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Bindow’s alleged forgery case returns to Abuja court

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Governor Muhammadu Umaru Jibrilla Bindow of Adamawa State

The alleged certificate forgery case of Adamawa State governor, Mohammed Bindow, has been returned to the chief judge of Federal High Court Abuja, a month after Justice Babatunde Quadri of the same court transferred it to Yola, Adamawa capital.

When the case was mentioned yesterday in Yola, Justice Abdullaziz Anka adjourned hearing for one hour and 28 minutes for a private session with counsel to both parties in his chamber.

But the plaintiff’s counsel left the chamber after about 38 minutes.

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After another 30 minutes, all the counsel to the defendants returned to the court with the judge.

In delivering his two-minute judgement, Justice Anka said that, for personal reasons, he could no longer handle the case; hence he transferred it to the chief judge of the Abuja court for trial or re-assignment to another judge.

Reacting to the ruling, counsel to the defendant, Chris Uche (SAN), said the plaintiff was artificial. “He is not from Adamawa State, not a member of All Progressives Congress (APC) or not a contestant; so he lacks the locus standi to challenge the governor’s certificate.”

Uche, who was silent on the authenticity of his client’s certificate, said he was fully prepared to follow the case to any level.

Fielding questions from journalists after the court session, head counsel to the plaintiff, Edward Omaga, said the judge’s action was in line with the provisions of the law and that he did not violate any section of the law by transferring the case to the chief judge of Abuja FHC.

Omaga added that he submitted 10 exhibits to prove to the court that Governor Bindow had previously used the alleged forged certificate purportedly issued to him by West African Examinations Certificate (WAEC).

Citing section 182(j) of the constitution that bars anyone who had submitted forged certificate to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) from contesting any election, and section 177 that set educational qualifications for contestants, he declared the governor ineligible to contest.

“Yesterday, WAEC replied our letter requesting them to confirm the result the governor is using as his.

“WAEC stated very clearly that the result belongs to another person who graduated from a school in Mangu, Plateau State. So, it is left for the governor to prove that he is the real owner of the result,” he stated.

On the argument of Uche, who appeared in court with three other SANs, that the plaintiff lacks locus standi to challenge the governor’s certificate, he said that any individual or corporate organisation has the legal backing to seek justice in the courts in public interest.


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