Certificate forgery: Court nullifies Adamawa APC Rep-elect’s victory
Ade Adesomoju with agency report
The Federal High Court in Abuja on Friday sacked Abdulrauf Modibbo as the member-elect representing Yola South/Yola North/Girei Federal Constituency of Adamawa State in the National Assembly.
According to the News Agency of Nigeria, Justice Inyang Ekwo nullified Modibbo’s victory, while delivering judgment in a suit filed by Mustapha Usman.
Modibbo was declared winner of the All Progressives Congress primaries held on October 7, 2018 in Yola. He eventually represented the APC in the 2019 general elections, where he was declared a winner.
However, Usman dragged Modibbo to court after the elections, alleging that he falsified his age and was not eligible to contest the APC primaries.
He prayed the court to disqualify Modibbo as the APC candidate for Yola North/Yola South/Girei Federal Constituency.
He joined the APC and the Independent National Electoral Commission as defendants in the suit.
In his judgment, Justice Ekwo declared that Modibbo was not qualified to contest the APC primaries, as well as the 2019 National Assembly election.
The court held that Usman was the lawful winner of the October 7, 2018 APC primaries and candidate of the party for the constituency.
The judge further held that Usman successfully proved beyond reasonable doubt that Modibbo falsified his age in order to contest the election.
The court said the plaintiff proved that Modibbo submitted the forged certificates for the purpose of contesting the party’s primaries.
The court also held that Modibbo was a serving National Youth Service Corps member when he contested the primaries, saying the action breached Section 4 of the NYSC Act, 2004.
“A person who is a lawbreaker cannot be a lawmaker. This illegality is one that cannot be wished away,” Justice Ekwo ruled. The judge declared that in view of Modibbo’s disqualification, Usman, who polled the second highest number of votes in the October 7, 2018 primaries, was the winner of the Yola South/Yola North/Girei Federal Constituency of Adamawa State.
Justice Ekwo gave an order directing the APC and INEC to immediately replace Modibbo’s name with that of Usman as the lawful candidate of the APC and winner of the election.