”The PDP argued that being an affidavit on oath, both Yahaya and his deputy, having made false statements on INEC FORM EC-9, had committed forgery and should, therefore, be disqualified from contesting the state election.”
By Idris Saidu
365Daily – The main opposition party in Gombe State, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has urged a Federal High Court in Abuja to disqualify the Governor of the state, Inuwa Yahaya and his deputy, Jatau Daniel, from contesting in the 2023 Governorship Election for allegedly submitting forged certificates to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The disqualification request was contained in a Suit No: FJC/ABJ/CS/1301/2022, was filed by the party and its governorship candidate, Muhammad Barde, against INEC and others.
In an Originating Summons filed by two Senior Advocates of Nigeria, Chief Arthur Okafor, and J.J. Usman, on behalf of the plaintiffs, the party relied on a series of Supreme Court decisions.
The PDP said that Yahaya and Jatau, having deposed to FORMS EC-9, made false statements in them that amounted to submitting forged certificates.
It added that the act is a disqualifying ground under Sections 177(d) and 182(1)(j) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as Amended).
The plaintiffs further alleged that Jatau bears multiple names in his certificates to wit :Certificate of primary Education (Manassah Jatau)
“West African examination Council School Certificate (Daniel Manassah J); University of Maiduguri Certificate (Manassah Daniel Jatau) and National Youth Service Corp Certificate (Daniel Manassah), without a deed poll and any valid change of name attached to his Form EC-9 submitted to INEC.”
The plaintiffs alleged that in 2022, Yahaya submitted FORM EC-9 (Affidavit of Personal particulars of Person seeking election into the office of governor of Gombe State), wherein he declared that he worked in the Bauchi State Investment Company Ltd. in 1984, and A.Y.U & Co. Ltd. between 1985-2003, as against what he deposed to in 2018 as working in Bauchi Investment Company Ltd. in 1985, A.Y.U & Co. Ltd between 1980-1990.
They stated: “Yahaya in 2018 while presenting his personal particulars to INEC to participate in the Gombe state governorship election, stated in his INEC FORM CF001 that he worked with A.Y.U & Co. Ltd. from 1980 to 1990.
“That, however, in 2022, the same Inuwa stated in his INEC FORM EC-9 that he worked with A.Y.U. & Co Ltd from 1985 – 2003.
“The Governor, by his INEC FORM CF001, has stated under oath that in 1980 -1990, he worked with A.Y.U. & Co Ltd.
“However, in 2022, the same Inuwa stated again on oath via his INEC FORM EC-9 that he worked with the same A.Y.U. & Co. Ltd from 1985 – 2003.”
For Yahaya’s deputy, the plaintiffs alleged that Yahaya’s deputy attached his Certificate of National Youth Service Corps dated July 31, 1980, which stated thus:
“This is to certify that Daniel Manassah NYSC/Mad/79/6201 has satisfactorily completed one year of the national Service from Aug. 1, 1979 to July 31, 1980 in accordance with section 11 of the national Youth Service Corps decree No. 24 of 1973.”
The plaintiffs further contended that, the deputy governor who claimed to be working with the Nigeria Army from the period of August 1979 till July 1979 submitted an NYSC discharge certificate with contrary information.
The plaintiffs alleged that the NYSC discharge certificate stated on its face that Jatau commenced his National Youth service in August 1979 and completed same in July 1979.
The plaintiffs also contended that from the paragraph D of the Jatau’s INEC Form EC-9, he claimed that he worked for the Nigeria Army from July 1979 till August 1980 and his reason for leaving the Nigeria Army in July 1980 was for the National Youth Service.
The plaintiffs contended further that in Jatau’s INEC FORM EC-9, he commenced his NYSC after he left the Nigeria Army in July 1980 but submitted an NYSC Certificate that stated he commenced his National Youth Service in August 1979 and ended in July 1979.
The PDP argued that being an affidavit on oath, both Yahaya and his deputy, having made false statements on INEC FORM EC-9, had committed forgery and should, therefore, be disqualified from contesting the state election.
No date has been fixed for hearing in the suit.