Governor Wike Dragged To Court Over Alleged Certificate Forgery - Welcome to Uju Ayalogu's Blog

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Monday, 4 February 2019

Governor Wike Dragged To Court Over Alleged Certificate Forgery

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Nyesom Wike

A court sitting in Abuja has been asked to disqualify the Governor of Rivers State from the 2019 governorship election over alleged forged certificate of birth he presented to INEC.

The Abuja division of the Federal High Court has been asked to disqualify the governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike, from contesting the state governorship election for allegedly forging the certificate of birth he presented to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for his clearance.

In a suit marked FHC / ABJ / CS /1430/3018 and filed on November 26, 2018, the plaintiff, Elvis Chinda submitted that except an order is made to disqualify  Gov Wike from contesting the election scheduled for March this year , the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) the 1st defendant will not be in a position to enforce the violation of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) committed by Wike.

Meanwhile Justice Inyang Ekwo has already adjourned hearing of the substantive suit to February 6, after the plaintiff’s counsel, Achinike William- Wobodo, informed the court that INEC who filed some processes was not represented in court.

Counsel to Gov Wike and the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Ferdinard Orbih (SAN), had urged the court to take his preliminary objection challenging the suit. But, the plaintiff’s counsel opposed the submissions on the grounds that the application was not ripe for hearing. He also said that the respondent objection would be taken after the substantive matter as it was filed out of time.

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According to the document in court, Wike had forged his certificate of birth and lied to INEC to secure his nomination as the governorship candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), for the forthcoming election in Rivers State.

The plaintiff averred that Wike breached the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) in his deposition titled: “Affidavit in Support of Personal Particulars of Persons Seeking Election to the Office /Membership of Governor (Form C. F. 001) on October 29, 2018, sworn to at the High Court Registry, Port Harcourt, which he submitted to INEC on the November 2, 2018, for the 2019 governorship election.”

He further averred that Wike’s certificate of birth (Statutory Declaration of Age) attached to his Form C.F.001 presented to INEC, purportedly deposed to on the October 3, 1986, by one Collins Nyeme Wike, had claimed that Nyesom Wike at the time of the deposition is a native of Rumuepirikom in Obio / Akpor Local Government Area of Rivers State and that the said certificate was forged.

“That as at October 3, 1986, there was no local government area known as Obio /Akpor Local Government Area in existence in Rivers State. As at 1986, Rumuepirikom was not in Obio /Akpor Local Government Area of Rivers State, but in Port Harcourt Local Government Area of Rivers State being the parent LGA from where Obio /Akpor Local Government Area was carved out.

He said that Obio /Akpor Local Government Area of Rivers State was created in 1989 by Decree No 12 of 1989, two years after the alleged forgery was committed.

That the certificate of birth (Statutory Declaration of Age) was purportedly sworn to and issued at the High/Magistrate’s Court Registry, Port Harcourt but allegedly bears stamp of the Judiciary Probate Registry, Port Harcourt.

According to the plaintiff,” there was no Court Registry, whether in 1986 or afterward known as High/Magistrate Court Registry Port Harcourt. No such Registry existed or exists anywhere in Port Harcourt or Rivers State.”

Plaintiff said the forged certificate of birth misled INEC into believing that Wike had a genuine birth certificate that confirms his alleged date of birth given as March 13, 1963.

The plaintiff stated that Wike presented the forged certificate of birth to maintain consistency and cover-up falsehood and lies which he started in 1998.

According to the  document in court, the cover-up began “in 1989, when Wike expressed desire to contest for the local chairmanship of Obio/ Akpor Local Government Area Council election in Rivers State which INEC had fixed 35 years  age for eligibility. Wike was 30 years of age then and ineligible for that election. In order to qualify for that election, he forged the certificate of birth now in contention. He has used it in subsequent elections.”

