On Thursday, a Federal High Court in Abuja dismissed a certificate forgery lawsuit brought against Kwara state Governor Alhaji Abdulrahman Abdulrasaq by the Peoples’ Democratic Party.
The PDP through its lawyer Paul Erokoro, SAN, asked the court to invoke sections 171 and 285 of the 1999 Constitution, as well as section 29 of the Electoral Law to nullify the governor’s planned participation in the upcoming elections.
The party had sued the Independent National Election Commission, Abdulrasaq, and the All Progressives Congress as the 1st and 3rd defendants, respectively.
According to the PDP, the West African Secondary School Certificate presented by the governor was allegedly forged.
In the lawsuit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/1324/2022, the PDP had prayed for the governor and APC to be disqualified from the 2023 gubernatorial election and for a court order to force INEC to remove the name. of the governor and the APC of the list. those approved for the general elections.
However, Judge Inyang Ekwo dismissed the claim for lack of merit and jurisdiction, ruling that the case was baseless, unjustified, and a gross abuse of court.
He argued that the alleged forgery of certificates and perjury had been raised in another lawsuit in 2019 by former PDP gubernatorial candidate Rasaki Atunwa, and dismissed by Judge Bassey Ikpeme as worthless.
The judge upheld the preliminary objection to the suit filed on the governor’s behalf by a senior Nigerian lawyer, Prince Lateef Fagbemi, agreeing with him that the PDP was a busy body and meddling interloper.
Judge Ekwo held that the PDP lacked the necessary locus standi to challenge the primary elections that produced Abdulrasaq as the APC gubernatorial candidate because he was not a contender in the primary elections.
“Once a court is satisfied that the proceedings before it constitute an abuse of process, the court has the right, indeed the duty, to invoke its coercive powers to punish the party that is abusing its process.
“Such power can often be exercised by dismissing the action that constituted the abuse. Therefore, I issue an order to dismiss this case for abuse of process”, pronounced the Magistrate, maintaining that the lawsuit had no life or legs to sustain itself, having been filed outside the period required by law.