The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its Gombe State governorship candidate, Muhammad Jibrin Barde, have approached a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja to disqualify Governor Mohammed Inuwa Yahaya of Gombe State and his deputy, Jatau Manassah Daniel, from contesting and participating in the 2023 governorship election in Gombe State for allegedly submitting forged certificates.

In a suit No: FJC/ABJ/CS/1301/2022 between Peoples Democratic Party & 2 Ors v. INEC & 3 Ors filed on August 2, 2022, PDP prayed the Court to disqualify Governor Inuwa and his deputy from contesting the Gombe State governorship election having allegedly submitted forged documents and certificates to INEC, which were published on July 22, 2022.

In an Originating Summons filed on their behalf by two Senior Advocates of Nigeria, Chief Arthur Obi Okafor, SAN and J.J. Usman, SAN, the Plaintiffs submitted relying on series of Supreme Court decisions that Inuwa and his deputy having deposed to FORMS EC-9, the said Forms constitute Certificates and making false statement in them amount to submitting forged certificates which is a disqualifying ground under Sections 177(d) and 182(1)(j) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as Amended).

In the Court processes obtained by our correspondent, the Plaintiffs 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)
National Youth Service Corps 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, Governor Inuwa submitted FORM EC-9 (Affidavit of Personal particulars of Person seeking election into the office of governor of Gombe State) where he stated that he worked in Bauchi State Investment Company Limited in 1984, A.Y.U & Co.Ltd between 1985-2003 as against what he deposed to in 2018 as working in Bauchi Investment Company Limited in 1985, A.Y.U & Co. Ltd between 1980-1990.

That Governor Inuwa 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 – 1990, while 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.

According to the Plaintiffs, Inuwa’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 1st August 1979 to 31st July 1980 in accordance with sSction 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 1980 has submitted an NYSC discharge certificate that stated on its face that he 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 Plaintiffs argued that FORM EC-9 being an affidavit on oath, both the Governor Inuwa and his Deputy Jatau having made false statements therein, have committed forgery and are not qualified to contest the election which they have set themselves to do.

The Plaintiffs, therefore, urged the Court to disqualify the duo.

No date has been given for the hearing of the case.

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