A haulage driver named Ojo Aloba has stated that he was hauling the Range Rover imported for use by Senate President Bukola Saraki before officers of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) intercepted and seized the vehicle. In addition to seizing the Range Rover, reportedly for irregularities related to the use of fake documents to significantly reduce the import duty for the car, the customs officers also impounded Mr. Aloba’s haulage truck. 

Mr. Aloba, who owned up that he was the designated driver transporting the controversial armored Range Rover car, told a correspondent of SaharaReporters that he picked up the car from Mr. Saraki’s residence in Ikoyi and commenced its haulage to Abuja. 

According to him, it was in the process of conveying the vehicle to Abuja that customs officers seized the Range Rover at Ore, Ogun State. The officers noted that the car used fake documents to clear the car. And the same documents reduced the amount of import duty assessed on the expensive car. 

Mr. Aloba disclosed that the movement of the vehicle to Mr. Saraki hit a snag when some customs officials intercepted him along Ore Road and insisted on taking the car to their office. He said the officers disregarded a letter he had from the National Assembly Liaison Office explaining that the car was intended to be part of Senator Saraki’s convoy.

In an interview with our correspondent, Mr. Aloba said it was not the first time he hauled an expensive car from Lagos to Abuja for the Senate President. He added that part of what sparked the suspicion of the customs officers was an incomplete phone number written on the cover note that accompanied the car. Were it not for that discrepancy, the car would have sailed through customs checks despite its incomplete documents, said the driver.

The driver added that he tried his best to reason with the Customs officers, but on seeing that they were growing impatient, he decided to let them do their bidding. 

“When I called the person who gave me the job, he said I should not move from where I was, that Senator Saraki’s people [were] coming,” said Mr. Aloba. He added: “I could not wait because they were already cocking guns. I went with them, but before we got to Berger, there were already MOPOL [mobile police] waiting, but the customs officers leading me said they [could not] wait on the road.” 

He claimed that the car was purchased from Lanre Shittu, a popular automobile dealer in Nigeria. The auto dealer’s brother, Richard "Richie" Shittu, is tied to Senator Saraki. One source said Mr. Shittu often served as a middleman for Mr. Saraki, purchasing expensive automobiles for him and running other financial transactions for the senator as well. 

The driver’s confession to operating the impounded vehicle contradicts claims by one Tokunbo Akindele, who in an affidavit said he was the dealer who contracted the car. In the affidavit, Mr. Akindele also claimed that Mr. Saraki was not involved in the auto deal at all.

Mr. Aloba disclosed that he had moved cars for many influential Nigerians. He lamented that, whenever he ran into the customs’ net due to stamp duty evasion or other irregularities, the car owners always left him to sort out the trouble, adding that his haulage truck was often impounded by the customs.

He recalled a case where customs officers seized his truck as he transported a vehicle for Olu Obasanjo. According to him, the customs still kept his truck after Mr. Obasanjo resolved the duty evasion problem. He regretted that a similar fate might befall him in the current controversy over Mr. Saraki’s Range Rover, explaining that customs officers were not willing to listen to his story that he was a mere haulage contractor transporting a car from one location to another. 

“One [customs] officer who wanted to help me bring my truck out is now scared because of the issue. My truck is there [seized by customs]. I don’t have any means to feed my family. They are now asking me to bring N350, 000. But where will I find the money? As I am, I don’t even have 350 kobo,” said Mr. Aloba.

He said he wanted to use our medium to appeal to customs officials to release his truck, adding that all the papers for the truck were up to date.

The Letter of Authorization:

In an unprecedented manner, snows have reportedly fallen in Ekiti as a result of heavy downpour.

Media report suggests that there was excitement in Ado Ekiti on Saturday as snows fell from the sky during a rain which began around 4 p.m,

Punch Newspaper confirmed reported that residents, mostly students of Ekiti State University, Ado-Ekiti, and the Federal Polytechnic, Ado-Ekiti, took snapshots of the white solid substance.

Our correspondent, who was a witness, observed the excitement that greeted the incident as many of the residents rushed outside to catch a glimpse of the rare occurrence.

The rain lasted for barely 40 mins.

Ireoluwa Akinyemi, a fresh graduate of EKSU said it was a refreshed experience for him.
“I have not seen snow in this magnitude before, I’m really excited. It is a lovely experience.”

