HURIWA berates judiciary for sacking senator
Deji Elumoye, Kingsley Nwezeh in Abuja and Esther Oluku in Lagos
The National Examinations Council (NECO) has written the Young Progressives Party (YPP) to authenticate the NECO result of Senator Ifeanyi Uba which debunked claims that he forged his school certificate result which was presented to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for his senatorial election.
This is coming as a civil society group, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has called the integrity of the judiciary to question following a High Court ruling in Abuja which annulled the senatorial ticket of Senator Ubah of Anambra South Senatorial District on the grounds of certificate forgery.
A High court sitting in Kubwa area of the Federal Capital Territory had on January 17, declined to set aside its judgment on the nullification of the election of the candidate of YPP, Ubah, for allegedly using a forged NECO certificate to contest the senatorial election that held in the state on February 23, 2019.
But Uba at a press briefing in Abuja presented a letter from NECO, which was a response to an application for the authentication of NECO certificate and result of the Senator.
He said that in the result of the examination which he sat for in 2003, he obtained seven credits with a failure in biology.
The letter signed by the Head of Legal and Board Affairs, Comfort Kolo, who signed on behalf of the registrar, confirmed the candidate’s number 31474672FC and examination number 303865920.
In a letter with reference number NECO/R/LGS/20/003, dated January 23, 2020 and addressed to YPP, the examination body affirmed that Senator Uba sat for the examination.
“In all, we state with every sense of duty and responsibility that both the certificate and the statement of result and confirmation of result are genuine”, NECO said.
Uba said his opponents maligned him and attempted to destroy his reputation.
He said the judgment against him did not take cognisance of the difference between a certificate and a statement of result.
“I wrote to NECO and they have replied me. I had credits in seven subjects and failed biology. What I submitted to INEC was the certificate as required. They have tried to confuse the judge and malign me and I want to set the record straight”, he said.
Speaking earlier, Head of the Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), Emmanuel Onwubiko, said the judgment of the FCT High Court made factual errors notably the date the election took place and the reference to statement of result instead of certificate.
Onwubiko maintained that the said certificate is in no way forged, adding that the judge may have been deceived or was not given access to the right information before executing judgment.
Onwubiko stated that the miscarriage of judgment is damaging to the central place of integrity in the judicial arm of government.
Onwubiko added that having set up a team to investigate the judgment by the Abuja High Court presided over by Hon. Justice Bello Kawu dated April 11, 2019 marked as suit No: CV/3044/18, the group submitted that the errors trailing the final judgment by the High Court include dating of the election.
“We are absolutely gutted that a judge of a High Court could reach such a sweeping determination without any sort of forensics or even calling for evidence from the federal government agency that is the custodian of the certificate which was tendered by Senator Ifeanyi Ubah to INEC, verified to be correct and which both the court of first instance and Appellate court had certified to be correct. Sadly, the court relied only on the affidavits tendered by the plaintiffs.
“Also the judge exhibited extensive lack of appreciation of the conceptual distinctions between the words certificate and statement of result, which the judge in his text of the judgment interchangeably identified these two items as one and the same,”
He further stated that in a letter with the particulars as follows NECO/R/LGS/20/003, dated January 23, 2020, NECO was tasked to respond to the application for the authentication of NECO Certificate and Statement of Result of Sen. Ifeanyi Ubah to which it responded rendering both to the court in question.
Onwubiko stated that the judgment of the Abuja High Court has adversely eroded the integrity of the court system and must be redressed and the judge called to order immediately.