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Breaking: Rep-Elect Loses Seat Over Certificate Forgery

*As Court Asks IG To Commence His Prosecution

By Ganiyu Nasirudeen- The dream of a PDP elected member of the House of Representatives, Mr. Christian Abah of joining his colleagues in the 8th National Assembly has been cut short as a Federal High Court in Abuja Wednesday directed the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to invalidate the certificate of return earlier issued to him.

In his ruling, Justice Adeniyi Ademola, in the suit filed by Hassan saleh, contesting Abah’s eligibility to stand for the election, held that the allegation of certificate forgery leveled against the first respondent (Abah) has been proved to be true beyond reasonable doubts.

The plaintiff alleged that Abah forged the National Diploma (ND) certificate in Accountancy he claimed to obtain from the Federal Polytechnic Mubi, Adamawa, in 1985 and which he submitted to the INEC.

The judge reiterated that outcome of the investigations indicated that an earlier judgment of the National/State Assembly Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Makurdi, the Benue State capital, delivered on September 6, 2011 as well as the purported letter written by the institution’s Registrar, Mr. Suleiman Buba, confirmed that the certificate was fake.

Consequently, the court ordered the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mr. Solomon Arase, to immediately commence prosecution of Abah, who was recently elected to represent Ado/Okpokwu/Ogbadibo of Benue State Federal Constituency seat for forgery and perjury.

Abah, was returned unopposed by the INEC as he was the only candidate fielded for the March 28, 2015 Presidential and National Assembly elections in his constituency.

Sequel to the ruling, Justice Ademola established that the votes he garnered during the State’s NASS primary held December 6, 2014, were invalid, hence simultaneously ordered that a new Certificate of return be issued to the plaintiff, Mr. Hassan Saleh.


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