The PDP in Gombe State has asked a Federal High Court in Abuja to disqualify Governor Inuwa Yahaya and his deputy, Jatau Daniel, from contesting the 2023 governorship election for allegedly presenting fake credentials.
The party and its governorship candidate, Muhammad Barde, sought the disqualification in suit No: FJC/ABJ/CS/1301/2022 between PDP and two others against INEC and others.
In a statement of claim filed by two Nigerian lawyers, Chief Arthur Okafor and J.J. Usman, on behalf of the plaintiffs, the party cited a number of Supreme Court decisions.
The PDP said that Yahaya and Jatau, having testified on the FORM EC-9, the said forms constituted certificates and that false statements in them amounted to the production of forged certificates.
This, according to the party, is a ground for disqualification under Articles 177(d) and 182(1)(j) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended).
In the court proceedings, the plaintiffs alleged that Jatau bears several names in his certificates, namely :Certificate of primary Education (Manassah Jatau)
“West African Examination Council School Certificate (Daniel Manassah J); University of Maiduguri Certificate (Manassah Daniel Jatau) and National Youth Service Corp Certificate (Daniel Manassah) without any certificate or valid name change attached to his Form EC-9 filed with INEC.
The plaintiffs alleged that Yahaya filed Form EC-9 (Affidavit of Personal particulars of Person seeking election into the office of governor of Gombe state) in 2022.
The plaintiffs alleged that Yahaya stated in the form that he had worked at Bauchi State Investment Company Ltd. in 1984 and at A.Y.U & Co. Ltd. between 1985-2003, while in 2018 he had stated that he worked in Bauchi Investment Company Ltd. in 1985 and in A.Y.U & Co. Ltd. between 1980-1990.
“That in 2018, while submitting his particulars to INEC to contest the governorship election in Gombe State, Yahaya stated in his INEC Form CF001 that he had worked in A.Y.U & Co. Ltd. from 1980 to 1990.
In 2022, the same Inuwa stated in his INEC FORM EC-9 that he worked for A.Y.U & Co Ltd from 1985 to 2003.
“The governor stated under oath in his INEC FORM CF001 that he worked for A.Y.U. & Co Ltd. from 1980 to 1990.
“However, in 2022, the same Inuwa again stated under oath in his INEC FORM EC-9 that he worked for the same A.Y.U. & Co. from 1985 to 2003. Ltd. from 1985 to 2003.”
According to the plaintiffs, Yahaya’s deputy attached his National Youth Service Corps certification dated July 31, 1980, which reads as follows.
“This is to certify that Daniel Manassah NYSC/Mad/79/6201 satisfactorily completed one year of national service from August 1, 1979 to July 31, 1979 in accordance with Section 11 of National Youth Service Corps Decree No. 24 of 1973.
The plaintiffs further alleged that the Deputy Governor, who claimed to have served with the Nigerian Army from August 1979 to July 1980, produced a NYSC discharge certificate with contrary information.
The plaintiffs alleged that the NYSC discharge certificate stated that Jatau began his National Youth Service in August 1979 and completed it in July 1979.
Plaintiffs also alleged that in paragraph D of his INEC Form EC-9, Jatau stated that he worked for the Nigerian Army from July 1979 to August 1980, and that the reason he left the Nigerian Army in July 1980 was because of the National Youth Service.
The plaintiffs further alleged that in his INEC FORM EC-9, Jatau did not begin his NYSC until after he left the Nigerian Army in July 1980, but produced a NYSC certificate showing that he began his National Youth Service in August 1979 and ended in July 1979.
The PDP argued that the EC-9 form was an affidavit and both Yahaya and his deputy, who made false statements therein, had committed forgery and were therefore not qualified to contest elections in the state.
A date for the hearing in the suit has not yet been set.