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Certificate Forgery: Court Dismisses Case Against Niger’s Governor Bello

A Federal High Court sitting in Niger State has dismissed a case of certificate forgery filed by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) against the state governor, Abubakar Bello.

The PDP on January 11, 2019, filed a suit against the Governor alleging that he submitted forged certificates to the Independent National Electoral Commission.

In today’s proceeding, the presiding judge, Justice Aminu Aliyu upheld the objections of the defendants that the suit having being filed outside 14 days runs foul of Section 285 (9) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended).

The Court held that the Plaintiff has failed to establish that Governor Bello presented forged certificate to INEC as the sole witness called by PDP was demolished under cross-examination by the Defendants’ Counsel.

In conclusion, the court further held that the Plaintiff’s case is devoid of merit, dismissed the same and awarded cost of N500,000 to the 1st and 2nd Defendants.

Expressing their views, Counsel to the Governor, Mr Jibrin Samuel Okutepa (SAN) states that the case against his client is nothing but meant for political amusement and that from on-set, the Plaintiff set out on a mission that is nothing but for political amusement.

On his part, Counsel to APC, Yunus Ustaz Usman (SAN) says he is satisfied with the judgment and noted that the case was bound to fail on all sides.

Counsel to INEC, Johnson Usman stated that he is satisfied with the judgment as the Judgment was sound and in line with the state of the law in all aspect.

He finally concluded by saying that the Plaintiff having withdrawn all his reliefs apart from the omnibus reliefs, the court was very magnanimous and over diligence in considering those reliefs.

Counsel to the Plaintiff, Aliyu Lemu who said he was dissatisfied with the judgment because the Judge erred in law, indicated his interest to appeal against the judgment.


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