Bayelsa Governor, Duoye Diri Risks Impeachment Over Fresh Certificate Forgery Scandal

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There seems to be no end in sight to the governorship tussle in oil-rich Bayelsa state.

The tussle has taken a new dimension since the Supreme Court ousted the governor-elect of the state, David Lyon of the All Progressives Congress, APC, over certificate scandal involving his running mate, Biobarakuma Degi-Eremieoyo.

The Apex court asked the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC to swear-in the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr Duoye Diri, who scored 143,172 votes.

Lyon had scored 352,552 votes to win the November 16 governorship election.

However, there are fears in Gov. Diri’s camp that he might go the same way of Lyon as his deputy; Senator Lawrence Ewrujakpor is enmeshed in a certificate forgery scandal.

Diri and Senator Ewrujakpor have been dragged to court by the governorship candidate of Liberation Movement (LM), Chief Vijah Opuama over inconsistency in the name on the certificates presented by Ewrujakpor.

Opuama alleged that Ewrujakpor was not qualified to contest the election and urged the court to declare his candidature null and void, which will automatically lead to the ouster of Gov. Diri as well.

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Opuama said that the deputy governor submitted an affidavit containing false information to the electoral umpire, INEC.

Opuama further claimed in his petition that Mr Diri’s deputy, Ewrujakpor, presented a forged university certificate and a forged exemption certificate of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) to INEC before the conduct of the election.

False Documents*

The academic records of Mr. Lawrence obtained by The Street Journal from the court revealed that the sitting deputy Governor obtained his WAEC certificate in 1987.

He also obtained a certificate from school of health in 1991 and bagged his B.Sc degree in 1998.

According to the document, Senator Ewrujakpor received an NYSC exemption certificate in the same year.

He declared his age in 2002, the same year in which he bagged his bachelor of law degree.

Curiously, every certificate was issued in different names.

He received an acknowledgment from INEC in 2019 and wrote a letter to NYSC in that same year.

According to The Street Journal’s findings, we present the multiple names on documents paraded by Lawrence Oborawharievwo
Primary School Certificate (1976)…Ewharudjakpo Lawrence
WAEC (1976)…Ewhruojapko Lawrence O.

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School of Health (1991)…Ewhrudjakpo L. Oborawharievwo
Rust (1998)…Ewhrudjakpo Lawrence Oborawhorieos
BSc (1998)…Ewhrudjakpo Lawrence Oborawharievu
NYSC Exemptions…Ewhruojakpa Lawrence O.
NYSC Exemption (1998)…Ewhruojakpe Lawrence O.
Age Declaration (2002)…Ewhrudjakepo Lawrence O.
LLB (2002)…Ewhrudjakpo Lawrence Oborawharievwo
INEC Acknowledgement (2019)….Ewhrudjakpo Lawrence Oborawhiewo
Letter to NYSC (4/4/2019….Ewhndjakpo Lawrence Oborawharievwo

The case which is currently in court has caused a lot of tension in the state, especially in the camp of the governor and the PDP, fearing that the same fate that befell Lyon less than twenty-four hour to his inauguration might likely befall Diri and Ewrujakpor.

6 SANS, 46 Lawyers battle to save Diri
At least 52 lawyers, including six with the ranks of Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) have been enlisted to save Governor Diri.

Opuama is seeking the disqualification of Ewrujakpor and the cancellation of the November 16, 2019 governorship election.

He wants the court to order a fresh election in Bayelsa, alleging that the poll conducted by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) failed to comply with the provisions of the 1999 Constitution as amended.

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Desperate Moves
Many desperate moves have been made by the PDP to persuade Opuama to withdraw the case which is currently at the tribunal.

Investigations by  The street journal revealed that some leaders from Bayelsa, especially chieftains of the PDP are mounting pressure on Opuama to withdraw his Petition in the court.

Opuama is being promised a juicy appointment plus cash incentives.

Opuama confirmed receiving many telephone calls from various persons, who wanted him to abandon the case.

These telephone calls have since been obtained and published by The Street Journal.

Opuama of Liberation Movement has remained adamant in his pursuit of the case, opining that he did not spend ten years of his life researching on leadership and studying political leadership just to negotiate a paltry sum of money.

The duo now awaits the final proceedings of the court to determine their fate.

Sen. Lawrence Ewrujakpor’s certificate as obtained by The Street Journal;

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