Senator has made attempts to assassinate, poison or intimidate him. This disparaging news came as a huge associates and well-wishers. In fact, many of them called and confronted him with the news report. It is in fact, a joke taken too far and the Distinguished Senator is not taking them lightly. The allegations are false, unfounded and wicked.
“As a distinguished Nigerian citizen, a Christian and firm believer in the rule of law, Senator Andy Uba has done the most civilized thing under the law by petitioning relevant security agencies, including the Inspector General of Police.
He will never nurture the thought of hurting anyone, let alone assassinating any human being. Besides, given his firm belief in our judicial system and the rule of law, he has instituted a cross-action against Victor Uwajeh by filing hi Defence and Counter-Claim in a civil matter instituted by Mr. Uwajeh at the High Court of Federal Capital Territory, Abuja in SUIT NO. FCT/ABJ/CV/2063/16 between Evangelist Victor Uwajeh V. Senator Emmanuel Nnamdi Uba.
“Sequel to a petition by Senator Andy Uba to the Inspector General of Police and other relevant security agencies, the police investigated Mr. Victor Osita Uwajeh and subsequently arraigned him.
He has been charged with various offences relating to forgery and falsification of documents under the Miscellaneous Offences Act, Cap. M17, Law of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 in Charge No. FHC/ABJ/CR/148/2017 between Federal Republic of Nigeria v. Victor Osita Uwajeh.
“The Distinguished Senator is determined to take necessary legal actions against all the disparaging and libelous publications about his person and reputation by Victor Osita Uwajeh and some media establishments.
He has instructed his Attorneys to write Victor Osita Uwajeh and all the print and media platforms that published these defamatory materials. As a matter of fact, he is seriously contemplating for damages, retraction and apology.” He said
Okeke has therefore advise media organizations, particularly the Sahara Reporters, Naij.com and their co-travellers to always cross-check their facts and engage in investigative journalism. “Media establishments and journalists should avoid being used by vested interest or falling for the convenient choice of publishing false or twisted information for cheap financial benefits or in order to attract negative publicity stunt and patronage.”
With all the taking place, it is worthy of note that with the antecedence of Senator Andy Uba not even a thousand Uwajeh can rob him of his reputation because he is not just a leader with good intentions for the people but one that matches it with effective control of situation.