The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), has presented its eight witness against a serving member of the Federal House of Representatives, Nse Bassey Ekpeyong, who is facing trial on a ten- count amended charge bordering on forgery and uttering of documents, before Justice Ifeoma Ojukwu of the Federal High Court sitting in Uyo, Akwa- Ibom State.
The Port Harcourt’s Zonal Office of the EFCC arraigned Ekpenyong, alongside Okon Bassey on March 30, 2017. While the legislator was alleged to have forged a West African Examination Council, WAEC’s certificate and a National Diploma Certificate of Abia State’s Polytechnic, Bassey is facing trial for allegedly writing examinations for Ekpenyong.
At the resumption of the trial, prosecution counsel, A.I. Aroga presented his eight prosecution witness before the court. The witness, Nwabude Wilfred, a staff of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, tendered form CF001 (Party Nomination Form) before the court. The form was allegedly submitted to INEC by the first defendant, through his party, People’s Democratic Party, PDP, on December 18, 2014.
Attached to the form are the first defendant’s personal credentials: an Ordinary National Diploma, a statement of result and a certificate purportedly issued to him by Abia State Polytechnic for the course he offered (Business Administration). A West African Examination Council, WAEC’s result, allegedly issued to him in 1999 was also attached to the form.
The witness further testified that upon receipt of the said form from PDP on behalf of Ekpenyong, the form was published within seven days in the Local Government Area of the first defendant and in INEC office, Uyo, for any objection or claim that would be made by any member of the public to the nomination of the first defendant. According to the witness, no objection was raised by anyone.
Justice Ojukwu admitted the documents as exhibits and adjourned the matter to July 3rd and 5th, 2019.
Ekpenyong, representing Oron Federal Constituency in Akwa- Ibom State, was arraigned for allegedly forging an Abia State Polytechnic’s Ordinary National Diploma Certificate and uttered a December 1999’s West African Examination School Certificate, WASSCE and thereby committed perjury before an Electoral Tribunal before which he claimed that the certificates were genuine.