Ibekimi Oriamaja Reports.
The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has filed a lawsuit with the Federal High Court in Abuja seeking to disqualify Governor Mohammed Inuwa Yahaya of Gombe state from running in the 2023 governorship election in response to allegations that he submitted forged certificates to the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.
They filed the complaint with Muhammad Barde, the PDP candidate for governor in the state. The PDP also requested that Jatau Daniel, Governor Yahaya’s deputy, be removed from office.
According to the plaintiffs in the lawsuit with file number FHC/ABJ/CS/1301/2022, while governor Yahaya submitted phony credentials that were later exposed as false by INEC on July 22, 2022, his deputy, Daniel, used multiple names on all of his educational credentials without having a legal name change submitted with the Form EC-9 to INEC.
The plaintiffs used a number of Supreme Court rulings to support their argument in the Originating Summons they submitted through their team of attorneys led by Arthur Okafor, SAN, and Johnson Usman, SAN, that the governor and his deputy should be disqualified in accordance with sections 177(d) and 182(1J) of the 1999 Constitution, as amended, because they deposed to Forms EC-9 that contained forgeries.
The plaintiffs specifically informed the court that while Manassah Jatau appeared on the deputy governor’s primary school certificate he submitted to INEC, Daniel Manassah J. appeared on the deputy governor’s West African Examination Council school certificate.
On the deputy governor’s National Youth Service Corp, or NYSC, certificate, Daniel Manassah was listed, but Manassah Daniel Jatau was not, they also told the court.
Additionally, the plaintiffs informed the court that, contrary to what governor Yahaya had claimed in his 2018 deposition, which stated that he had worked for Bauchi Investment Company Limited in 1985 and A.Y.U & Co. Ltd between 1985 and 2003, governor Yahaya had claimed in the Form EC-9 (Affidavit of Personal Particulars) he submitted to INEC that he worked for Bauchi State Investment Company Limited in 1984 and A.Y.U & Co. Ltd between 1985
When he provided his personal information in support of his eligibility to run for governor of Gombe State in 2018, Governor Yahaya claimed in his INEC FORM CF001 that he worked with A.Y.U & Co. Ltd from 1980 to 1990. The same third defendant did, however, claim to have worked for A.Y.U & Co Ltd from 1985 to 2003 in his INEC FORM EC-9 in 2022.
“That the Governor, by his INEC FORM CF001 has stated under oath that in 1980 -1990, he worked with A.Y.U. & Co Ltd, however, in 2022, the Governor stated again on oath via his INEC FORM EC-9 that he worked with the same A.Y.U. & Co. Ltd from 1985 – 2003”.
According to the Plaintiffs, the deputy governor submitted a NYSC discharge certificate stating that he started his National Youth Service in August 1979 and finished it in July 1979. The deputy governor claimed to have worked with the Nigerian Army from August 1979 to July 1980.
The Plaintiffs called the court’s attention to paragraph D of the Deputy Governor’s INEC Form EC-9, in which he said that he had worked with the Nigerian Army from July 1979 to August 1980 and that his departure from the army in July 1980 was due to the National Youth Service.
The deputy governor’s INEC FORM EC-9 revealed that he started his NYSC after leaving the Nigerian Army in July 1980, while the NYSC Certificate he presented to INEC showed that he started his NYSC in August 1979 and concluded it in July 1979, according to the PDP and its candidate.
The Plaintiffs claimed that because FORM EC-9 is an affidavit under oath, the Governor and his Deputy are ineligible to run for office.
They ask the court, among other things, to rule on whether the decision of the first defendant to publish the names of the third and fourth defendants as candidates was proper in light of the clear and unambiguous provisions of Sections 177(d) and of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as Amended), read in conjunction with the current provisions of the National Youth Service COIPS (NYSC) Act and Bye Laws as well as Section 84(3) AND (13) of the Electoral Act 2022.
The APC and INEC were listed as defendants in the case together with the governor and his deputy.
The subject will not be heard until a later date, which has not yet been set.
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