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Certificate Forgery: PDP Candidate Loses Appeal Against Kogi Lawmaker

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BY JULIANA AGBO, Abuja

For filing what it described as “frivolous appeal”, candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) for House of Representatives election in Ajaokuta federal constituency of Kogi State, Hon Okino Aloysius Adeiza, has been fined by the Court of Appeal.

In a judgement delivered, yesterday, by a panel of three Justices, presided over by Justice Emmanuel Agim, the appellate court did not only dismiss Adeiza’s appeal against Hon Lawal Mohammed Idrisu of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC); it also awarded the sum of N400, 000 as cost, against the appellant.

Recall that, Hon Adeiza, in a pre-election suit filed in 2018, challenged the qualification of Hon Idrisu, alleging that he forged his National Diploma (ND) certificate, which was obtained from Yaba College of Technology, Lagos.

This was even as, Hon Adeiza who had challenged same ND certificate at the tribunal and court of appeal in 2015 when he was first defeated at the poll, lost at both courts for lack of sufficient proofs.

Justice Taiwo Taiwo, however, delivered judgement on the suit in April, 2019, saying, since the issue of certificate forgery had been settled by the tribunal and court of appeal in 2015 for lack of proofs, “the action is an abuse of court process and also statute barred”.

Irked by the ruling of Justice Taiwo of the federal high court, Hon Adeiza, through his counsel, Reuben Egwuaba (Esq), approached the Court of Appeal, praying that the judgement of the trial court be set aside and Hon Idrisu be disqualified.

Hon Idrisu, on the other hand, prayed the appellate court, through his counsels, AA Ibrahim (SAN) and Tawada Adams (Esq), to uphold the judgement delivered by Justice Taiwo.

Delivering the lead judgement, on Friday, Justice Agim frowned at the counsel to the appellant for not properly advising his client.

He said, “Lawyers should advise their clients appropriately”, stressing that “law is law, no matter how it is seen”.

Justice Agim warned that, when a judgement is given, it is given according to the principles set by law, “and you cannot undo it, no matter  how you twist it”.

He said, having been decided by the court of appeal in 2015, bringing same certificate forgery appeal before the appellate court in 2019 would amount to abuse of court process, even as he said, “there must be an end to every litigation.”

He, therefore, dismissed the appeal, upheld the judgement of the trial court and awarded N400, 000 cost to the PDP candidate.

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