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5 Mar 2019

Elections: Court Dismisses Forgery Allegation Case Against Niger Governor

A Federal High Court in Minna on Monday, dismissed a case of alleged certificate forgery filed against Governor Abubakar Bello of Niger State.

The Peoples Democratic party (PDP) had gone to the court, seeking Mr Bello’s disqualification from the governorship election in Niger.

The party accused Mr Bello, candidate of the All progressives Congress (APC), of presenting a forged certificate of statutory declaration of age to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC)

The PDP further accused the governor of making false declarations while completing INEC’s form CF001 for the purpose of the governorship election.

Another ground upon which the PDP sought to Mr Bello’s disqualification was an allegation that he submitted a forged National Examination Council certificate of his running mate, Ahmed Ketso, to INEC.

Delivering judgment, Justice Aminu Aliyu, held that the suit was filed out time thereby negating Section 285 (9) of Nigeria’s constitution.

Mr Aliyu further held that the plaintiff’s case lacked merit and could not establish that Bello presented forged certificate to INEC.

He dismissed the matter and awarded a cost of N500, 000 to Mr Bello and APC.

Reacting to the judgment, counsel to the plaintiff, Aliyu Lemu, expressed dissatisfaction with the judgment, saying that his clients would appeal.

Also reacting, Jibril Okutepa (SAN), Yunus Usman (SAN) and Johnson Usman, counsel to Mr Bello and APC, said the judgment was further proof that the judiciary was the last hope of the common man.

(NAN)

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