Forgery: Court declines request to disqualify Wike


Nyesom Wike

A Federal High Court in Abuja has refused a request to disqualify candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in the governorship election in Rivers State Nyesom Wike on grounds of alleged forgery.

Justice Inyang Ekwo, in a judgment on Friday, dismissed a suit filed to that effect by Elvis Chinda.

Nyesom Wike
Nyesom Wike

The judge said the suit was statute barred.

Chinda had prayed the court to disqualify Wike on the grounds the Governor allegedly forged his statutory declaration of age, which he submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as a candidate for the 2019 governorship election.

The plaintiff, who claimed to be an indigene of Rivers State, filed the suit last year, faulting the statutory declaration of age attached to the Form CF001 which Wike submitted to INEC.

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Chinda alleged that the document deposed to on behalf of Wike on October 3, 1986, by one Collins Nyeme Wike, claimed the governor hailed from Rumuepirikom in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of Rivers State, when the said local government was only created three years after.

Represented by Achinike William-Wobodo, Chinda claimed that the Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of Rivers State was only carved out of Port Harcourt Local Government in 1989 by Decree No 12 of 1989.

In his judgment on Friday, Justice Ekwo noted that, not only did the plaintiff fail to prove the allegation, the suit has become statute-barred because it was filed outside the time stipulated by under Section 285 of the Constitution as captured in the 4th Alteration to the Constitution.

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Justice Ekwo held that the plaintiff failed to prove the allegation beyond a reasonable doubt as required of a case of forgery being criminal in nature.

The judge added: “Forgery is a criminal offence. The onus is on the plaintiff to establish ingredients of the allegation with credible and convincing evidence.

“I find that the plaintiff has not proved the allegation against the first defendant (Wike) beyond every reasonable doubt or at all.”

Justice Ekwo further said that by virtue of section on Section 285 (9) of the 4th Alteration to Constitution, the case had become statute-barred on the grounds that it was not filed within 14 days after Wike submitted the Form CF 001 to INEC.

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He said there was no evidence before the court to show that the plaintiff obtained the alleged forged document from INEC, and therefore cannot be believed.

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