PDP asks court to disqualify Governor, Deputy over alleged certificate forgery

PDP asks court to disqualify Governor, Deputy over alleged certificate forgery

The Federal High Court in Abuja has been asked to disqualify the Gombe State Governor, Mohammed Yahaya Inuwa and his Deputy, Jatau Daniel, from contesting in the 2023 governorship election for allegedly submitting forged certificates.

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its governorship candidate in Gombe State, Muhammad Barde made the call to the Abuja court in a suit No: FJC/ABJ/CS/1301/2022 instituted on Tuesday.

The opposition party and its governorship candidate are praying the court to disqualify the governor and his deputy from contesting the election for submitting forged documents and certificates to INEC which were published on 22nd July, 2022.

In an originating summons filed on their behalf by two Senior Advocates of Nigeria, Arthur Okafor and Johnson Usman, the plaintiffs relied on series of Supreme Court decisions that Inuwa and his Deputy, having deposed to forms EC-9, which constitute Certificates and making false statement in it, amounts to submitting forged certificates which is a disqualifying ground under Sections 177(d) and 182(1J) of the 1999 Constitution (as Amended).

In the Court processes, the plaintiffs alleged that the Deputy Governor bears multiple names in all his Educational Certificates without a deed poll and any valid change of name attached to his Form EC-9 submitted to INEC.

Part of the grounds against the Deputy Governor are that “Certificate of primary Education bears (Manassah Jatau), West African examination Council School Certificate (Daniel Manassah J), University of Maiduguri Certificate (Manassah Daniel Jatau) and National Youth Service Corp Certificate (Daniel Manassah).

Besides, governor Inuwa was said to have in 2022, submitted form EC-9 (Affidavit of Personal particulars of Person seeking election into the office of Governor of Gombe State) where he stated that he worked in Bauchi State Investment Company Limited in 1984, A.Y.U & Co. Ltd between 1985 to 2003 as against what he deposed to in 2018 as working in Bauchi Investment Company Limited in 1985, A.Y.U & Co. Ltd between 1980-1990.

“That Governor Inuwa in 2018 while presenting his personal particulars in aid of his qualification to participate in the Gombe State Governorship election stated in his INEC FORM CF001 that he worked with A.Y.U & Co. Ltd from 1980 – 1990, while in 2022, the same 3rd Defendant stated in his INEC FORM EC-9 that he worked with A.Y.U. & Co Ltd from 1985 – 2003.

“That the Governor, by his INEC FORM CF001 has stated under oath that in 1980 -1990, he worked with A.Y.U. & Co Ltd, however, in 2022, the Governor stated again on oath via his INEC FORM EC-9 that he worked with the same A.Y.U. & Co. Ltd from 1985 – 2003,” the party further argued.

According to the plaintiffs, the Deputy Governor who claimed to have worked with the Nigeria Army from August 1979 to July 1980 submitted an NYSC discharge certificate that stated that he commenced his National Youth service in August 1979 and completed same in July 1979.

The plaintiffs also contended that from paragraph D of the Deputy Governor’s INEC Form EC-9, he claimed to have worked with the Nigerian Army from July 1979 till August 1980 and his reason for leaving in July 1980, was for the National Youth Service.

The plaintiffs contended further that in his INEC FORM EC-9, he commenced his NYSC after he left the Nigeria Army in July 1980, but submitted an NYSC Certificate that stated he commenced his National Youth Service in August 1979 and ended in July 1979.

Plaintiffs argued that FORM EC-9 being an affidavit on oath, both the Governor and his Deputy, are not qualified to contest the election, thereby urging the Court to disqualify them.

They sought order of the Federal High Court disqualifying them from participating in the 2023 governorship election in Gombe State on accounts of discrepancies in their educational qualification and for allegedly lying on oath.

Meanwhile, no date has yet been given for hearing of the case.

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