A Federal High Court sitting in Niger state has dismissed a case of certificate forgery against the state governor, Abubakar Bello.
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) had in January 2019 approached the court seeking it to order the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to disqualify the All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship candidate in March 9th election in the state, Gov Abubakar Sani Bello for alleged forgery of declaration of age certificate.
It also alleged that Governor Bello submitted a University of Maiduguri certificate dated November 2, 1993 to INEC and made a false declaration in form CF001 that he graduated in 1991 from the same university.
The third ground on which the PDP sought the disqualification of Bello from the governorship race is that his running mate, Ahmed Ketso, was said to have submitted a forged NECO certificate to INEC bearing Muhammed Ahamad.
However, the presiding judge, Justice Aminu Aliyu on Monday, 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 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.