Chris Steven, Abuja
The Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, HURIWA has urged the clerk of the National Assembly and the leadership of the National Assembly headed by Senate President Bukola Saraki to invite independent forensic analysts to verify the certificates tendered by members of both chambers before running for offices.
The organisation said on Tuesday in Abuja that a rash of alleged fake certificates among the federal lawmakers with the latest allegations involving Senators Andy Uba from Anambra State and Dino Melaye from Kogi State has made it imperative for a national emergency to verify the authenticity of the Academic Certificates of members and staff at the nation’s apex legislative institution.
A statement jointly signed by the National Coordinator Emmanuel Onwubiko and the National Media Affairs Director of HURIWA, Miss Zainab Yusuf said both chambers of the National Assembly have recorded over half a dozen members being sacked by the competent courts over certificate forgery or have pending lawsuits before different courts in Uyo, Akwa Ibom and Jos in Plateau states.
“We hereby call on the leadership of the National Assembly namely the Senate President Dr. Bukola Saraki, the Speaker of the Federal House of Representatives Mr. Yakubu Dogara and the Clerk of the National Assembly Mr. Sani Omolori to activate mechanisms by inviting independent forensic investigators to conduct transparent and rapid verification of all academic certificates being paraded by the members of the national assembly and the bureaucracy.
“This must be done in order to purify the process of law making in Nigeria and to check the institutionalization of impunity in high places. It is not only criminal but ethically challenging for supposed law makers to actually be persons of dubious academic records,” the statement said.
It said the country cannot afford to have lawmakers with dubious academic claims in the era when there are millions of qualified Nigerians across the country.