By Simon Ebegbulem
BENIN—THE commissioner nominee from Owan West Local Government Area of Edo State, Mr Reginald Okun, has described as untrue, allegations that he is an ex-convict, saying that he had never visited Virginia State in the United States of America where he was alleged to have been imprisoned.
Meanwhile, the former Deputy Governor of Edo State, Rev. Peter Obadan, has said that the purported writer of the petition alleging certificate forgery and conviction against Mr Okun is not a member of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in Owan West, noting that the leadership of the party painstakingly screened the candidates before their names were submitted to Governor Godwin Obaseki.
It will be recalled that a group, Owan West Progressive Movement, had called on the state House of Assembly not to confirm Okun’s appointment as commissioner until the allegations of forgery of certificate and his being an ex-convict were investigated.
Okun, who described the allegation as shocking and an attempt by his detractors to tarnish his image, said: “I have lived in the USA and in the UK where I had my education and spent 14 years. I had no criminal or negative records and not even the most common traffic offence. I restate that for about 14 years I never had a traffic offence.
“I obtained a BA (Hons) in Built Environment Studies from the University of Westminster with signed certificate by the Vice Chancellor/ rector and my course mates exist.”
“For clarification I visited the US on holidays and lived there with clean records. I have never visited the State of Virginia. Furthermore I was in Nigeria in April 2013 preparing for my election as Vice Chairman Owan West LGA which was on April 20, 2013. Having done a brief research online myself and viewed their petition with the case number the petitions provided (Okun v US, case number 3:2013CV00230).
“The alleged Mr Okun that was convicted in the United States and was made to serve a prison sentence in Richmond City by the Virginia East District Court on April 15, 2013 and who also filed a motion to vacate his prison sentence is Mr Edward Hugh Okun and not known to my family. You can Google that name and the facts are out.”