- The fake academic certificates allegation against Imo state Speaker, Honourable Chiji Collins, has been dismissed
- Prominent Imo right groups say the allegations are false and the lawmaker has no such scandal
- The groups noted that the accusers of the Speaker failed to provide single evidence to back up their claims months after the allegations
Some civil society groups have dismissed the allegation of fake academic certificates against Imo state House of Assembly Speaker, Honourable Chiji Collins.
Prominent Imo right groups like the Network of Imo youths (NIY) and the Imo Progressive Young Professional Forum (IPYPF) chided those peddling unsubstantiated allegations of certificate forgery against the speaker, saying the lawmaker has no scandal.
According to them, Honourable Collins academics credentials are not fake, stressing that they have confirmed from institutions the Speaker attended in Italy.
Dismissing all allegations bothering on the Speaker's credentials as spurious, the groups noted that the accusers of Honourable Collins failed to provide single evidence to back up their claims months after the allegations.
The Speaker, in a bid to prove the authenticity of his academic records, had promised a $10,000 reward for anyone who can come up to verify his certificate In Italy.
The groups noted that till date, none of his accusers has come up to make efforts to openly substantiate their claims against the Speaker.
The leaders of the groups, Amaefula Amadi, for Network of Imo Youths and Dr Richmond Obi for Imo Progressive Young Professional Forum addressed a press conference in Owerri on the issue recently.
The groups said: “A number of wild, untrue and malicious allegations were made against the Imo state House of Assembly Speaker, Rt.Hon. Chiji Collins in order to stop him from contesting for the office in the Speaker and as well tarnish his rising political image.
“So far, the Speaker's office has provided physical and documentary evidence that showed that Chiji Collins actually possessed a Doctorate degree from an Italian University and as well, provided a window for the public perusal of his academic records.
“The issue of certificates was raised against him and he has successfully dealt with the allegations by providing evidence that is authentic and verifiable, As a result, he went on to run for the office of the Speaker and eventually he won.
“Since the purpose of the blackmail was primarily to stop him from rising politically, the challengers either voluntarily withdrew or abandoned their media war soon after he won.
“So we make bold to say that the Speaker has no certificate case hanging on his neck. We call on media houses and the general public to kindly take note of this fresh development for fairness and justice.”
Meanwhile, Governor Emeka Ihedioha has directed the Imo state accountant general, to commence immediately the payment of December salaries to civil servants in the state and their counterparts at the local government level.
The directive was contained in a statement sent to journalists by the governor's chief press secretary, Chibuike Onyeukwu.
The governor also directed the payment of pensions to all pensioners in the state and local governments for the month of December.
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