Another neighbour, Kemi Fadairo, said the size of the snow was the biggest she had seen.
“I have been seeing snows fall but these are the biggest I have seen,” she said.

The rain started by stoning doors with the snow, first causing apprehension among residents, who peeped through their windows to observe if it was an intruder.

“We thought it was somebody playing pranks, so we peeped through the window to see who it was to know whether to shout for help.

“It was then we discovered it was snow falling from the sky and hitting the door hard. I also joined in taking photographs,” said Olawale Hafeez, a Laboratory Technologist.

Each time I called Nath, he knew there was a job to do, and each time Nath called me, I knew he a piece of information to relate with me. In the last six years, our relationship on the job had grown, and his untimely exit is devastating. Nathaniel Abimbola will no longer reporting to man again, because he has joined fallen Comrades in afterlife.

I could still recollect that the Protocol officer to my boss, Mr. Kunle Fagbemi called me earlier that Rt. Hon. Najeem Salaam in partnership with Rotary  club would be organizing a medical checks for the people of Ejigbo State constituency, and that I should mobilize reporters for the task, but said that he had called Nath when he could not reach me on time.

The message was late, for reporters had gone to different beats, but there was one guy who would never desert the task, Nath as we fondly called Nathaniel who reported for Osun State Broadcasting Cooperation from Osun State House of Assembly; true to type, he showed up and we drove in my car to Ejigbo. While savouring the pleasure drive, Nath and I began to engage in intellectual discourse.

We picked from economy to politics, and from politics to journalism. I expressed my frustrations on why Nigerians were made to suffer despite the huge resources and natural endowment; we railed on why people value common denominator-money from politicians more than what could benefit them collectively. We spoke about the bad shape of Iwo and Ejigbo roads, and what could be an aspiration of Governor Rauf Aregbesola to fix them.

While I was talking, Nath would quickly take a nap, and woke up as if he could not afford to miss the discourse. Then, I asked him while he was still writing in long hand, and he responded that OSBC had not provided him with latest technology  to make his reportage transferable from the field.

When we arrived Ejigbo, I drove straight to where Abidjan delicacies were sold, and when I asked him and my photographer, Segun who was in the car with us to join me in eating acheke, he smiled and politely told me  he had just eating food prepared by his wife, and that he would wait in the car.

After the assignment, we set for Osogbo, but my cameraman, Anifowose delayed us, and that gave Nath the last chance to "enjoy" the dusty weather in a town he had attuned himself to for years of service, because of his reportorial assignment, and when we eventually set for the return journey; we resumed our discussion, but while he appeared to have agreed with the details I explained, he was not enthusiastic about any possible quick fix. He responded like a man set for another planet; unknown to me that he was set for the final  trip the next day, where he would neither  need cameraman nor feed the OSBC back. This narrative was exactly some hours to his painful death.

It took time for him to get along with me, when i assumed office almost six years ago but his gentle mien was never betrayed, his humility was classical, and he was a very calculative reporter who through his sterling qualities won the heart of the parliament, for the lawmakers considered themselves safe in his hand. He warmed himself into the heart of the Speaker, and was so beloved.

I was with Speaker Salaam when the news of his death was broken, despite the fact that I was demobilized instantly, Mr. Speaker appeared to have felt the shock more; his emotional state suffered a quick shutdown and it was mourning at his Guest House. I have cleverly avoided everyone who struggled to confirm the death of Nath from me, because I was secretly assuring myself that it was a just nightmare, and that it would not happen. Alas, our Nath is dead for real.

Quite sympathetic, I saw a good man who would die the next morning in a bubbling spirit, I talked about life to a God fearing journalist who had completed his journey of life; I shook hand and traded banters with a man who only showed up healthily to bid us final goodbye, and I spoke politics with a man who had prepared for the flight to the celestial realm, where worldly troubles are not cognized.

NATHO, know that your value and worth are noted by the man you loved so much, Speaker Salaam, and I affirm that u are more celebrated in death by us, your colleagues. It is quite painful, but death is a final state of all mortals. I find it difficult to say good night. The  God you served with diligence and dedication will rest you, and stand with the wife and young children you reluctantly left behind.

Adieu Nath.

