Alex Enumah in Abuja
Justice C. O. Agbaza of an Abuja High Court sitting in Jabi, Abuja, on Friday dismissed a certificate forgery suit brought against a House of Representatives member for Ajaokuta Federal Constituency of Kogi State, Lawal Mohammad Idirisu, for lacking in merit.
Justice Agbaza in a ruling delivered dismissed the suit on the grounds that it was caught up by the Fourth Alteration of the 1999 Constitution.
A House of Representatives aspirant, Yusuf Balogun, had shortly after the primaries of the All Progressives Congress (APC) held in October 2018, approached the court to challenge the emergence of Idirisu as the APC candidate for the Ajaokuta Federal Constituency.
The plaintiff sought the nullification of Idirisu’s candidacy on the grounds that he was not qualified to vie for the position having not met the requisite academic qualification.
In an originating summons filed at the FCT High Court on January 17, 2019, Balogun prayed the court to nullify the candidacy of Idirisu over alleged forgery of National Diploma (ND) certificate.
But Idirisu, in a notice of preliminary objection argued by his lawyer, M.S. Ibrahim, urged the court to dismiss the suit on the grounds that it was statute barred and constituted gross abuse of court processes.
He contended that the same certificate forgery case had already been adjudicated upon in 2015 and 2019 by both the Federal High Court and Court of Appeal.
Ruling on the preliminary objection, Justice Agbaza berated the plaintiff for filing the suit out of time and in contravention of established law, especially the Electoral Act 2010.
In the 15-page ruling, the court held that the suit was not only statute and time barred, but it has also severally been litigated in different courts of cognate and higher jurisdictions and as such, an abuse of court process.
The judge, while dismissing the suit, described the action of the plaintiff as “judicial rascality” as his suit “lacks leg to stand upon”.
Hon. Aloysius Okino Adeiza of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), had in 2015 challenged the qualification of Idirisu to contest the House of Representatives election, but lost the suit at both the tribunal sitting in Lokoja and the appellate court.