House Of Rep-Elect For Benue Contests Court Decision Over His Certificate Forgery

House Of Rep-Elect For Benue Contests Court Decision Over His Certificate Forgery

By Seyi Peters | Staff Reporter on May 26, 2015
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national Assembly
National Assembly Complex, Abuja

A Benue House of Representatives member-elect whose victory was nullified on grounds of a forged certificate is contesting the validity of the decision against him.

It would be recalled that Christian Abah initially won the  seat to represent Ado/Okpokwu/Ogbadibo, but was later discovered to have been found guilty of forging an Ordinary National Diploma from the Federal Polytechnic, Mubi in 1985.

Based on this discovery, Justice Adeniyi Ademola of a Federal High Court in Abuja ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), to nullify the certificate of return issued to Abah as he held that the allegation of certificate forgery filed against him, by Mr. Hassan Saleh, the plaintiff, was proved.

Abah has however applied to the Court of Appeal to set aside the judgement of the Federal High Court.

In a notice of Appeal by his lawyer, Sunday Ameh (SAN), Abah said that the judgement of Justice Adeniyi was delivered without jurisdiction, hence was null.

According to Mr.Ameh, speaking to pressmen on Monday, May 25, 2015, “When the trial court heard the substantive matter on April 24, 2015 and reserved judgement to an unspecified date, it no longer had jurisdiction in view of the appeal that had been entered in the Supreme Court and the pending motion for stay of proceedings.”

Mr. Ameh also faulted the refusal of the trial judge to convert the originating summons with which the plaintiff filed the case to a writ of summons.

“This suit is for a declaration that the appellant committed act of fraud, which cannot be entertained by way of originating summons.

“The manner in which the suit before the lower court was commenced is grossly incompetent and the lower court lacked jurisdiction to entertain it.”

Abah’s counsel went on to say that there was no evidence before the lower court to support the finding that his client (Ubah) committed fraud and perjury. He also declared that the documents submitted by the plaintiff were discredited by the documents submitted by the appellant.

The Senior Advocate thus appealed to the Court of Appeal to set aside the judgement of the lower court saying that it was against the weight of evidence. He also asked the Court of Appeal to remit the case back to the Federal High Court to conduct a fresh trial.

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