A Federal High Court sitting in Jos on Tuesday sacked a Plateau State lawmaker, Ibrahim Baba-Hassan, over certificate forgery.
Delivering judgment in a case filed by another lawmaker, Abdu Sale, Justice Musa Kurya held that Baba-Hassan was not in the first qualified to contest the 2015 All Progressives Congress House of Assembly primaries for Jos North-North Constituency of Plateau State.
Saleh had in his suit filed through his Counsel, David Ibeawuchi, told court that the lawmaker’s Diploma Certificate in Business Administration allegedly obtained from University of Jos, which was presented to the Independent National Electoral Commission for the 2015 election, was forged.
Monday DamJan, Registrar, University of Jos, testified against the lawmaker, who was defended by Solomon Umoh (SAN).
But Kurya in his judgment, found the evidence of the Registrar of the University to be uncontroverted, direct and positive and described him as “a witness of truth.”
The Judge said he also found that Diploma Certificate paraded by Baba-Hassan, which he presented to INEC in 2011 and 2015, was forged, which was why he (lawmaker) conspicuously expunged it from the 2019 form he submitted to INEC.
He said: “Several controversies in the evidence of Hon. Ibrahim Baba-Hassan, especially the purported Bachelor of Management Science degree with Second Class Lower division he presented through his counsel, Mr. Solomon Umoh (SAN), but in the semblance of the University Convocation booklet, which he tendered, it was indicated as Third Class.
“Although this did not relate to the claim of the plaintiff, which bothered on forgery of Diploma Certificate, Ibrahim Baba-Hassan did not state which one of the conflicting B. Sc degree the court is to believe.”
The Judge also condemned the report of the Police Investigation tendered and described it as “very wrong” and “unreliable evidence” to counter the oral testimony of the Registrar.
According to him: “You cannot put something on nothing and expect it to stand. It will fall.”
The Judge also described the conduct of Baba-Hassan as unbecoming of a lawmaker and that he was not a witness of truth.
He however ordered the Department of State Services and law enforcement agencies to take note of his judgment, which found the lawmaker guilty of forgery and to act appropriately.
Kurya granted all the reliefs sought by Saleh and made a consequential order directing Baba-Hassan to return all the salaries, entitlements and emoluments received by him and ordered that N2 million be paid as costs to the plaintiff.
Part of the reliefs which the plaintiff sought was an order disqualifying Baba-Hassan as the candidate of the APC and an order directing the INEC to recognize forthwith the name of the Plaintiff as the legitimate candidate of the APC for the 2015 elections into the State House of Assembly for Jos North-North Constituency in Plateau State.
He further disqualified Baba-Hassan as the candidate of the APC, and ordered INEC to recognize forthwith the name of Saleh as the legitimate candidate of the APC for the 2015 elections into the State House of Assembly for Jos North-North constituency in Plateau State.