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Court dismisses suit against Kwara gov

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A Federal High Court in Abuja on Thursday dismissed a certificate forgery suit instituted against the Kwara State Governor, Alhaji Abdulrahman Abdulrasaq, by the Peoples Democratic Party.

The PDP through its counsel Paul Erokoro, SAN, prayed the court to invoke sections 171 and 285 of the 1999 Constitution as well as section 29 of the Electoral Act to quash the planned participation of the governor in the forthcoming election.

The party had sued the Independent National Electoral Commission, Abdulrasaq and the All Progressives Congress as 1st to 3rd defendants respectively.

According to the PDP, the West African Secondary School Certificate submitted by the governor was allegedly forged.

In the suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/1324/2022, the PDP had prayed that the governor and the APC be disqualified from the 2023 governorship election and for an order of the court compelling INEC to delist the name of the governor and the APC from those cleared for the general election.

Justice Inyang Ekwo however dismissed the suit for want of merit and jurisdiction, ruling that the case was baseless, unwarranted and constituted a gross abuse of the court.

He held that the purported certificate forgery and perjury had been raised in another suit in 2019 by the PDP’s former governorship candidate, Rasaki Atunwa, and dismissed by Justice Bassey Ikpeme for being worthless.

The Justice upheld the preliminary objection to the suit filed on the governor’s behalf by a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Prince Lateef  Fagbemi, and agreed with him that the PDP was a busy body and meddlesome interloper.

Justice Ekwo held that the PDP lacked requisite locus standi to challenge the primary election that produced Abdulrasaq as the governorship candidate of the APC because it was not an aspirant in the primary election.

“Once a court is satisfied with the proceedings before it that they amount to abuse of process, the court has the right, in fact, duty to invoke its coercive powers to punish the party which is in abuse of its process.

“Such power is often exercisable by a dismissal of the action which constituted the abuse. I therefore make an order dismissing this case for being an abuse of process of court,” the Justice pronounced maintaining that the suit had no life to sustain it or legs to stand upon having been instituted outside the period required by law.

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