In Defence Of Speaker Chiji Collins By Emeka Eze

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 The sponsored news report of an alleged involvement in the judicial sack of Hon. Lawman Duruji from Imo state House of Assembly  and the allegation of certificate forgery by Lawman Duruji is nothing but a concoction of fabricated lies and falsehoold. It is not only unfortunate but wicked that an  embattled former lawmaker, Lawman Duruji who was sacked by the Appeal Court for result falsification have resolved to tarnish the image of the Speaker of Imo State House of Assembly Rt. Hon.Chiji Collins.
 However, for the records, it will be unfair to me and the reading public  if I don’t use this opportunity to address and clarify  most of  the issues and allegations  raised in the sponsored news report.
First, Lawman Duriji should know that  politicians as a matter of fact does not decide election petition matters  and as such, Chiji Collins who was also battling with  his own matter in the tribunal and latter opted for an out of court settlement with candidates opposed to his victory will not seek “out of tribunal settlement’ if he has the powers to influence the discharge of petitions in  the tribunal. Hence, it is wrong for lawman Duruji to allege that Chiji Collins paid money to Judges to sack him.
Let me remind Lawman Duruji that Speaker Chiji Collins being a checkmated Speaker in a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), dominated House Assembly at the time of his sack by the Appeal court  was incapable of interfering with the House running cost, especially when lawmakers like lawman Duruji and others are waiting for the smallest chance and opportunity to uproot the speaker and replace him.
Rather, it was the inability of lawman Duruji to prove that he legally defeated the Candidate of  All Progressives Congress (APC), Hon.Emeka Nduka that made him lose at the Appeal tribunal
Reacting to his allegations, Speaker Chiji Collins in a statement released by his media Office, said, ” the allegation is a display of Duruji’s dangerous, uncontrollable and well-known  penchant for laying false claims and accusations against innocent people.
 “The man behind the mischievous story, the former lawmaker who represented Ehime Mbano in the Imo state House of Assembly, Hon. Lawman Duruji  continued to display his  dangerous,uncontrollable and well -known  penchant for laying false claims and allegations against Innocent people when he attempted to link his ouster from the Imo state House of Assembly to Rt. Hon. chiji Collins. And as usual, made several other claims and did not provide any shred of evidence to prove or backup  his claims.”
“We know that lawman Duruji has an uncontrollable penchant for laying false claims and allegations against people. However, we will expose him this time and will not indulge him or dignify his nonsense. If he has any sense,Duruji ought to know by now that no one will take him serious on this claims, especially after he cooked-up , malicious allegations and dangerous claims against Governor Hope Uzodinma, Rt. Hon.Emeka Ihedioha, Late Senator Benjamin Uwajumogu, Rt.Hon. Okey Onyekanma, Senator Rochas Okorocha and currently, Speaker Chiji Collins on the same issue of his  ouster from the state Assembly.”
“Again, Duruji’s decision to pick on Speaker Chiji Collins  this time and the barrage of allegations in his publication in some local Newspapers clearly fits into Durujis style and pattern of lies. Allegation and obfuscation- fabricate an allegation to draw attention, and then fabricate another allegation  and another allegation to distract peoples attention from the previous allegations, creating an endless web of allegations, lies, confusion and deception. Same pattern of concocting and alleging things  with no proof or intention to prove his claims. Sadly, this is the character of the man that we are dealing with.”
” Duruji wants us to forget that only recently, he went to the social media to celebrate late Senator Benjamin Uwajumogu’s death, the man who brought him to Imo state and established him,  after telling everyone  who cared to listen that Senator Uwajumogu was behind his ouster from the State Assembly. It is also on record that same Lawman Duruji had also accused Governor Uzodinma. Rt. Hon Ihedioha, Senator Okorocha  and many others of masterminding  his ouster from the state Assembly.’
“We make bold to say his allegations  against Speaker Chiji Collins are  entirely false, mischievous and childish as the Speaker is not a Judge or a judicial officer to know the Judges  and he never participated or conceived evil intentions  against Lawman Duruji or any other person.” The statement read in parts.
Also according to lawman Duruji, Chiji Collins tendered  a “fake” Doctorate Degree  (Ph.D.), and a National Youth Service Corps(NYSC)_ discharge Certificate, to the Independent National Electoral Commission. But it is shocking and surprising that Lawman Duruji who claims to have seen the four walls of a university and a former lawmaker does not understand the real meaning of “fake”.
Lawman Duruji also displayed traits of ignorance when he insisted that Chiji Collins NYSC discharge certificate was fake. This is  after the institution had brought out Chiji Collins NYSC file as evidence that the speaker was duly awarded a discharge certificate after he meet every requirement of the Law for exemption from service.
According to Lawman Duruji and his sponsored  reports, Chiji Collins  has a “fake” Doctorate Degree from an existing Italian University; (Universiita Faculta The Studio Reggio Calabria Italy) a school which is accredited by the Italian government and has communicated that Chiji Collins was their student.
Other discoveries reveal that Universiita Faculta The Studio Reggio Calabria Italy exists and that Chiji Collins bagged a Doctorate Degree from the University but when confronted with the fact that Chiji Collins actually graduated from an Italian University,  Lawman Duruji withdrew from his  position of ” forgery” to claim that the Italian doctorate is lower than Nigeria’s  Doctorate and should not be referred to as Doctorate degree.
It was also discovered that many European countries like  Italy and indeed several other countries of the world do not practice the Nigerian system of education which  was borrowed from the British system of education and that it was only  ignorance or lack of exposure that could make one see Degrees acquired from other countries as fake or lower degrees.
The location of the University was visited by investigative journalist and it was discovered that the university existed.
The reading public and lawman Duruji should be made to understand that Chiji Collins case is not about  certificate scandal or forgery,  but blackmail and bad press,  in the sense  that he is not being accused of forgery, but of his Doctorate being lower then that of Nigeria.
In contrast, Former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Salisu Buhari, was accused of forging his Toronto certificate. TheNews wrote the University of Toronto and it was not a case of the University not accredited or lower degree   but that of Mr. Salisu not having been there as a student. The University had replied
“Regarding your request for confirmation of degree for Mr Ibrahim Salisu Buhari. We have searched our records and could not find anybody with the name you are inquiring wiith.”
Honourable Nse Ekpenyong, representing Oron Federal constituency in the National Assembly was arraigned, by the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) on a 9-count charge of forgery and alteration of documents.
Ekpenyong was alleged to have forged an Abia State Polytechnic Ordinary National Diploma, OND, certificate.
EFCC also accused the lawmaker of altering a December 1999 West African Examination School Certificate, WASSCE, which he presented before an electoral tribunal, claiming they were genuine.
Both lawmakers were accused of forgery. The difference is better seen in the fact that forgery and falsification of result is a crime, but acquiring degree from a reputable University that is accredited and recognized  is not. Chiji Collins  did not alter the name of his school  or falsify his academic records.
In addition, recognition of the school he attended before going abroad is largely unrelated to earning his discharge certificate

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