Magistrate Court Docks EBHA Chief Whip over Alleged Certificate Forgery

Ruga Settlement

Hon. Chike Imo Ogiji, the Chief Whip of Ebonyi State House of Assembly (EBHA), was on Friday arraigned before Abakaliki Magistrate court for alleged certificate forgery.

Mr. Ogiji was arrested and detained by the police before his arraignment.

He was said to have forged his First School Leaving Certificate and Primary School testimonial.

Mr. Ogiji was arraigned on four-count charge in suit No. MAB 33/C/2018.

The offence is said to be punishable under Section 118 of the Criminal Code Act (CCA) Cap C38 Laws of the Federation 2004 and Section 467 Cap C38 Laws of the Federation as applicable in Ebonyi state.

Some of the charge read “that you Ogiji Chike Imo, on the 10th day of November, 2006 at Abakaliki in the Magisterial district of the court did knowingly swore false affidavit touching on a first school leaving certificate purportedly issued to you in the year 1984 by Community Primary School Uduku Ettam Okpuitumo in Ikwo local government area, Ebonyi State and thereby committed an offence punishable under section 118 of the criminal code cap C38 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004 as applicable in Ebonyi State of Nigeria.

“That you Ogiji Imo Chike, between 2007 and 2015 at Abakaliki in the magisterial district of this court did forge an entry schedule marksheet and state Exams for community primary school Uduku Ettam Okpuitumo in Ikwo local government area of Ebonyi state for the year 1986 with intent that it may be used or acted upon as genuine and thereby committed an offence contrary to section 456 and punishable under Section 467 of the Criminal Code Act, Cap C38 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004 as applicable in Ebonyi State of Nigeria”.

After the charges were read to his understanding, Ogiji pleaded not guilty.

His Defence Counsel, Emeka Odom, urged the court to grant him bail, adding that he is presumed innocent at this stage until proven guilty.

“The fundamental issue in this application for bail is to ensure that he is available to face trial. We urge this court to admit him bail on self-recognition. He is a person of repute and he is representing Ikwo South state constituency in the state house of assembly, he is also the Chief Whip of the Assembly.

“The accused is enjoying police administrative bail and is so religious in attending police invitations. He came from police to this court, manifesting that the respect he has for the law of the nation,” he told the trial magistrate.

But the Prosecuting counsel, Peter Amadi urged the court not to grant the accused person bail on self- recognition, arguing that the defence counsel failed to state in his application for bail that the accused would not jump bail.

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