Posted by News Express | 2 February 2020 | 501 times
Nigerians haven ot heard the last of the tussle for Anambra South Senatorial seat between incumbent Senator Ifeanyi Ubah of the Young Progressive Party (YPP) and his challenger, Dr. Obinna Uzoh of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Uzor has insisted that the National Examination Council (NECO) school certificate tendered by Ubah to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is forged, even though the examination body affirmed the authenticity of the politician’s certificate after his earlier sack by a Federal High Court in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
Uzoh had filed a pre-election suit challenging the nomination of Ubah (first defendant) by his party, YPP (second defendant), for the Anambra Senatorial District Election. He alleged that Ubah presented a forged NECO certificate to INEC.
Justice Bello Kawu of the Abuja high court sitting in Kubwa in his judgement nullified Ubah’s election as the senator representing Anambra South for allegedly using a forged NECO certificate to contest the senatorial election that held in the state on February 23, 2019. The court ordered INEC to withdraw the Certificate of Return issued to Ubah and issue a fresh Certificate of Return to Uzoh, who came second in the election, as the senator-elect for the district.
But Ubah approached the court to set aside the judgement on grounds that he was neither given fair hearing nor served with the court process and hearing notice in the suit before the court delivered its judgement against him.
Following his application for a stay of execution, Kawu, on December 4, restrained the Senate President from swearing-in Uzoh, pending the hearing and determination of the motion challenging the verdict. The court equally ordered all the parties, including INEC, to maintain the status quo until it decided the merit in Ubah’s contention.
On January 17, the judge ruled that Ubah’s application to vacate the judgement lacked merit and dismissed it.
But NECO wrote to the YPP leadership asserting that the NECO certificate issued to Ubah in 2003 was genuine.
However, Uzoh maintained that a closer look at the NECO certificate, which Ubah had submitted to INEC and the one NECO validated showed that the certificates were different.
While insisting that the NECO school certificate tendered by Ubah was forged, the PDP candidate said “to begin with, the serial numbers are different. The initial certificate Ifeanyi Ubah submitted to INEC has serial no 303865920 while the NECO certified copy is 303565920. Curiously, the certificates have different signatures, logos and even font.
“A comparison of these two documents glaringly shows differences in signatures, stamp, logo, typeset font and so on. If we take the NECO certificate released by the examination body as Ifeanyi Ubah’s certificate, then the initial one he submitted to INEC was, indeed, forged as declared by the Abuja High Court.”
In his response to the questions posed by Uzoh, Ubah told THISDAY, “Let them certify it and go to court and sue NECO.
“They are spreading photo-shopped letter. Write to NECO or INEC. That’s photocopy effect. Tell them to swear affidavit to that effect or go to NECO and ask.
“They said it was forged earlier, now NECO said it was okay and they are using INEC photocopied copy to deceive people. Why not go to INEC and get them to certify the one they are using to deceive people.
“They should wait for their waterloo in due time. Also you can approach INEC through foil to verify. Why are they afraid to approach NECO with their ‘fact’? They should swear affidavit and present it to the public like I did.”
Meanwhile, Ubah has vowed to approach the Court of Appeal to set aside the judgement of the Abuja high court based on the validation of his certificate by NECO. (ThisDay)
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