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Forged Certificates Saga: Fed High Court urged to disqualify Gov. Yahaya and Deputy from 2023 polls

by Christiana Gokyo, Jos

GOMBE STATE – The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and its Gombe State Governorship Candidate, Muhammad Jibrin Barde have urged the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja to disqualify Governor Mohammed Inuwa Yahaya of Gombe State and his Deputy, Jatau Manasseh Daniel, from contesting and participating in the 2023 Governorship Election in Gombe State – for alleged submission of forged certificates.

A  SUIT, NO: FJC/ABJ/CS/1301/2022, between People’s Democratic Party & 2 Ors v. INEC & 3 Ors filed on the 2nd August, 2022, PDP prayed the Court to disqualify the Inuwa and his deputy from contesting the election, having submitted forged documents and certificates to INEC, which were published on 22nd July, 2022.

The Originating Summons filed on their behalf by two Senior Advocates of Nigeria, Chief Arthur Obi Okafor, SAN, and  J.J. Usman, SAN, the Plaintiffs submitted relying on series of Supreme Court decisions that Inuwa and his Deputy, having deposed to FORMS EC-9, the said Forms constitute Certificates and making false statement in them amount to submitting forged certificates, which is a disqualifying ground under Sections 177(d) and 182(1)(j) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as Amended).

Conscience Triumph learned that, during the court processes, the Plaintiffs alleged that Jatau bears multiple names in his certificates to wit, while Certificate of Primary Education is “Manasseh Jatau,” while the West African Examination Council School Certificate is bearing “Daniel Manasseh J.” 

Also, his University of Maiduguri Certificate bears “Manasseh Daniel Jatau,” while his National Youth Service Corp Certificate bears “Daniel Manasseh” and without a deed poll and any valid change of name attached to his Form EC-9 submitted to INEC.

The Plaintiffs alleged that in 2022, Gov. Inuwa submitted FORM EC-9 Affidavit of Personal Particulars of Person seeking election into the Office of Governor of Gombe State where he stated that he worked in Bauchi State Investment Company Limited in 1984, A.Y.U. & Co. Ltd between 1985 and 2003 as against what he deposed to in 2018 as working in Bauchi Investment Company Limited in 1985, A.Y.U. & Co. Ltd between 1980 and 1990.

It also stated that, Gov. Inuwa in 2018, while presenting his personal particulars to INEC to participate in the Gombe State Governorship election, stated in his INEC FORM CF 001 that he worked with A.Y.U. & Co. Ltd from 1980 to 1990, while in 2022, the same Inuwa stated in his INEC FORM EC-9 that he worked with A.Y.U. & Co Ltd from 1985 to 2003.

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 same Inuwa stated again on oath via his INEC FORM EC-9 that he worked with the same A.Y.U. & Co. Ltd from 1985 to 2003.

The Plaintiffs noted that, Inuwa’s Deputy attached his Certificate of National Youth Service Corp, dated the 31st July, 1980, which stated thus:

“This is to certify that Daniel Manasseh NYSC/Mad/79/6201 has satisfactorily completed one year of the National Service, from 1st August 1979, to 31st July 1979, in accordance with Section 11 of the National Youth Service Corps Decree No. 24 of 1973.”

The Plaintiffs further contended that, the Deputy Governor, who claimed to be working with the Nigerian Army from the period of August 1979 till July 1980, has submitted an NYSC Discharge Certificate that stated on its face that he commenced his National Youth Service in August, 1979, and completed same in July, 1979.

The Plaintiffs also contended that, from the Paragraph D of the Jatau’s INEC Form EC-9, he claimed that he worked for the Nigerian Army, from July 1979 till August 1980, and his reason for leaving the Nigerian Army in July, 1980, was for the National Youth Service. 

The Plaintiffs contended further that, in Jatau’s INEC FORM EC-9, he commenced his NYSC after he left the Nigerian Army in July, 1980, but submitted an NYSC Certificate that stated he commenced his National Youth Service in August, 1979, and ended in July, 1979.

While arguing that the FORM EC-9 being an affidavit on oath, both the Gov Inuwa and his Deputy, Jatau, having made false statements therein, have committed forgery and are not qualified to contest the election, which they have set themselves to do.

While the plaintiffs urged the court to disqualify Gov Inuwa and his Deputy, Jatau, however, no date has been given for next hearing of the case.

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