Alleged Certificate Forgery: Court Grants Reps Member N5m Bail

An Abuja Area Court has granted bail of N5 million to a serving Federal lawmaker, Ahmed Abubakar Ndakene.

The lawmaker is being trialed for alleged certificate forgery.

The Reps member, who represents Edu/Moro/Patigi constituency of Kwara was alleged to be involved in certificate forgery.

He appeared before the Court over alleged criminal breach of section 88(1), 89(3) and 109c of the Administrative Criminal Justice Act (ACJA) 2015.

At the resumed hearing, the complainant Lead Counsel, Labio Orji prayed the court to allow Ndakene take a stand to take his plea.

But Alex Edim, the Lead Counsel to Ndakene opposed the application and predicated his objection on Section 89 (5) of the ACJA, 2015.

In the stated section according to Edim, the court is conferred with the power to refer any matter before it to the police for investigation before any further action can be taken.

“All complaints made directly to the court may be referred to the police for investigation before any action can be taken.

“Sections 106 and 89 of the Act did not give any private individual any right to prosecute or commence criminal proceedings or matter before following the due process or seeking for approval and fiat of the Attorney General,” Edim stated.

He therefore urged the court to use its discretion and for the interest of justice to allow the police to investigate the matter and by doing so the case would not be prejudiced.

The judge, Inuwa Maiwada, after listening to the submissions of both counsels pointed out that the Sections quoted did not specify that only the police could investigate a matter but any security operative agency.

Maiwada also said the law stipulated that where an issue cropped up before an arraignment, the defendant will remain in the custody of the court.

The judge said due to the outbreak of coronavirus pandemic and the need to decongest the correctional facility he will grant the defendant bail.

He therefore granted the defendant bail in the sum of N5 million and one reasonable surety in like sum with a financial standing for the bond to be entered.

Maiwada equally ordered that the surety must reside within the court jurisdiction which must be verified by the court officials and adjourned the matter until June 11 for ruling on submission of the points raised by both counsel.

The nominal complainant, Mahmud Hassan Babako, a candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in the election that Ndakene emerged as winner, under the All Progressive Congress (APC), alleged that he forged his certificates.

Babako also alleged that the said forged document was presented to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in the form he used to contest for the election.

He equally alleged that the defendant deposed on oath to facts which were not true and his occupying the seat of his constituency was based on false information and forged documents.




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