Goke Butika
Chief Press Secretary to the Speaker
Osun State House of Assembly

Buhari and Magu
There were indications yesterday that President Muhammadu Buhari will insist on Mr. Ibrahim Magu becoming the substantive chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) after the Senate has twice turned down his confirmation.

The President appears set to overrule the Department of State Services (DSS) whose report had said that Magu was not fit for the seat.

The President, it was learnt, will soon make his position on the embattled acting EFCC boss known.

A Presidency source who spoke with our correspondent in confidence yesterday said the President has a soft spot for Magu.

The source, an insider in power politics in the Presidency, said: “Personally, the President prefers Magu and he is standing by him. As at this week, the position of the President has not changed.

“There is no doubt that the President’s advisers have recommended the retention of Magu and he is likely to heed their advice.

“As I am talking to you, there is no fresh security report or any updated information which can make Buhari to turn against Magu. So, he is likely to stand by his letter to the Senate.

“At personal level, Buhari has confided in his key aides that he wants Magu in charge of EFCC.”

Responding to a question, the Presidency source said “the President will soon make his official position known on this matter. He has received a letter from the Senate, and he is studying why Magu was rejected by the chamber.”

Another source said the President might “overrule the DSS, but he will address the crisis of confidence among his strategic aides.”

At press time, it was learnt that the DSS was adamant in its opposition to Magu.

Although a memo on Magu from the DSS to the Attorney-General of the Federation, Mr. Abubakar Malami (SAN) leaked to the press yesterday, there were indications that it was part of the plot to stop Buhari from re-nominating the Acting EFCC chair.

In the memo, which Magu had responded to, the DSS attached 12 documents against Magu.

The memo, signed by Folashade Bello for the DG of DSS, said in part: “ I am directed to forward the attached documents in respect of the report earlier dispatched by this Service to the Presidency on the Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Ibrahim MAGU.

“They are marked annexures A to L and are highlighted as follows:

Annexure ‘A’ – This is a copy of minutes of the 20th Plenary Meeting of the Police Service Commission on 20th December, 2010, chaired by Mr. Parry B. O. OSAYANDE (DIG/Rtd) who was then Chairman of the Commission. The minutes indicate that MAGU was indicted after a disciplinary process and awarded Severe Reprimand for “Action prejudicial to state security, Withholding of EFFC files) Sabotage, Unauthorised removal of EFCC files and Acts unbecoming of a Police Officer.” It is worthy to note here that Severe Reprimand is the second highest punishment to be given to an erring officer, other than compulsory retirement or dismissal from Service.

Annexure ‘B’- This is a copy of the confessional statement of Air Commodore Mohammmed UMAR (Rtd), a suspect hitherto detained and currently being prosecuted by the Service. The statement affirms his ownership of Valcour S.A Nigeria Limited, a company awarded the contract of securing and furnishing an official residence for Ibrahim MAGU by the FCTA. Investigation revealed that this was facilitated after MAGU was earlier shown the residence by one Uche ALEKA, a close business associate of UMAR, who was introduced to MAGU by the former.

Annexure ‘C’- This is a forged Memo which supposedly originated from the office of the Vice President and addressed to Mr. President. This was recovered from the private residence of UMAR during a search operation by this Service. The document is a request for approval to commence further investigation into financial activities of Honourable Minister of State for Petroleum Resources) Ibe KACHIKWU. Also attached to the Memo are two (2) genuine investigation reports .by EFCC on the Honourable Minister, dated 24th March, 2016 & 13th April, 2016 and duly signed by MAGU. One of the two (2) attachments indicates that the original investigation report earlier was purportedly received in the VP’s office by one Folabo KAY.

Annexure ‘D’- This is a letter from the Office of the Vice President affirming that Annexure “C” is a forged document.

Annexure ‘E’- This is a copy of Progress report with reference number SH/ COS/ 24/ A/7277 dated 25th May) 2016 on NNPC/ NLG Brass Investment Accounts in Nigerian Commercial Banks from Chief of Staff to Mr. President, Abba KYARI to the Acting EFCC Chairman. The letter is an official/classified document of’ the EFCC which was duly received by the Commission as indicated by the stamp on the document. However, it was recovered at UMAR’s residence.

