The PDP in Gombe has asked the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court to disqualify Governor Inuwa Yahaya and Deputy Governor Jatau Daniel from contesting in the 2023 governorship election.
The party accused the duo of submitting forged certificates.
The PDP and its governorship candidate, Muhammad Barde, sought disqualification in suit number ‘FJC/ABJ/CS/1301/2022 between PDP & two others against the INEC & others’.
On behalf of the plaintiffs, the party relied on a series of Supreme Court decisions in an originating summons filed by two senior advocates of Nigeria, Arthur Okafor and J.J. Usman.
The PDP argued that Messrs Yahaya and Jatau, having deposed to Forms EC-9, the said forms constituted certificates and making a false statement in them amounted to submitting forged certificates.
This, according to the party, is a disqualifying ground under Sections 177(d) and 182(1)(j) of the 1999 Constitution (amended).
In the court processes, the plaintiffs alleged that Mr Jatau bore multiple names (Manassah Jatau) on his certificates, including his primary education certificate.
“West African Examination Council School Certificate (Daniel Manassah J); University of Maiduguri certificate (Manassah Daniel Jatau) and National Youth Service Corps certificate (Daniel Manassah), without a deed poll and any valid change of name attached to his Form EC-9 submitted to INEC,” said the summons.
The plaintiffs alleged that in 2022, Mr Yahaya submitted Form EC-9 (affidavit of personal particulars of a person seeking election into the office of governor of Gombe state), alleging that the governor stated in the form he worked in the Bauchi State Investment Company Ltd in 1984, A.Y.U & Co. Ltd between 1985 and 2003 as against what he deposed to in 2018 as working in Bauchi Investment Company Ltd in 1985 and A.Y.U & Co. Ltd between 1980 and 1990.
“The governor, by his INEC Form CF001, has stated under oath that in 1980 -1990, he worked with A.Y.U. & Co Ltd. However, in 2022, the same Inuwa stated again on oath via his INEC Form EC-9 that he worked with the same A.Y.U. & Co. Ltd from 1985 – 2003,” the plaintiffs stated in the court document.
According to the plaintiffs, the deputy governor attached his NYSC certificate dated July 31, 1980, which stated, “This is to certify that Daniel Manassah NYSC/Mad/79/6201 has satisfactorily completed one year of the national service from August 1, 1979, to July 31, 1979, in accordance with section 11 of the National Youth Service Corps decree No. 24 of 1973.”
The plaintiffs further contended that the deputy governor, who claimed to have worked with the Nigerian Army from August 1979 to July 1980, submitted an NYSC discharge certificate with contrary information.
The plaintiffs alleged that the NYSC discharge certificate indicated that Mr Jatau commenced his NYSC in August 1979 and completed the service in July 1979.
The plaintiffs also contended that from paragraph D of Mr Jatau’s INEC Form EC-9, he claimed that he worked for the Nigerian Army from July 1979 to August 1980 and his reason for leaving the army in July 1980 was for the NYSC.
The plaintiffs contended further that in Mr Jatau’s INEC Form EC-9, he commenced his NYSC after he left the army in July 1980 but submitted an NYSC certificate showing he commenced the service in August 1979 and completed it in July 1979.
The PDP argued that Form EC-9 being an affidavit on oath, Messrs Yahaya and Jatau made false statements and had committed forgery, thus, not qualified to contest next year’s governorship election.
No date has been fixed for a hearing in the suit.