The Federal Ministry of Education has said that St. Clement University, Caicos Island, is not among the list of its accredited institutions in British West Indies.
The ministry explained that it could not establish the accreditation status of the institution after searching the Europa World of Learning, 2018 and the International Handbook of University, 2017.
The ministry stated this in a letter dated June 14, 2019 in response to inquiries by a lawyer, Jacob Fayenenghiga, about the authenticity of the degree certificate from St. Clement University submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission by the Peoples Democratic Party candidate, Nicholas Mutu, who was declared the lawmaker representing Bomadi/Patani Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives.
Fayenenghiga, the lawyer representing Prince Collins Eselemo, the All Progressives Congress candidate in the last general election in Delta State, is challenging the election of Mutu before the election tribunal sitting in Asaba.
The letter with reference number FME/S/174/C.6/I/47 signed by Dr L. Giginna read in part, “I am directed to refer to your letter dated June 3, 2019 and to inform you that St. Clement University of Turks, Caicos Island, British West Indies, is not found on the available ministry’s list of accredited institutions in British West Indies, after searching through all our available material (example, Europa World of Learning, 2018 and the International Handbook of University, 2017).
“However, an inquiry letter has been forwarded to the Ministry of State for Universities, Science and Cities in the British West Indies for the accreditation status of the university to conclude action on your request.”
Reacting to the ministry’s letter on Tuesday, Mutu’s lawyer, Patrick Ikwueto, SAN, waived off the document, insisting that his client’s certificate was issued by a recognised university and was valid.
He said, “We have answered in our response to the claims in the election petition, the allegation is completely false.”
Meanwhile, Eselemo has requested the President, Court of Appeal, to transfer his election petition against Mutu, PDP and INEC holding before the tribunal in Delta state to another tribunal outside the jurisdiction for hearing and determination.
The APC candidate said he did not believe he would get justice before the tribunal based on his suspicion that the records of the court were made available to the respondents.
He also alleged that a tribunal official demanded money as “a precondition for service of my reply on the first respondent reply to my petition and my counter-affidavit in reply to respondent’s preliminary objection to dismiss my petition.”
Eselemo further claimed that the endorsement date of service of the processes was altered by the court officials.
But the tribunal secretary, Mr Surajo Gusau, dismissed the allegations, saying he had no interest in any of the election petition cases before the court; He also absolved the tribunal chairman of wrongdoing.