Annexure “F’ – These are photocopies of Managers’ cheques of First Bank PLC and
Zenith Bank PLC) issued in favour of EFCC Recovery Funds Account on 13/05/2016 and 16/05/2016,n respectively. These are all sensitive official documents of the EFCC found in UMAR’s residence during the search.

Annexure ‘G’- A classified letter from the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) to the EFCC Chairman titled Re: Request to Freeze Accounts Messers Bebey: Merchant Ltd and 20 others, dated 7th March, 2016. This document was also duly received by EFCC but found in Commodore UMAR’s house during the search.

Annexure ‘H’- A document which emanated from Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and addressed to the EFCC Chairman on 6th May, 2016 with the subject, Re: Stop Debit Order on all NNPC Accounts and Subsidiaries- A case for Joint Venture & NNPC Pension Funds Accounts. The document was recovered at UMAR’s residence.

Annexure ‘I’- NNPC Letter GED/ F&A/08.26 dated 5th May, 2016 addressed to the EFCC Chairman and titled Re: Stop Debit Order on all NNPC Accounts and Subsidiaries. This was also discovered during the search of
UMAR’s residence.

Annexure ‘J’- This is a copy of NNPC correspondence with reference number GED/F&A/08.26 dated May 5th, 2016 and titled Re: Stop Debit Order on all NNPC Accounts and Subsidiaries- Transfer of FCT Balances to NNPC’s TSA Accounts, addressed to the EFCC Chairman. The document was found in UMAR’s residence.

xi. Annexure “‘K’ – A copy of an NNPC letter with reference number GED/F&A/08.26 dated May 5th, 2016 and titled Re: Stop Debit on all  NNPC Accounts and Subsidiaries- Critical Accounts for immediate operations to the EFCC Chairman. The document was also recovered during the search of UMAR)s house.

xii. Annexure ‘L’ Copy of Confessional Statement by UMAR to the Service stating that his trip to Maiduguri for condolence visit to Ibrahim MAGU, sequel to the loss of a close relative, was made on behalf of the Presidential Committee on Audit of Arms Purchase. Cross examination of the Chairman of the Committee, AVM John ODE (Rtd), revealed that the committee did not send any of its members on such an assignment. The visit of UMAR to MAGU is therefore assessed as an expression of their close sinister relationship at the detriment of National Security interests.
In his response to a query by the AGF based on the DSS memo, Magu had, however, faulted all the allegations and the documents.

He said Commodore Mohammed Umar (rtd) never served as a front for him.

He said: “Sir, it is important to situate my relationship with Commodore Mohammed Umar (rtd), in proper perspective.

“Our paths crossed when we became members of the Presidential Committee on the investigation on arms procurement. He was instrumental in getting some of the information that helped the committee to make significant breakthrough in its assignment.

“Beyond that, the relationship between Umar and myself is one of professional acquaintance, devoid of issues of conflict of interest. So, it comes to me with shock, the imputation by the DSS that we have a “mutually beneficial relationship”.

“This appears suggestive that Mohammed and I were involved in activities that could be said to be untoward. I certainly have no knowledge of such activities.

“The claim that EFCC documents, including EFCC letters addressed to the Vice President and being investigation reports on the activities of Emmanuel Kachikwu and his brother Dumebi Kachikwu, were found in his home during a search by the DSS came to me as a surprise.

“ If that is correct, he should be made to disclose how he came by such documents. I never discussed my official duties with him let alone give him documents pertaining to investigations being conducted by the Commission.

“Interestingly, Mohammed was detained for several months by the DSS. In all those months, did he claim that I mandated him to commit any crime or that I was an accomplice to any crime? If there is any such claim, I will wholeheartedly like to be confronted with the allegation.

“It is interesting to note that when Mohammed was eventually charged to court, the charges against him were money laundering and illegal possession of firearms, and nothing related to my purported “shady” relationship with him.”

Magu explained the circumstances in which EFCC files were found in his house after the removal of the pioneer Chairman of EFCC, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu.

He said: “It is true that my residence was searched on the orders of Mrs. Farida Waziri, shortly after she succeeded Mallam Nuhu Ribadu as Chairman of the EFCC and some documents relating to cases under investigation were found in my house. At the time of the raid, I was yet to formally hand over to my successor, Umar Sanda, as head of the Economic Governance Unit.

