By Hon Uche Obiozor
The Hope Uzodimma Campaign Organisation (HUCO) has debunked news making the rounds that its principal, Senator Hope Uzodimma representing Imo West Senatorial District in the upper chamber of the National Assembly is involved in certificate forgery and debt scandal.
Director-General of the Campaign Organisation, Nze Ignatius Umuna in a statement in Abuja on Monday, said that contrary to some media reports, “Senator Hope Uzodimma did not attend Washington University, St. Loius, Missouri, United States and does not obtain any certificate from the said university”.
“For clarity and avoidance of doubt, the distinguished senator attended Washington International University in the United States on a part time basis and obtained a Bachelors of Arts Degree in International Studies and Diplomacy. This is contrary to the purported degree in Arts/Criminology from the so-called Washington University St. Louis, Missouri as being branded in the media reports”, the DG said.
Umuna also said that Uzodimma has a valid Higher Diploma Certificate in Maritime Management from the Federal University of Technology Owerri (FUTO), Imo State where he is also pursuing a PGD in the same course.
The DG wondered how the Senator was being associated with a certificate he does not possess and an institution he did not attend, attributing it to the handiwork of some disgruntled and failed politicians who were uncomfortable with his remarkable achievements in the red chambers.
On the alleged debt scandal, Umuna said that before joining politics, Uzodimma had been in active business and like any other businessman, there are bound to be issues with some of the companies he sat on their boards but he has never been indicted for any debt by any court.
The Organization while asking the public to discountenance the report, appealed to the media to always cross check their facts before rushing to press so as not to misinform the public.
Meanwhile, facts have emerged that management of one of the suspended Airlines in Nigeria and some operators in the aviation industry are behind the smear campaign against the senator who is also the Chairman Senate Committee on Aviation.
It was learnt that the operators who have been uncomfortable with the strict stance of the senator on aviation safety standards, having failed on all fronts to induce the senator and his committee members to fall in line, opted to blackmail him and embark on the smear campaign.
For instance, it was gathered that during the recent joint National Assembly Public Hearing on Aviation, arising from the Dana Air mishap, this group made all overtures to scuttle the hearing but the senator and his committee members resisted and held the hearing. “Since then, they have vowed to take their pound of flesh on the committee members”, a source in the know said.