By Ozioruva Aliu – Benin City
The Federal High Court sitting in Benin city and presided over by Hon. Justice M G. Umar has dismissed a certificate forgery suit filed by Nosa Victor Omoregie of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) against Hon. Dumez Ugiagbe of the All Progressive Congress (APC).
Both parties had contested the 9th March 2019 House of Assembly elections to represent Ovia North East Constituency I and Ugiagbe were declared the winner by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
But Omoregie had approached the Federal High Court and had amongst other prayers urged the court to declare that the defendant was not qualified to contest the said election haven allegedly tendered a forged / fake West African Senior School Certificate to INEC and to ultimately declaring that he be sworn in being the first runner up in the election.
However, Hon. Dumez Ugiagbe had by a Motion on Notice challenged the jurisdiction of the court filed by his Counsel Paul Osarenkhoe Esq. leading E.O. Oviosu Esq. and urged the court to dismiss the suit has failed to deliver its Judgment within 180 days as provided for by Section 285 (10) of the 1999 Constitution 4th alteration No. 21.
Upon argument on both sides, the Court in a considered Ruling upheld the arguments of Paul Osarenkhoe Esq learned counsel for the Applicant and dismissed the claim against Hon Dumez Ugiagbe in its entirety.
Osarenkhoe told Vanguard yesterday that “This is a matter in which there was an allegation of certificate forgery and the claimant was asking for a declaration that there was a forgery.
“They called two witnesses and they were cross-examined: one from INEC and one from WAEC, subsequently we filed an application stating that the court has lost jurisdiction to continue to entertain the matter haven failed to deliver judgment and we asked that the case be dismissed.”