“My schedule at the time warranted that I worked round the clock and it was impossible to conclude all assignments without working at home.

“The documents found in my house were actually found in my office bag where I kept documents relating to investigations. I was in the process of handing over and it would be wrong to suggest that I willfully kept the Commission’s files at home.

“Nevertheless, the incident was thoroughly investigated by the police as I was placed on suspension without pay for 20 months. But in the end, I was reprimanded, recalled and promoted to Assistant Commissioner of Police.

“It is important, sir, to draw your attention to the fact that some of us that worked closely with Ribadu were victimised after his exit.

“And my ordeal was orchestrated as punishment for being the chief investigative officer for most of the high profile cases involving politically exposed persons some of whom became very influential in government at the time.

On the N39.8 million apartment rented for him, Magu said it was false that the house was also furnished for N43 million.

He added: “I live in the official residence of the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). This accommodation, contrary to the report of the DSS, is not my private home, neither was it rented and furnished for me by Commodore Umar Mohammed (rtd).

“It was rented and furnished by the Ministry of the Federal Capital Territory through the Abuja Metropolitan Management Council, under the safe house scheme.

“It is also false that the house was rented for N20 million per annum and furnished for N43 million. The entire cost for both two-year rent and the furnishing of the house is N39.628 million.

“Details of the transaction are contained in the contract award letter and payment schedule which are attached to this letter.”

He described the two times he flew in a private jet with Air Commodore Mohammed Umar, who was investigated by the DSS, as harmless gestures.

He said: “Honourable Minister, the claim that I have a penchant for expensive air travels in a private jet belonging to Commodore Mohammed is baseless. The two times I can recall traveling in Commodore Umar’s aircraft, were on a trip from Kano to Abuja, and Abuja to Maiduguri.

“In the first instance, I had gone to Kano on an official assignment with two of my directors, and Mohammed who was on his way back to Abuja offered us a ride in his jet. The second occasion was when I was going to see my sick mother in Maiduguri.

“These, for me, were harmless gestures as we were both members of the presidential investigative committee on arms procurement. At the time I had no knowledge that he was under investigation for any alleged crimes.

“Claims that I flew in Mohammed’s jet to Maiduguri in the company of the Managing Director of Fidelity Bank, Nnamdi Okonkwo, is false.

“I have never flown in a private aircraft with any managing director of any bank let alone one that was under investigation by my agency. I have no personal relationship whatsoever with him.”

Meanwhile, there were indications that some Senators opposed to Magu have initiated a plot to “suspend a former Senate Leader, Sen. Ali Ndume for allegedly backing Magu and raising some observations against the President of the Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki, and  the Chairman of the Senate Committee on FCT,  Senator Dino Melaye.

The observations made the Senate to ask its Ethics and Privileges Committee to investigate how the chamber came about a N300 million SUV and the row over Melaye’s graduation from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria.

A reliable source said: “The anti-Magu Senators are accusing Ndume of acting a script to destabilise the Senate and they are plotting his suspension from the chamber.

“Since the rejection of Magu, there has been cold war between those pro-EFCC chairman and those opposed. Ndume is regarded as the arrowhead of Magu’s sympathisers who are trying to fight the Senate.

“Once the Ethics and Privileges Committee submits its report, Ndume may be suspended for “subversive activities against the Senate.

“But some Senators have asked their colleagues to ‘ignore Ndume’s nuisance’ since his candidate was rejected.”

davido and Ayomide Labinjo
Punch Newspaper - Last week, in an exclusive chat with Saturday Beats, mother of one, Ayomide Labinjo, had alleged that pop singer, Davido, is the father of her three-year-old child, Anuoluwapo.

In another exclusive interview with Saturday Beats, Ayomide said they would not have been in this paternity mess, “if only Davido had listened to me and worn a condom.”

When asked why she would allow anybody to have unprotected sex with her, Ayomide alleged that the singer was not a fan of wearing condoms during sex as she recounted in details what allegedly transpired the two times she alleged they had sex.

