The Federal High Court sitting in Lokoja has disqualified the governorship candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Engr. Musa Wada, for forging his first school leaving certificate.
The court headed by Justice D.U Okorowo ruled that Wada was not qualified to contest the governorship election held on November 6, 2019.
The court, which delivered its judgement at 5:00pm yesterday, granted all the prayers sought by Femi Joseph, a public interest lawyer, who filed the suit brought before the court by way of originating summons against the PDP, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and Musa Wada, as 1st, 2nd and 3rd defendants respectively.
Joseph had instituted the suit upon discovering that despite tendering a forged primary school certificate, the PDP still presented Wada to INEC under oath to enable him participate in the election.
The plaintiff, who argued that it was his public duty to intervene, sought the following reliefs: A declaration that the 3rd defendant’s INEC Form, CFOO1 and the primary school certificate, bearing number 910922, attached therewith and submitted to the 2nd defendant by the 1st and 3rd defendants, contain false information regarding the 3rd defendant’s primary school certificate.
He also sought a declaration that having regard to the clear and unambiguous provisions of Section 31(5) and (6) of the Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended), vis-a-vis 3rd defendant’s INEC Form CFOO1 and the primary school certificate, bearing Number 910922, attached therewith and submitted to the 2nd defendant by the 1st and 3rd defendants, the said 3rd defendant is disqualified from contesting the Kogi State governorship election slated for 16th November, 2019, for submitting to the 2nd defendant false information regarding the 3rd defendant’s primary school certificate.
Joseph further urged the court to restrain the 2nd defendant from accepting the 3rd defendant as a candidate to contest the Kogi State governorship Election slated for 16th November, 2019.
The case had gone all the way to the Court of Appeal which ruled that the plaintiff has the right to fair hearing in the matter before it returned to the trial court.
The plaintiff’s counsel led by Gerald Ezeuko (SAN) and the defence team led by J.S. Okutepa (SAN) urged the court to disqualify the PDP candidate.
In its judgment, the court ruled that the plaintiff has proved his case beyond reasonable doubt and granted all his prayers.
Justice Okorowo held that Wada was unfit to contest the election having forged the first school leaving certificate he submitted to INEC and thus disqualified him and his party.