A Federal High Court sitting in Jos has sacked Ibrahim Baba Hassan, a Plateau State lawmaker, over certificate forgery claimed to have been obtained from the University of Jos.
The lawmaker, who represents Jos North in the Plateau State House of Assembly, was dragged to court in 2015 by Abdul Nasir Saleh, challenging the authenticity of his Diploma Certificate in Business, which he claimed to have obtained from the University of Jos.
Saleh contested party primaries with the sacked lawmaker on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in 2015, where he came second.
In his judgment on Tuesday, Justice Musa Kurya, the presiding Judge, said there is no trace of proof that the diploma certificate submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) by Hassan is genuinely obtained from University Jos.
He was asked to pay back all salaries and allowances to the state government.
Kurya said based on the direct and oral evidence submitted by the Registrar of the University of Jos before the court, it is true that the certificate presented by the embattled lawmaker to INEC in 2015 was not obtained from the said institution, adding that the evidence given by the registrar “is true and uncontroversial”.
In his ruling, the Judge said: “I wonder a person whose diploma certificate is proved to have been forged sitting and making laws. I wonder the laws that he will make for the development of his constituency and, by extension, the state as a whole.”
Kurya further granted all the prayers sought by the plaintiff.
The ruling read: “That the information that the 1st Defendant possess a Diploma in Business Administration (Lower Credit) from the University of Jos, Plateau State, Nigeria on 26 of November 1996 which the 1st Defendant stated and supplied in Affidavit in support of Personal Particulars of Persons seeking election to Office/Membership of Plateau State House of Assembly in respect of Jos North Constituency of Plateau State sworn in the Registry of the High Court, on the 16th December, 2014 to the Independent National Electoral Commission is false.
“That the 1st Defendant was not qualified to contest election into Plateau State House of Assembly in respect of Jos North Constituency in view of the fact that the information that the 1st Defendant possesses is false.
“That the plaintiff is the rightful candidate of the 2nd Defendant (APC) in the election into the Plateau State House of Assembly in respect of the Jos North Constituency of Plateau State held on the 11th April, 2015, being the only qualified aspirant in the Primary Election held by the 2nd Defendant to nominate its candidate for the said election concerning the Plateau State House of Assembly in respect of Jos North Constituency of Plateau State, to have contested the said election.
“An Order disqualifying the 1St Defendant as the Candidate of the 2nd Defendant (APC) for election to the Plateau State House of Assembly in respect of Jos North Constituency of Plateau State held on 11th April, 2015, on the ground of violation of Section 31 (5) of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended) and non fulfilment of the constitutional requirement to conduct the said election.
“An Order directing the 3rd Defendant (INEC) to accept and recognise forthwith the name of the Plaintiff as the legitimate candidate of the 2nd Defendant for the 2015 elections into the State House of Assembly for Jos North Constituency in Plateau State.
“N5000,000.00 (Five Million Naira) being the total legal fees for prosecuting this matter from inception. N25,000,000.00 (Twenty Five Million Naira) as General Damages. N150,000.00 (One Hundred and Fifty Thousand Naira) being the cost of filing his action.”