Dapo Abiodun, the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ogun state, is enmeshed in allegations of perjury over his post-secondary school qualifications.
According to available documents, Abiodun declared only his West African School Certificate (1978) in the Form CF001 that he submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on October 23, 2018, ahead of the 2019 general election.
However, when he ran as the APC senatorial candidate (Ogun east) in 2015, he claimed to have attended the University of Ife, Ile-Ife (1986) and Kennesaw State University, Atlanta Georgia, US (1989) in his INEC form CF001, backed by an affidavit he swore to at the high court, Abeokuta, Ogun state.
Curiously, while he listed B.B.A. (hons) accounting as the degree he got in 1986 as at then 2015, he was silent on what he studied at Kennesaw State University.
However, in his official curriculum vitae, he claimed to possess another degree, B.Eng (hons) in civil engineering, presumably received in 1989 from the American university.
Also, on the website of Heyden Petroleum Limited where Abiodun is MD/CEO, underneath his name were listed B.Sc Civil Engineering and BBA Accounting.
If he proceded immediately to Kennesaw after his graduating from Ife in 1986, he would not have finished before 1990 as civil engineering is a four-year course in the university.
There are strong suspicions that he did not do the compulsory national youth service, even though he finished his first degree in 1986 — going by the INEC form CF001 he filled ahead of the 2015 election, supported by an affidavit.
Abiodun was born on May 29, 1960 and was 26 in 1986 when he claimed to have finished his first degree. The age limit for national service is 30.
Apart from the possibility of having committed perjury either in 2014 or 2018, there is also the possibility that he skipped the compulsory national service, which is punishable under the law.
Section 13 of the NYSC Act states:
(1)Any person (b) who refuses to make himself available for service in the service corps continuously for the period specified in subsection (2) of this section, is guilty of an offence and liable on conviction to a fine of N2,000 or to imprisonment for a term of twelve months or to both such fine and imprisonment.
A criminal conviction will also mean the offender is barred from holding public office.
Section 182 of the 1999 constitution states:
182. (1) No person shall be qualified for election to the office of Governor of a State if – (e) within a period of less than ten years before the date of election to the office of Governor of a State he has been convicted and sentenced for an offence involving dishonesty or he has been found guilty of the contravention of the code of Conduct.
Earlier this year, he was appointed chairman of the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) by President Muhammadu Buhari.
In 2012, he was appointed chairman of the Depot and Petroleum Product Marketers Association (DAPPMA), a position he still holds.
Abiodun has been in a running battle with Ibikunle Amosun, governor of the state, and the state working committee of the APC over his endorsement by the national body of the party for the 2019 governorship election, instead of Adekunle Akinlade, the governor’s choice.
The APC candidate had accused Amosun of plotting to upturn the decision of national working committee (NWC) of the ruling party to recognise him as the guber candidate of the state, while accusing the governor of being “desperate to install” Akinlade at all cost.
All calls and SMS to his phone number went unreplied and unreturned.