An investigative committee set up by the management of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory in Abuja has recommended the dismissal of three of the court’s officials and the demotion of three others for fraud which they allegedly perpetrated in a suit seeking the removal of Senator Ifeanyi Ubah as the lawmaker representing Anambra South Senatorial District.
The suit filed by Dr Obinna Uzor led to an April 11, 2019 judgment delivered by Justice Bello Kawu which sacked Ubah as senator.
Ubah, who petitioned the management of the FCT High Court alleging fraud and forgery of documents used in the suit, had appealed against the judgment.
The judgment was later set aside by the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court.
However, in the report issued after investigating Ubah’s petition, the FCT High Court’s seven-man committee headed by the court’s Deputy Chief Registrar, Administration, Madugu Alhaji, stated that it found out that “the entire suit contracted in CV/3044/18 was a fraud and does not exist in FCT High Court record”.
“The purported suit was not assigned by the Honourable Chief Judge and not found on any High Court register except the mutilated register in the processes unit,” the report added.
The committee which sat from March 10 to 12, 2020, also stated, “The Honourable Chief Judge’s signature on the assignment directive was forged and dates on the receipt of payment, processes were all altered to October 2018 to make the purported suit filed September 25, 2019 look like a pre-election matter.
“The committee discovered that out of the six receipts cross-checked by the Head of Revenue, fourt of them used in the suit were not allocated to the FCT High Court. This means that those receipts were used to perpetrate the fraud.”
The committee, which concluded that that various allegations of gross misconduct were established against some of the members of staff, recommended for dismissal, the Court Registrar of Court 25, Kingsley Ebibrah, an officer in charge of processes, Michael Uche, and a revenue officer, Michael Felix.
It also recommended for demotion by one Grade Level, a Registrar of the Bwari Division of the FCT High Court, Ibrahim Ya’u, who is on Grade Level 14, the Court Bailiff of Court 25, Abiodun Kolade, who is of Grade Level 7, and a Commissioner of Oath, Ishaku Umar, who is of Grade Level 12.
The committee exonerated a Registrar, Appeal Unit of the court, Shuaibu Alhassan.
Ubah had through his counsel, Chukwuemeka Nwuigwe, petitioned the Chief Judge of the FCT High Court, Justice Ishaq Bello, alleging that that the fraud perpetrated in the case had caused him unprecedented injustice.
Uzor had instituted the suit seeking Ubah’s sacking for allegedly submitting a forged National Examination Council certificate to the Independent National Electoral Commission in support of his nomination as a candidate for the February 23, 2019 senatorial election.
Justice Bello Kawu of the FCT High Court had, in his judgment, delivered in the suit on April 11, 2019, upheld Uzor’s case and sacked Ubah from office.