The young lady claimed, “The reason I slept with him the first time we met was because I just wanted to catch my fun. The day we met at the club, Ebevande, I was with my friends, I did not really know him then but I just knew he was an artiste. I went out with my female friends; we had like a ladies night out; then one of his bouncers came to meet me and told me that his boss wanted to see me. I actually thought it was the owner of the club that wanted to see me. When I got to where they were, I noticed that it was David and he was with B. Red. I greeted both of them, B. Red did not respond but David did and we talked. He collected my pin and asked me to return to my seat. When they were about to leave, the bouncer came to meet me again and informed me that they wanted to leave. My friends thought we were all going together but when we all got to the car, he asked my friends to go back. He said that I was the one he wanted to see.

“We went to the Genesis Hotel. When we got to the room, we talked for a long while before we had sex. He is a very jovial person and he loves talking. He made me laugh a lot and we talked at length. B. Red was in the other room. I insisted that he should protect himself by wearing a condom before sex but he refused. He said that he does HIV test every two weeks. Then I asked him how sure he was that I did not have any disease but he said he was very sure I did not have a disease. After he had said all that, I told him to just do what he wanted to do and allow me go home in the morning. That night, he had sex with me twice. You would know he was in the mood to have sex that night and it lasted for a while. He has a big manhood and it hurt me a little. The second time was when he noticed I was leaving in the morning and he just wanted to have sex with me again.

“The second time, the sex did not last long because he was very tired and he did not even know when I left the hotel. I do not drink or smoke but David drinks and smokes. He drank and smoked in the club” she alleged.

Labinjo told Saturday Beats that she was shocked that Davido said he gave her money as she claimed she had never received a dime from the singer since they met. In her words, she described the self-acclaimed Omo Baba Olowo as “a very stingy person.”

“I saw where he said he sent money to my family and that is a lie. The question I would ask is that what account did he pay the money into? He should bring out the bank teller. He has never given me money. If they said they have given me money, there would be a record or evidence and they should bring it out. Even when we had sex, he never gave me money for transport. David is a very stingy person and I would not be the first person saying this. I have heard it from different girls, David is very stingy,” she said.

When asked if she was certain that the pop star is the father of her child, she answered in the affirmative. She claimed as of the time they met, she did not have a boyfriend and she is not one to jump from one bed to another.

Labinjo said, “I am very sure he is the father of my child because I did not have a boyfriend when we met. I had some male friends but it was just a platonic relationship I had with them and nothing serious. I don’t jump from one bed to another and that is why I am very bold and certain that he is the father of my child. If I had been sleeping around, I would not be that bold to talk.”

She was quick to add that all she wanted was for the singer to step forward for another DNA test. Labinjo said that even if the result shows that Davido is the father of her child, she doubts mutual love would co-exist between them because of the way he has treated her all these years.

The mother of one also hinted that the matter may soon be taken to court.

“I just want him to take up his responsibility but I heard he is not ready for another DNA. My mother has gone to a lawyer and we would eventually go to court because I know we have a good case. I was told that even if David does not want to step out for a DNA, any of his siblings could step in for him. Once everything is settled, I just want him to take care of his daughter but there cannot be mutual love between us. Even the way he talks to me cannot allow for mutual love,” she said.

Meanwhile, in a chat with Sunday Punch, Davido’s manager, Asa Asika, had reportedly said, “Davido is not the father of the baby.”

When asked if the singer would be willing to undergo another DNA test, he retorted, “He is not going for another DNA test. After all, a test was conducted and it turned out negative. DNA tests are never wrong. Davido had never met her before she showed up at his house claiming that he is the father of her child. She is just an opportunist looking for quick money and fame.”

Dino Melaye Certificate
Punch Newspaper - The qualification scandal that has enveloped the senator representing Kogi West Senatorial District at the upper chamber of the National Assembly, Dino Melaye, has deepened.

Documents obtained exclusively by Saturday PUNCH through painstaking and thorough investigations showed that the embattled senator has a Bachelor of Arts certificate in Geography from the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Kaduna State.

The senator, apart from bagging a third class, also possesses a diploma certificate from the University of Jos.

However, the senator only has a statement of results from ABU. And not only that, checks at the university revealed that it only offers B.Sc. Geography and not B.A. Geography as reflected on Melaye’s statement of results.

Melaye’s trouble began on Monday, March 20, 2017 when an online news medium, Sahara Reporters, in a tweet alleged that the senator did not graduate from ABU for his first degree, against his claim that he studied Geography in the prestigious institution.

