Court Annuls Election Of Benue Rep-elect, Orders IGP To Prosecute Him For Certificate Forgery

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An Abuja Federal High Court today nullified the certificate of return issued to a Benue Rep-elect, Christian Abah, for forging an Ordinary National Diploma in Accountancy purportedly obtained from the Federal Polytechnic, Mubi, in 1985.

Justice Adeniyi Ademola, in his judgement, held that the allegation of certificate forgery against Abah by the plaintiff, Mr Hassan Saleh, was true having been established by an election tribunal in 2011.

According to him, an earlier judgment of the National/State Assembly Election Petition Tribunal, delivered on Sept. 6, 2011, affirmed that the certificate presented by Abah to INEC was forged.

He further stated that a letter by the Registrar of the Federal Polytechnic, Mubi, Suleiman Buba, affirmed that the certificate presented by Abah to INEC was forged.

Justice Ademola therefore declared all the votes that accrued to Abah in the PDP primaries held on Dec. 6, 2014, as wasted and also declared Saleh winner of the election.

He therefore ordered INEC to issue a fresh certificate of return to Saleh, who had signified interest in the position in the primary election before the PDP declared Abah unopposed.

The Federal High Court court also ordered the incoming Speaker of the ‎8th National Assembly to swear in Saleh as the member representing Ado/Okpokwu/Ogbadibo Federal ‎Constituency of Benue State.

He also ordered the Inspector-General of Police, Solomon Arase, to immediately commence prosecution of Abah for the crimes of forgery and perjury.

Ademola also decried the conduct of Mr Sunday Ameh (SAN), Counsel to Abah and PDP for “frivolous applications and tactics to delay the hearing of the case” and therefore ordered that the processes filed in the suit and his judgment be served on the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), the Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Committee and Legal Practitioners Privileges Committee to sanction Ameh.

The judge also ordered the three defendants, the PDP, INEC and Abah, to pay a total of N450,000 costs to the plaintiff.

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