Frank Ibezim, the All Progressives Congress candidate for the October 31 senatorial bye-election in Imo North, is embroiled in a certificate scandal, SaharaReporters has gathered.
Ibezim, who hails from the Ehime Mbano Local Government Area of Imo State, is a long-time friend and aide to Minister of State for Education, Emeka Nwajiuba.
It was gathered that the former Commissioner for Agriculture was earlier disqualified by the screening committee of the APC for failing to submit originals of his educational qualification certificates and properly certified true copies for citing.
Despite his disqualification, SaharaReporters learnt that the state governor, Hope Uzodima, and junior Education Minister insisted on Ibezim as candidate of the party.
It was gathered that Uzodinma and Nwajiuba claimed that President Muhammadu Buhari asked them to give the ticket to Ibezim despite not cleared to participate in the APC’s primary.
“I think this just goes to say how the wills and electoral choices of the masses are being subverted by powers that be. It is apparent the Presidency and the governor is complicit in subverting the will of the people. Imagine what their plans will be regarding the Edo elections for instance,” a source told SaharaReporters.
The source accused Nwajiuba of sponsoring Ibezim with public funds.
Apart from not presenting his certificate, SaharaReporters gathered that the statutory age declaration deposed by one Emmanuel lbezim, presented by the APC senatorial candidate to the screening committee, was not signed by the declarant, which rendered the document invalid.
Ibezim also submitted another affidavit stating the loss of his academic qualification certificates, which was not signed by the deponent and also rendered the document invalid.
SaharaReporters further gathered that the said unsigned affidavit did not have a police extract in support to show that he reported to the law enforcement agency.
He was said to have also submitted the photocopies of his academic certificates he claimed were missing including WAEC, university degree and NYSC certificates.