. Orders Police Prosecution
Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission to withdraw the certificate of return issued to Christian Abah (Also Known As Mad Lion), for the Ado/Okpokwu/Ogbadibo Federal Constituency seat in the House of
Representatives of the forthcoming 8th National Assembly.
Justice Adeniyi Ademola, delivering judgment in the suit challenging Abah’s eligibility to stand for the election, said the allegation of certificate forgery brought against the respondent by the plaintiff, Mr. Hassan Saleh, has been duly established to be true.
According to the suit, Abah is accused of forging an Ordinary National Diploma certificate in Accountancy allegedly obtained from the Federal Polytechnic, Mubi, in 1985.
The judge held that his findings revealed that a judgment delivered by the National/State Assembly Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Makurdi on September 6, 2011, and a letter by the Registrar of the polytechnic, Mr. Suleiman Buba, confirmed that the certificate presented by by Abah to INEC was forged. He therefore ordered the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Solomon Arase, to commence the immediate prosecution of Abah for forgery and perjury.
Abah, a member of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, was declared unopposed and elected for being the only candidate presented for the March 28, 2015 election.
According to Justice Ademola, all the votes that went to Abah in the PDP primary of December 6, 2014, was wasted and declaring Saleh, who came second as the winner of the primary. He subsequently ordered INEC to issue a fresh certificate of return to Saleh.
The court further ordered the incoming Speaker of the 8th National Assembly to swear in Saleh as the member representing Ado/Okpokwu/Ogbadibo Federal Constituency.
Justice Ademola frowned at the conduct of the counsel for PDP and Abah, Mr. S.I Ameh, SAN, for the frivolous applications and tactics to delay the hearing of the case, ordering that the processes filed in the suit and his judgment be served on the Nigerian Bar Association, the Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Committee, the Legal Practitioners Privileges Committee so as to take appropriate sanctions against Ameh.
He imposed a N450, 000 fine on the PDP, INEC and Abah, who were the defendants in the suit, in favor of the plaintiff.
Reacting to the judgment, Saleh said it was a good judgment and a true representation of justice. He however regretted that the case which would have been settled amicably out of court was left to drag for long as some elements made Abah who ordinarily would have welcomed an out of court resolution to remain adamant.