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The Supreme Court on Friday said anybody found to have forged certificates to seek qualification to contest for any elective post in the country will not go unpunished because of the criminality involved.

The apex court said the issue of certificate forgery to secure eligibility for election is a serious issue that must not be allowed in the country’s body polity.


Delivering judgment in the disputed Okpokwu, Ado, and Ogbadibo Federal Constituency of Benue State, (House of Representatives) suit, Justice Sidi Dauda Badeh said Nigeria will be doomed when certificate forgers are allowed to take center stage in the elections for political offices.

Justice Badeh who delivered judgment in the appeal filed by Honourable Hassan Anthony Saleh upheld his nomination by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as the candidate of the party in the 2015 National Assembly Election.

The Apex court said the challenger to the appellant, Mr Christian Abba, who is laying claim to the ticket of PDP for the Federal Constituency must not be allowed to have his way because he has soiled his hands in a proven certificate forgery.

Abba who was a respondent in the matter was confirmed by the Federal Polytechnic, Mubi in Adamawa State to have forged a National Diploma Certificate in Accountancy upon which he was forced to withdraw from the same race in 2011 but in a dramatic turn used the same forged certificate to secure PDP ticket in the 2014 PDP Primary Election.

Justice Badeh said the Supreme Court, being the highest court in the land must take the lead in righting the wrong so as to bring sanity into the murky waters of the country’s electioneering process.

He said the water of the Nigeria Political body will remain murky and contaminated until the people who forged certificate with reckless impunity are shown the way out and that must begin now.

Justice Badeh said that Abba has no basis to be in the race for the National Assembly election in 2015 having being found to have secured the eligibility through forged certificate.

“Let me say it here categorically and with emphasis that this court, being the highest court in the country must rise and take the lead in righting the wrongs in our electioneering process.

“The murky water will remain contaminated in our body polity until the reckless issue of certificate forgery with impunity is thoroughly address and put to a final end in our own interest,”

The Apex court therefore, nullified the nomination of Abba and ordered that the clearance issued to him by PDP for the National Assembly Election must be withdrawn.

In the same vein, the Apex court ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to immediately withdraw the purported Certificate of Return issued to Abba on the ground that he did not merit it.

The Supreme Court ordered that PDP ticket for the constituency must be delivered to Honourable Hassan Anthony Saleh who came second in the 2014 PDP primary election.

The court also ordered INEC that the certificate of return for the seat must be delivered to Saleh being the qualified person to fly the flag of PDP for the 2015 National election.

A Court of Appeal judgment which had earlier recognized Abba as PDP candidate was set aside by the Apex court and in its place the judgment of the Federal High Court which nullified the candidature of Abba and recommended his arrest and prosecution by the Inspector General of Police delivered by Justice Adeniyi Ademola was restored.

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