The plaintiff stated that “INEC is not in a position legally to disqualify Wike from contesting the governorship election except the court gave an order disqualifying him for the breach of Section 182 (1) (j) of the Constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Therefore, he had filed the suit in pursuant to Section 31(4),(5) and (6)of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended) and Sections 182(1)(j) and 1 (1) ,(2)of the Constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) praying the court for the following declarations:

“Whether the certificate of Birth titled Statutory Declaration of Age deposed to by one Collins Nyeme Wike, purportedly sworn to on October 3, 1986, at the High/ Court Magistrate’s Court Registry, Port Harcourt lied about/against itself and contained falsehoods.

“A declaration that the Certificate of Birth titled Statutory Declaration of Age deposed to by one Collins Nyeme Wike purportedly sworn to on October 3, 1986,  at the High/ Court Magistrate’s Court Registry, Port Harcourt and presented by (Gov. Wike) the 2nd Defendant to (INEC) the 1st Defendant on the  December 25, 2014, for the purpose of the 2015 general governorship election in Rivers State was forged.

“A declaration that, the information contained in the Affidavit Form C.F. 001 deposed to by 2nd Defendant on the  October 29, 2018 and presented to the (INEC)1st Defendant on the  November 2 2018, for the purpose of the 2019 governorship election in Rivers State was false.

‘A declaration that by the provisions of  section 182(1)(i) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended)/,(Wike) the 2nd defendant is not qualified or eligible to contest and participate in the 2019 governorship election in Rivers State or any other such election, having presented a forged certificate to (INEC) the 1st defendant.

“An order of the court directing the disqualification of (Wike) the 2nd defendant from contesting or holding out himself for the 2019 general governorship election in River State or any other elections made pursuant to the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria , 1999, (as amended) having presented a forged certificate to the 1st defendant.

‘An order of perpetual injunction restraining INEC, the 1st defendant from receiving or accepting from (PDP), the 3rd defendant or any other person any nomination of the 2nd defendant, from processing such nomination, or from presenting Wike the 2nd defendant on ballot, in respect of the2019 governorship election or any other elections made pursuant to the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended).”

The plaintiff also raised six issues for determination by the court thus:

“Whether having regards to the facts and circumstances of this case, the Certificate of Birth titled “Statutory Declaration of Age” deposed to by one Collins Nyeme Wike, purportedly sworn to on October 3,  1986, at the High/Chief Magistrate Court Registry, Port Harcourt lied about / against itself and contained falsehoods.

“Whether having regards to the facts and circumstances of this case, the Certificate of Birth titled “Statutory Declaration of Age” deposed to by one Collins Nyeme Wike purportedly sworn to on October 3, 1986, at the High/Chief Magistrate Court Registry, Port Harcourt was forged, having lied about / against itself.

“Whether having regards to the facts and circumstances of this case, the Certificate of Birth titled “Statutory Declaration of Age” deposed to by one Collins Nyeme Wike purportedly sworn to on October 3, 1986, at the High/Chief Magistrate Court Registry, Port Harcourt was presented by 2nd defendant to the Independent National Electoral Commission (1st Defendant).

“Whether the information contained in the affidavit Form C.F. 001 deposed to by the 2nd defendant on the October 29, 2018, and presented to the Independent National Electoral Commission (1st Defendant) on the November 2, 2018, for the purpose of the 2019 general governorship election in Rivers State was false.

“Whether having regards to the provision of section 182(1)(i ) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended)/, the 2nd defendant is not qualified or eligible to contest and participate in the 2019 governorship election in Rivers State, having presented a forged certificate of age to the 1st defendant.

“Whether by the combined provisions of section 182(1)(i ) and 1 (1) & (2)of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended), the 2nd defendant ought to be disqualified and declared ineligible to contest the 2019 governorship election in Rivers state made pursuant to the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended).

In a 39 paragraphs affidavit in support of the originating summons, Elvis Chinda said that he was aware that the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria disqualified any person seeking election into the office of governor, who presented a forged certificate to INEC.

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