The Chairman of House of Representatives Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Benjamin Kalu, on Friday, described allegations that he forged his academic certificates as an orchestrated plot to tarnish his image.
Kalu, who represents the Bende Federal Constituency of Abia State, stated this in a statement in Abuja.
He was reacting to an alleged certificate forgery and impersonation suit filed against him by one Okechukwu Ezeala.
Ezeala had in a suit at an Umuahia High Court, presided over by Justice O.A. Chijioke asked the court to sack Kalu over alleged certificate forgery and impersonation because he did not do a legal name change before contesting the election.
He had initially filed the said suit at an Abuja High Court in the year 2000 but was rejected.
Other defendants in suit No. HU/265/2020, included the ruling All Progressives Congress, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), and the Speaker, House of Representatives.
In the originating summons, Ezeala alleged that Kalu’s primary and secondary school certificates had irregularities, saying the surnames on his certificates are completely different from his current names.
While reacting to the suit, Kalu expressed optimism that he would be vindicated on the matter.
He said, “As a lawyer, I should have confidence in our judicial system and they have not failed me previously. They won’t start now. It is sub-judicial to begin to discuss the content of the matter in detail. Let’s be patient and allow the court to take a position on this.
“I have my eyes on the ball, it does not matter how threatened they are. I am going for the goal and not perturbed at all. They know this, that’s why they are paying all media platforms to discuss my simple change of name as illegal. The last time I checked, it is within my right to choose how to be addressed and to document it legally as prescribed by law. So, because I changed my surname, it makes my certificates forged certificates. Quite laughable.
“They should throw more dirt on me. I was prepared for this and it took 17 years in the kitchen. If you hate the heat then leave the kitchen. I signed for this and they should keep bringing it on. Bende must be great.”