The West African Examination Council (WAEC) has tendered the original General Certificate of Education (GCE) result of Governor Gabriel Suswam of Benue state before a Chief Magistrate court in Abuja.
The council’s assistant registrar, Mr. Kingsly Ugo Anyim tendered the document, which the court admitted as an exhibit in the alleged certificate forgery suit involving the Benue state governor.
Three persons are standing trial for allegedly defaming the character of Mr. Suswam in an article published in the Power Steering magazine. The editor of the magazine, Dan Ekah, Chidozie Ukpai and one other were arraigned by the Police for, “joint act of defamation of character, injurious falsehood, printing or engraving matter, known to be defamatory and sale of printing of engraved substance containing defamatory matter, contrary to sections 79,392,393,394 and 395 of the penal code law”.
Governor Suswam’s special adviser on media and public affairs, Dr. Cletus Akwaya, a prosecution witness in the matter had told the court that he read the said libelous publication of the September 6, 2010 edition of the magazine which portrayed the governor as a fake lawyer and that he forged his WAEC certificate among other information pertaining to the governor and members of his family.
Akwaya told the court under cross examination that the said publication was not only written in bad faith but unprofessionally written as the authors did not state whether they made efforts to verify the authenticity or otherwise of the allegations against the governor.
The presiding Chief Magistrate Hafsat soso, was supposed to deliver ruling on the, “no case submission” made by the accused persons, but she adjourned till March 23, 2012 to enable her go through governor Suswam’s GCE result which WAEC tendered.
The accused persons who pleaded not guilty to the charges were admitted to bail in the sum of N500, 000, with two sureties in like sum and must be resident in Abuja.