The sacked All Progressives Congress (APC) deputy governor-elect in Bayelsa State, Senator Biobarakuma Degi-Eremienyo, said on Thursday, that he did not forge any of his certificates.
The Supreme Court had on February 13 nullified his election as deputy governor-elect and that of David Lyon as governor-elect barely 24 hours to their inauguration.
Degi-Eremienyo described the Supreme Court judgement as an assault on his personality and reputation.
The embattled senator, who addressed journalists in Abuja, also asked the police to vet his credentials.
He lamented that the apex court judgment had left him greatly traumatized and in distress.
“This press conference is not designed to vilify the Justices of the Supreme Court who presided over the matter or otherwise debase, degrade, devalue or demean the quality of their judgement under reference.
“That is not a matter within my province and prerogative. It is best suited for legal minds.
“The aim of this press conference is to defend my reputation which the Justices of the Supreme Court, whether consciously or unconsciously subjected to scurrilous scandal, assault and unfair imputation.
“The judgement of the Supreme Court that I was not qualified to contest as the deputy governorship candidate of APC and my attendant disqualification adversely affected the governorship candidate of APC with the result that our hard earned victory, not just for ourselves, but our party and the majority of the good people of Bayelsa State who has entrusted us with the mandate to democratically govern them is threatened.
“The event leading to my disqualification is distressing and traumatized to me personally and of course a greater trauma, inflicted on my party, the Governorship candidate and the good people of Bayelsa state who signified their choice of who should be their Governor and deputy governor. It is this unsolicited assault on my personality and reputation by the Judgement in question that has constrained me to chart this course.
“Let me state here unequivocally that I attended State school Bassambiri now State School 1 Nembe where I obtained my first school leaving certificate.
“Let me state that some of my Primary school teacher are still alive: Chief Eredogiyo Watson, Chief Allen Obebe-Orukari and Susan Otiotio.
“Let me also state in clear and graphic terms that I attended two secondary schools.
“First Nyemoni Grammar School Abonnema, Rivers State where some of my classmates were Harrison Braide, Tombo Douglas, Ferdinand Amabebe: Professor Owunari George Will, Justice Biobele Georgewill, Chief David Briggs and Alpheus Otta and some of my teachers were Mr Wamarte and Mrs Humbly, Mr. Frank etc.
“After writing my WAEC in the First Secondary School, the result of five subjects were cancelled in my examination centre constraining me to re-enrol in Government Secondary school, Anyama Ogbia in Bayelsa State where some of my classmates were Good News Buruburu, Mr Life Johnson Abiurare Mara and Mr Sunny Obi, etc and some of my teachers were Mr Ephraim Abebe, the vice Principal of the School and Mr Iwolisi, my biology and chemistry teacher. All the names mentioned here are known and still alive.
“All my academic certificates are in the public domain. Whether they are genuine or forged are verifiable matters. If they are forged, it would mean they are either not in existence or they have been altered in some material respect.
“If these certificates exist and have not been altered in any manner, it would mean they are genuine. The next enquiry would then be if the names appearing thereon belong to me or belong to some other persons.
“If no other persons can be found who claim the names in the certificates then they are mine.
“The issues to be dealt with here are practical matters not theoretical matters based on whims and caprices.
“Judges including justices of the Supreme Court are free to request law enforcement agencies to investigate persons who appear before them as to the commission or otherwise of crimes.
“Their Lordships of the Supreme Court who presided over this matter in compliance with the principle of fair hearing and for the public good ought to investigate my names appearing in the various certificates including the certificates themselves.
“I therefore call on the relevant authorities especially the Nigerian Police to conduct a serious and thorough investigation into the names appearing in the said certificates and the certificates themselves, and make the outcome of their investigation public“, he requested.
He also challenged Nigerians to seek to verify the genuineness of his credentials, saying the current vitriolic attacks on his person could stigmatize him for life.
“All the educational qualifications I presented to the Independent National Electoral Commission to aid my constitutional qualification were acquired by me personally from institutions here in Nigeria which fortunately for us all are still in existence till date. The records are verifiable anytime and any day here in Nigeria.”