Alleged Certificate Forgery: Disqualify Self from Trial of Wike – Plaintiff Tells Judge

The plaintiff, Elvis Chinda, in the suit seeking the disqualification of Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike from contesting the state governorship election over alleged forged certificate of birth, Wednesday, asked the trial judge, of a Federal High Court, Abuja, Justice Inyang Edem Ekwo to recuse himself from the case.
Chinda said he made the request because he lacked confidence in the judge.
Counsel to the plaintiff, Achinike William- Wobodo, told the court yesterday that his client still maintained his earlier position of lack of confidence in the court and have deposed to affidavit.
He orally sought to move the application.
Emmanuel Ukala (SAN), who announced appearance holding the brief of Chief Ferdinand O. Orbih (SAN) for Gov. Nyesom, asked for a short adjournment to enable Orbih handle the matter.
Orbih, he added, could not attend the sitting because he was before the Court of Appeal Port Harcourt division in a matter that was abruptly adjourned on Tuesday to Wednesday.
Counsel representing the (1st defendant) Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Wale Ajayi did not oppose the request for adjournment.
The defendants’ counsel said the plaintiff affidavit asking the judge to recuse himself was served on them in court that morning.
They said they needed time to respond to it.
In his ruling, Justice Ekwo adjourned the matter to February 13, based on the consent of the lawyers.
In the affidavit before the court, the plaintiff claimed he would not get justice from the court presided by Justice Ekwo because the judge had on 19th Nov. 2018, dismissed a suit marked No FHC /ABJ/CS/1020/2018 that gave Gov. Wike an undue advantage.
He further averred that the judge would confined undue advantage on the 2nd defendant like he did on suit No FHC /ABJ/CS/1020/2018 where in he dismissed it instead of striking it out.
Secondly, the plaintiff averred that the present suit alleging certificate forgery was initially assigned to Justice A.R. Mohammed of Court 5 on 05/12/2018 , only to be reassigned to Justice Ekwo ,when his counsel did not make any request that the matter be transferred.
“I honestly believe that the order of this court in the previous matter was done to confer notional advantage on the 2nd Defendant and that this court will not dispassionately consider my case against the 2nd Defendant plea of red judicata, especially when it comes to considering the effect of that order made by this same court on 19/12/2018.”
In the main suit the plaintiff is praying for an order disqualifying Gov Wike from contesting governorship election for an alleged breached of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) in his deposition
titled : “Affidavit in Support of Personal Particulars of Persons Seeking Election to the Office /Membership of Governor( Form C. F. 001) on 29 October 2018, sworn to at the High Court Registry, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, which he submitted to INEC on the 2nd November 2018 for the 2019 governorship election.”
He claimed in his deposition that Wike certificate of birth (Statutory Declaration of Age) attached to his Form C.F.001 presented to INEC, purportedly deposed to on the 3rd October 1986 by one Collins Nyeme Wike had claimed that” Nyesom Wike is a native of Rumuepirikom in Obio / Akpor Local Government Area of Rivers State and that the said certificate was forged.
“That as at 3rd October 1986 there was no local Government Area known as Obio /Akpor Local Government Area in existence in Rivers State. As at 1986, Rumuepirikom was not in Obio /Akpor Local Government Area of Rivers State , but in Port Harcourt Local Government Area of Rivers State being the parent LGA from where Obio /Akpor Local Government Area was carved out.
He said that Obio /Akpor Local Government Area of Rivers State was created in 1989 by Decree No 12 of 1989, two years after the alleged forgery was committed.
That the certificate of birth ( Statutory Declaration of Age) was purported sworn to and issued at the High/Magistrate’s Court Registry, Port Harcourt but allegedly bears stamp of the Judiciary Probate Registry ,Port Harcourt.
According to the plaintiff,” there was no Court Registry ,whether in 1986 or afterward known as High/Magistrate Court Registry Port Harcourt. No such Registry existed or exists any where in Port Harcourt or Rivers State”.
Plaintiff said the forged certificate of birth misled INEC into believing that Wike had a genuine birth certificate that confirms his alleged date of birth, given as March 13, 1963.

Author: News Editor

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