The Federal High Court in Makurdi, Benue State on Wednesday dismissed a certificate forgery case against the Benue State governor, Gabriel Suswam, by a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Terver Kakih.
Mr Kakih, who filed the suit in 2011, had asked the court to disqualify the election of the governor on the grounds that he forged his Senior Secondary Certificate Examination (SSCE) certificate.
Mr Kakih had alleged that the governor did not submit to Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) his SSCE certificate.
He further alleged that the certificate was forged, claiming that the governor also marred the 2011 PDP primaries to influence his win as flag bearer of the party in the state.
Mr Suswam had defeated Mr Kakih to win the PDP ticket to run for governor of Benue State in the April 2011 primaries of the party in the State.
Delivering his judgment which lasted for over three hours, Justice Marcel Awokulehin held that though Mr Kakih had the right to complain of non-level playing ground and non-conduct of ward congresses in the party primaries, it was noteworthy that the issue of non-compliance of election regularities and who the party determined to be the desired candidate in an election was an exclusive party affair.
The judge further held that the court lacked the jurisdiction to entertain the matter.
According to Justice Awokulehin, though Mr Kakih had alleged that Suswam forged SSCE certificate and that he had testified before the court that he visited the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) where he met the officer that influenced the forgery, the plaintiff did not remember the name of the officer and also denied that he was not at any point where the forgery was done.
Justice Awokunlehin said that the evidence of the plaintiff was mere hearsay, which he observed, lacked quotative value and could not sway the court to agree with him.
The judge said the plaintiff’s case is like that of a boxer who was given a technical knockout on round zero, describing Mr Khaki’s claims as frivolous, unmeritorious, misconceived and malicious.