….as AA alleges certificate forgery

By Ikechukwu Nnochiri, ABUJA

Despite his withdrawal as the Vice Presidential candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, Mr. Ibrahim Masari is facing a fresh legal hurdle, as another political party, the Action Alliance, AA, has approached the Federal High Court in Abuja to challenge his educational qualifications.

AA, through its lawyer, Mr. Ukpai Ukairo, alleged that some of the documents the former running mate of the presidential candidate of the APC, Bola Tinubu, tendered to the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, were forged.

The party, said it had since July 7, after it discovered discrepancies in documents Masari submitted to the electoral body in aid of his qualification, instituted a case against him.

It said the documents were attached to the Form EC9 that is already before INEC.

Cited as 1st to 4th Defendants in the suit marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/10972022, are the INEC, APC, Masari and Tinubu.

While contending that Masari was, ab-initio, not qualified to contest the 2023 presidential election as a running mate, the Plaintiff, argued that the Defendants, especially the APC, were bound jointly and severally by the 1999 Constitution and the Electoral Act, 2022, to uphold the tenets and ethos of integrity.

It argued that a breach of such tenets and ethos as manifest in the instant case, is a breach of the 1999 Constitution, as amended and the Constitution of the 2nd Defendant (APC).

“The act of presenting a forged certificate is an infraction of the national ethics.

“The 2nd Defendant by nominating and presenting the 3rd Defendant as a Vice Presidential candidate is in breach of its constitution.

“A political party that breached its constitution in selecting a candidate for an election cannot claim to have a lawful candidate for the election”, it added.

According to the Plaintiff, from Masari’s Form EC9, it was evident that he “did not attend any higher school above Secondary school.

“The 3rd Defendant did not obtain any certificate in any higher school as presented by the 3rd Defendant to the 1st Defendant.

“The Kaduna State Development Center is not a school and if a school, which is not conceded, is not higher in the structure used in the Form.

“The 3rd Defendant did not attend the Kaduna State Development Center either as claimed in the affidavit of loss of document or police extract”.

Consequently, among reliefs the AA is seeking from the court, included a declaration that the claim of the 3rd Defendant that he obtained First School Leaving Certificate in 1978 issued by Masari Primary School, Katsina State in 1978 as a result of attending Masari Primary School, Katsina State between 1972 and 1978 which he entered in INEC Form EC9 submitted to the 1st Defendant, is false.

“A declaration that the claim of the 3rd Defendant that he obtained Grade 2 Certificate from Katsina State Teachers College from 1978 to 1983 arising from attending the said College between 1978 and 1983, which he entered in INEC Form EC9 submitted to the 1st Defendant, is false.

“A declaration that the claim of the 3rd Defendant that he had a certificate in 1985 from a School he entered as higher in his INEC Form EC9 submitted to the 1st Defendant, is false.

“A declaration that the 1st Defendant is by virtue of the declaration in reliefs 1 to 3 or any of them, not qualified to be a Vice Presidential Candidate in the 2023 Presidential General Election to be conducted by the 1st Defendant arising from the provisions of Sections 137(1) and 142(2) of the 1999 Constitution.

“A declaration that the 4th Defendant is by virtue of Section 142(1) of the 1999 Constitution not duly nominated as a Presidential Candidate by the 2nd Defendant in that at the close of nomination for the said position in accordance with the timetable for the 2023 general election into the office of the President the nominee of the 2nd and 4th Defendants, being the 3rd Defendant was a person not qualified for election to the office of the Vice President”.

Meanwhile, no date has been fixed for the matter to be heard.

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