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Certificate scandal: Man discontinues case against Kwara governor-elect

One Adekunle Oluwafemi Abraham, an indigene of Kwara state, who petitioned the state governor-elect over the authenticity of secondary school certificate has announced the discontinuation of the case in court.

Abraham said, in a notice of discontinuance of Suit No. KWS/73/2019 dated May 21, 2019, and filed May 22, 2019, that he “hereby wholly discontinues” the case against the defendant.

The claimant had on March 7, 2019, contended that the documents submitted by Abdulrazaq as his educational qualification were not issued by WAEC and thus, the defendant is not qualified to contest for the office of Governor of Kwara state.

He then urged the court to declare that the APC candidate lied on oath, submitted forged documents and stand disqualified from contesting the gubernatorial elections.

Abraham did not state any reason for the sudden decision to terminate the case.

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However, it was gathered from members of the APC in the state that his decision was predicated on the filing of the official confirmation of AbdulRazaq’s WAEC certificate in the respondent’s proof of evidence.

The confirmation was sent by the examination body through the legal team that had earlier applied for the same.

“Not only this, the governor-elect’s legal team has also filed a number of depositions that proved Abraham’s claim that WAEC doesn’t issue a certificate with initials to be false,” according to one of the sources.

“The depositions contain a number of certificates with initials and within the years the governor-elect left secondary school.”

In view of Abraham’s application, some members of the APC believe that the court may strike out the case at the next adjournment date on June 10.

Meanwhile, the governorship petition tribunal sitting in Ilorin has fixed June 13 and 14 for the commencement of trial in the PDP’s petition challenging the declaration of Abdulrazaq as governor.

The PDP claimed that the governor-elect does not have the secondary school leaving certificate, which is the legal prerequisite for anyone running for the office of the governor,  a claim Abdulrazaq insisted is false.

Chairman of the three-person tribunal, Bassey Effiong announced the date after listening to counsel to the parties in the case at the continuation of the pre-hearing session on Thursday.

He said that the trial will hold at 10 a.m. on every hearing date.

Effiong said the petitioners will have four days (June 13,14 and July 9 and 10) to call their witnesses who would then be cross-examined by the respondents.

The first respondent, the INEC, will have two days (July 11 and 12) to present its defence. AbdulRazaq, who is the second respondent, will present his defence between July 16, 17 and 18; while the third respondent, which is the APC, will present its defence between July 23, 24 and 25.

Effiong also said that the report of the pre-hearing conference will be available after Monday, May 27.

The matter has been adjourned till Monday, May 27 for the adoption of various motions already filed by all the parties.

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