An Abuja Area Court has ordered the Department of State Services (DSS) to investigate the allegation of forgery of a National Youth Service Corp (NYSC) certificate levelled against the Deputy Governor of Bayelsa State, Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo.
An APC chieftain from Bayelsa State, Benjamin Youdiowei, had approached the Area Court in Lugbe, Abuja, alleging that Ewhrudjakpo presented to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in aid of his nomination as a candidate, a forged NYSC Exemption Certificate.
Youdowei alleged that Ewhrudjakpo had been using the allegedly forged document as part of his credentials.
The NYSC certificate is dated February 2, 1998, with number 139708.
The presiding judge, Abubakar Sadiq, had on November 27, 2019, issued a bench warrant for the arrest of Ewhrudjakpo following his absence from the court for the day’s proceedings.
He had also ordered the police to investigate the deputy governor before issuing a fresh order directing the DSS to take over the investigation.
Ewhrudjakpo of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was until his swearing-in as the Bayelsa State deputy governor on February 14, 2020, the senator representing Bayelsa West Senatorial District.
He was sworn in alongside the state governor, Duoye Diri, following the February 14, 2020 judgment of the Supreme Court nullifying the victory of All Progressives Congress (APC) and its candidates in the last governorship election in the state.
A High Court sitting in Ilorin on Wednesday dismissed the certificate forgery case filed against Kwara State Governor, Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq, following the claimant’s application to withdraw the case.
Judge Adenike Akinpelu, struck out the case after Adekunle Olufemi, who filed the case, told the court he had presented a notice of withdrawal of the case.
Olufemi told the court that he is withdrawing the case for his personal security.
Justice Akinpelu then dismissed the case since the claimant said he was no more interested in the case.
The counsel to the governor, Salman Jawondo, however, asked for the cost of N1million against the petitioner which the judge ruled against.
Akinpelu held that the withdrawal means that, the efforts of one Olusola Olaseinde who wanted to join the suit were inconsequential since the original case has been withdrawn.
Olufemi had earlier dragged Abdulrazaq to court alleging that the West African Senior School Certificate he presented to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to contest the Kwara governorship election was forged.
Senator Ademola Adeleke who was arraigned on fresh certificate charges has been granted N2million bail with one surety in like sum, must be a resident of the Federal Capital Territory.
He was arraigned on Tuesday before a magistrate court in Abuja on a five-count charge bordering on alleged false statement and forgery.
He pleaded not guilty to all the five count charges proffered against him and his lawyer, Mr Adebiyi Adeyosoye accordingly moved an application for his bail.
Shortly after the court began its proceeding, the police prosecutor assistant commissioner of police Simon lough informed the court of the charges preferred against the lawmaker and the need for him to take a plea.
But counsel to Senator Adeleke, Mr Adeyosoye, told the court that it would impracticable for the court to proceed with the arraignment on the grounds that the defendant is already standing trial on the same charge in two different high courts.
He submitted that going ahead with the arraignment would amount to an abuse of court process.
Mr Adeyosoye further told the court that Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court in Abuja had on May 3, granted Adeleke permission to travel abroad for medical attention, ordering the police not to hinder him from embarking on his medical trip out of the country.
The lawyer also presented before the court another order of a High Court in Osun, which specifically ordered the police not to arrest or prevent him from travelling abroad for medical attention.
The two court orders were tendered and admitted in evidence as exhibit A and A1.
He thereafter urged the court to adjourn indefinitely pending the hearing and determination of the two main suits.
Responding, the prosecutor, Simon Lough, opposed the application for adjournment, on the grounds that the orders of the court admitted as evidence did not say that the defendant cannot be arraigned.
Mr Lough, in addition, informed the court that the police has already filed an appeal against the orders of Justice Ekwo of the Federal High Court.
He, therefore, urged the court to dismiss the application and order the defendant to take his plea.
Ruling on the application for adjournment, the magistrate held that going by the hierarchy of court, the magistrate court is bound by the orders of a high court.
He further held that the court cannot stop the defendant from enjoying his fundamental rights as ordered by the high courts.
However, Justice Zubaru declined to adjourn the matter indefinitely on the grounds that nowhere in the two orders of the two high courts that the police were ordered not to arraign the defendant.
He subsequently ordered that the charge be read to Adeleke for him to take his plea.
Although prosecuting counsel opposed the application for bail, which the lawmaker through his counsel made, on grounds that the defendant did not show evidence of his ill health, Justice Zubaru, in his ruling held that he was mindful to grant the bail application as bail is at the discretion of the court.
The court granted the lawmaker bail in the sum of two million naira and also ordered Senator Adeleke to produce a surety in like sum, who must be a resident of the court’s jurisdiction and thereafter adjourned the matter to June 24, 2019, for the commencement of trial.
Less than an hour after the sitting the lawmaker perfected his bail conditions prompting the police vehicle that brought him to court to leave. While he left the court premises in the company of his jubilant supporters and well-wishers.
The Kwara state government has sacked 35 civil servants for certificate forgery and may soon charge them to court for the inappropriate act.
The state Head of Service, Dabarako Muhammad announced this in an interview with Channels Television correspondent in Ilorin.
He noted that his office conducted random checks of original copies of credentials by verifying from the higher institutions attended by the workers before discovering that 35 out of the 250 screened were fake.
While three people possess same certificate with same number, course and graduated same year, others who had ordinary pass changed their grades to second class lower among other discrepancies.
The Head of Service announced that the culprits had benefited from promotions based on the certificates presented until the discovery.
He described the exercise as on going and threatened that those caught might be handed over to police for prosecution.
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.