Nigeria: Again, Court Insists PDP Has No Candidate in Kogi Guber Election

27 March 2020

The Federal High Court in Lokoja, Kogi State, has once again disqualified the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) standard bearer in the November 16, 2019 governorship election, saying the party had no candidate in the election.

Justice D.U Okorowo, who delivered the judgment in the case of Femi Peter vs. (1) PDP (2) INEC (3) Musa Atayi Wada in suit No: FHC/ABJ/CS/1147/2019 last Wednesday, granted all prayers sought by the petitioner.

The suit, which was filed by a lawyer, public interest litigator and citizen of Kogi State, Femi Peter, sought among other prayers, an order disqualifying Musa Atayi Wada (the PDP candidate in the November 16, 2019, Kogi State gubernatorial election) from contesting the election having presented false information/false document to INEC in support of his candidacy.

It was alleged that Musa Wada forged the certificate of his primary education which he presented to INEC together with his Form CF001.

It was also alleged that he presented false information on oath when he stated in his Form CF001 submitted to INEC that he had never presented a forged certificate to INEC. In proof of his claims, the plaintiff supplied letters written by both Kwara and Kogi State Ministries of Education confirming that Wada's certificate of primary education was not authentic.

Also supplied were sample certificates issued in 1973 which showed clearly that Wada's certificate bore no semblance in content and character (including serial number) as those genuinely issued by the Ministry of Education of Kwara State in 1973.

Justice Okorowo, after analysing the avalanche of evidence provided by the plaintiff held that the plaintiff has proved beyond reasonable doubt that the certificate of primary education of Wada was a forged/false document, and that he lied in his Form CF001 when he answered 'NO' to the question whether he had ever presented a forged certificate to INEC.

Consequently, the court, pursuant to Section 31(5) of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended) among other reliefs granted, disqualified Wada from contesting in the November 16, 2019, Kogi State gubernatorial election.

The essence of this decision is that the PDP did not participate or have a qualified candidate in the 2019 governorship election in Kogi State.

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