Chief Inspector of Courts and President, Special Grade of the Delta State Customary Court, D.S.O. Unuame, has dragged the Deputy Chief Registrar in the State Customary Court of Appeal, Mrs. Elizabeth Omoru, to the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) for allegedly falsifying her age.
In a petition signed by Unuame's lawyer, Olukunle Edun, Senior Partner and Head of Litigation, Tri-lex Partners, addressed to the commission's chairman, Mrs. Omoru, former acting registrar in the state, was said to have been employed into the service of Delta State Judicial Service Commission in May 2006 with official records provided by her at the time of her employment indicating that she was born on November 2, 1956, and was due for retirement in November 2016 when she ought to be 60 years old.
The petition, which was sent to the National Judicial Commission, demanded the immediate retirement of Mrs.Omoru from the service of the Delta State Judicial Service Commission for "serial alterations of her date of birth" as well as directing her to refund the salaries, allowances and other perks of office paid to her or collected by her from November 2, 2016.
The petitioner is also seeking that any person involved in the alleged forgery be prosecuted for falsifying/altering official records for personal gain or any other offence.
The petition stated: “That, in 2016, the position of the Chief Registrar of Delta State Customary Court of Appeal became vacant and there was a need to fill same. The year saw the mutilations and falsification of the record by certain government officials with a view to enhancing the opportunity of one of their own.
“That Mrs. Elizabeth Uviarherhe Omoru ought to have retired by November 2016 but surprisingly about 6 months to her retirement were surreptitiously initiated and exchanged with the speed of light, all with a view to ensuring that her newly discovered date of birth of 2nd day of November 1960 was properly documented to prolong her stay in service and to enhance her chance of being substantive Chief Registrar of Delta State Customary Court of Appeal.
“As of this time she was acting in that capacity. It is on record that during her service period and within a space of 3 years, she altered her age three times progressively form 1956 to 1958 and again, 1960. That Mrs. Elizabeth Uviarherhe Omoru had her uncle, one Johnson Ukugbawa Ezeyighu to depose to another affidavit on the 6th day of March 2013 stating that her formal date of birth of 2nd November 1956 was guesswork and her true date of birth is 2nd November 1960."
It added, “The uncle did not State that the ‘2nd of November,’ date was also guesswork; the uncle was also silent on the earlier altered date of birth of 2nd November, 1958 for which there was no affidavit to support same. Surprisingly, the said uncle did not State the source and circumstances under which he came across the information Stated in the affidavit.
"Based on her ‘new date of birth’ of 2nd November, 1960, and going by her educational history in her application form into the civil service, Mrs. Elizabeth Omoru stated that her father was a civil servant and never claimed that he was deceased as at the time her mother deposed to the affidavit on the 6th day of August 1981.
"It is instructive to also state that as at 2008, Mrs. Elizabeth Uviarherhe Omoru by her letter dated 23rd March 2016 to the head of the service, Delta State had already admitted that her 3rd date of birth of the 2nd November 1960, was apparently smuggled into Delta State Public Service Records without requisite approval. This is because she did not make any affidavit to effect this change of date of birth in 2008, considering the fact that the purported affirmative of her 'uncle' stating that her 3rd date of birth was made on the 6th day of March 2013."
Continuing, the petition claimed: "The question is, how did she hack into the Heckerbella system to backdate her record and alter her date of birth? Why procure an affidavit to pretentiously regularize what actually been unlawfully done in 2008?. It is important to state that Mrs. Elizabeth Omoru had earlier made failed attempts to alter her age but her application was rejected on the 15th day of August 2013 by the Delta State Directorate of Establishment and Pension vide its letter referenced ED.39/64/7.
"Interestingly, the second age declaration of her 'uncle' was made on the 6th day of March 2013. It would, therefore, be right to state that this new affidavit was presented to the Directorate of Establishment and Pensions and it was rejected. It becomes more surprising that she re-applied again but deliberately refused to state this fact in her latest application for change of birth.
"It is obvious that the entire process was a charade and had fraud written all over it. The rush and speed with which the alterations were processed were self-revealing and given them out. It is very bewildering that as at 24th May 2016, the office of Delta State Head of Service had pre-emptively replied a letter from the office of the Chief Registrar, Delta State Customary Court of Appeal dated 30th day of May 2016, in respect of this subject. This must be a legal abracadabra."
Questioning the speed with which her application was treated and closed out, the petition said: “Based on the advice from the Ministry of Justice that the second sworn affidavit tendered by Mrs. Elizabeth Omoru indicating 2nd November 1960 as date of birth is tenable in law by virtue of Section 118 of the Evidence Act, thus nullifying the first sworn affidavit with the 2nd November, 1956, as her date of birth.
"It is on record that the person that made the first affidavit was the mother of Mrs. Elizabeth Omoru, Mrs. Rose Akpajawor, and it was deposed to on the 6th day of August 1981 at the Registry of the Magistrate Court, Benin. The person that made the second affidavit is one Johnson Ukugbawa Ezeyighu who deposed to same on the 6th day of August 2013 at the Registry of the Magistrate Court, Effurun about 38 years after making the previous affidavit.
"Considering the history of the fraudulent schemes and the pre-emptive approval which was probably done in concert with other government officials, Mrs. Elizabeth Omoru, a new age of birth eventually became the 2nd November 1960 and now due to retire on the 2nd November 2020, instead of 2nd November 2016."
All attempts via telephone calls and messages to get Mrs. Omoru to respond to the allegations were unsuccessful.