The news medium also alleged that Melaye, who is the Chairman, Senate Committee on Federal Capital Territory, bribed his Head of Department, who assisted him to forge his transcript.

In a series of tweets via its Twitter handle, @SaharaReporters, the online news medium said some lecturers in the Geography Department insisted that Melaye did not graduate from the department and that his name was not on the graduation list because he failed five compulsory courses.

Following the report, which gained traction speedily, Melaye dismissed the allegations, daring the news medium to sue him if it had authentic evidence to back its claims.

He took to his twitter handle and wrote, “Sahara Reporters, please sue me and ABU if it is true that I did not graduate from Zaria. Tell Magu (EFCC Chairman) to arrest and prosecute me.”

Melaye also boasted that he was currently a student in ABU pursuing his seventh degree, adding, “Go round all the UNIS (universities) I attended in digging more.”

A day after the news broke, Melaye, while speaking on the floor of the Senate, also addressed himself as an “authentic graduate” of ABU.

Meanwhile, when The PUNCH contacted ABU to verify the conflicting information, the institution’s Information Officer, Adamu Mohammed, promised that the institution would come out with its position on Wednesday, which it failed to do as of the time of filing this report.

Amid the controversy, documents obtained by Saturday PUNCH revealed that the senator had a statement of results with the logo of ABU.

The statement of results read, “This is to certify that Daniel Jonah Melaye having completed an approved course of study and passed the prescribed examinations as, under the authority of the Senate been awarded the Bachelor of Arts (Geography) with Third Class honours.”

The statement, issued by the Office of the Registrar, Academic Office and dated February 3, 2000, was signed by B.B. Mshelthlila.

There are, however, certain discrepancies that beg for more clarifications. For instance, in the statement of results, his name was given as “Daniel Jonah MELAYE.” However, checks by one of our correspondents on https://abu.edu.ng/ revealed that Geography is in the Faculty of Science and not the Faculty of Arts as reflected in the statement of results.

Also, in the senator’s NYSC discharge certificate, which was issued on July 8, 2001, his name read “Melaye Daniel” and not Daniel Jonah as shown in the statement of results.

Also, in the diploma certificate issued to him by the University of Jos on August 3, 2006, his name read “Daniel Dino Melaye.”

He was issued an Advanced Diploma certificate in Law, Security and Conflict Resolution. He finished with ‘Lower Credit’ on August 3, 2006.

However, in his Senior School Certificate in 1992, his name read ‘Melaiye Daniel Jonah O.’ with Melaye being wrongly spelt.

In the result, he had P8 in English Language, P8 in Mathematics, P8 in Geography, P8 in Chemistry, C5 in Christian Religious Knowledge, P7 in Economics, C6 in Biology and B3 in Agric Science.

When contacted again by one of our correspondents on his mobile telephone on Friday evening, the Information Officer, ABU, Mr. Adamu Mohammed, sounded hostile.

“Please, this is not official time; call me tomorrow, thank you, goodnight,” he said and hung up.

It will be recalled that in furtherance to his defence, Melaye had reportedly claimed that he obtained degrees from the prestigious Harvard University, London School of Economics and Political Science and a post-graduate degree from the University of Jos.

But in a swift response to an enquiry, Harvard University, in a statement from the Registrar’s office, on Thursday noted that Melaye was not a graduate of the institution as he only completed a week-long leadership seminar in November 2016.

The London School of Economics equally responded on Thursday, saying there was no proof on the institution’s database that Melaye obtained any degree from the school.

But on Thursday, he filed a N5bn libel suit against Sahara Reporters at a FCT High Court. Meanwhile, given the Senate’s decision to investigate the allegation and the uproar the report had generated, Melaye had since taken to the social media to exonerate himself of all the allegations.

Moments after he filed the suit, he took to the social media to post pictures of the cover and certification pages of his Master’s project, and a group picture of his days as a corps member, even though he was the only one not in uniform.

He wore a white T-shirt and blue shorts, adding that he served in Kaduna State in 1999. The caption on the picture read, “ABU 99 set at NYSC camp in KD. Me in blue shorts.”

Also, on Friday, Wikipedia, had edited Melaye’s profile to include ‘Certificate Scandal’, which briefly chronicled the issues surrounding the ongoing certificate brouhaha.

Dino Melaye Certificate

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