An Abuja Area Court in Karmo on Monday ordered the police in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) to investigate allegations of certificate forgery against a Kwara State lawmaker, Ahmed Ndakene.
When the matter which was slated for ruling on the outcome of investigation conducted by the Utako Divisional Police came up, the judge, Inuwa Maiwada said he has studied the submissions of counsels supporting and opposing the police request for more time to submit its investigation report.
The judge said in the spirit of Section 1 (1) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA), 2015, he agreed with the defence since their issue was on avoidance of further delay in order for the suit to be speedily disposed of.
He therefore, ruled in favour of the defence counsel, Alex Edim in his submission for the police to be given the one week it requested, to conclude its investigation.
Maiwada thereafter made orders directing the Utako Divisional Police to transmit all documents and investigation pertaining to the case to the FCT police commissioner.
The judge in addition ordered that the FCT police command should authenticate, ratify and conclude its report and submit same to the court within seven working days. He concluded by adjourning the matter until July 15, for ruling on the report from the FCT Police Command.
On the last adjourned date, the complainant’s counsel, Labio Oji, had frowned at the police submission requesting for one week to conclude its investigation and urged the court to use its discretion to refer the matter to a higher police station.
Oji premised his application on Section 1 (1) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA), 2015, which advocates the speedy dispensation of justice.
He further said the court was not a dumping ground as the police which was given two weeks to submit its investigation report could not deliver on the responsibility assigned to it and prayed the court to use its discretionary power to refer the matter to a higher police station.
But, defence counsel, Alex Edim, in replying to Oji’s application, objected on grounds that the section cited by Oji at a cursory look was in favour of the defence position, arguing that to refer the matter to another police station will take more time as they will commence on the investigation all over.
Edim also refuted Oji’s submission that the matter be referred to a higher police station as according to him all police stations were headed by a divisional police officer.
The court’s directive for the police to conduct an investigation was sequel to the allegation brought against Ndakene through direct criminal complaint by Mahmud Babako.
Babako, who was a candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the election that Ndakene emerged as winner on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) had alleged that the defendant forged his certificate.
Babako alleged that Ndakene, who represents Edu/Moro/Patigi Federal Constituency of Kwara State, had criminally breached the provisions of Section 88(1), 89(3) and 109 (c) of the Administrative Criminal Justice Act (ACJA), 2015.