The Speaker, Imo state House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Chiji Collins, has cleared the air on his alleged certificate forgery, saying that the controversy surrounding his Doctorate degree certificate is a case of whether his Italian Doctorate certificate is equivalent to that of a Nigerian Doctorate Certificate which is not a criminal offense but can only be interpreted by the Nigerian University Commission (NUC).
This is even as he said also that he was duly exempted from service by the National Youth Service Corps(NYSC).
The Imo Assembly Speaker’s Doctorate and NYSC certificates became the subject of controversy, following allegations of forgery levelled against him by Lawman Duruji, a former member of the Imo state House of Assembly, who represented Ehime Mbano state constituency.
But speaking at a press briefing in Owerri, on Wednesday, Chiji Collins maintained that he didn’t forge his certificates as claimed by Lawman Duruji, noting that all his academic certificates are authentic and can be verified
Explaining, the Speaker said those who are using the already cleared issue of his NYSC exemption certificate to accuse him of forgery, were unaware that the NYSC had issued him an authentic exemption certificate until they dragged him to commission in 2019 through a petition they wrote to the commission in 2019 to investigate him.
He said at the NYSC headquarters in Abuja, his detractors were shamed when he produced his NYSC exemption certificate which was traced to a file in the commission, noting also that the Commission allowed him leave with his certificate after they ran necessary checks on his certificate that proved the authenticity of his NYSC certificate and that the issuing authority actually issued the certificate to him.
The Speaker disclosed that after his certificates were confirmed to be authentic, his detractors were not deterred by his innocence but moved into the media circle to malign and concoct stories he never even heard about before in his life just to misinform the public and damage his character for political and monetary gains.
On his doctorate degree from the Universiita Faculta The Studio Reggio Calabria Italy, the speaker said that he has nothing to hide and encouraged the reading public to run a check on the institution. Adding that his credentials are already in the public domain as it was published for public by INEC
The Speaker also revealed that he has sued lawman Duruji for the criminal assassination of his character, insisting that lawman Duruji accused him of bribery and result falsification despite “knowing them to be false, and knowing it would misinform and mislead the general public.