Forgery: Yaba Tech disowns Surulere APC candidate’s HND certificate
The Federal High Court sitting in Lagos on Tuesday heard that the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate representing Surulere Constituency II in the Lagos State House of Assembly, Mrs. Mosunmola Sangodara allegedly forged a Yaba College of Technology High National Diploma (HND) certificate.
A Deputy Registrar of the school, Mr. Olufunmi Dada alleged that the candidate did not graduate from the school as an HND holder.
Dada made the claim before Justice Nicholas Oweibo while testifying as a witness.
Led in evidence by Dr. Kemi Pinheiro, SAN, with Adebowale Kamoru, the witness tendered the school convocation graduating list for the period between the 1992- 1997 session where the name of the defendant was not featured.
Dada also alleged that the National Youth Service Corp (NYSC) exemption letter was forged and non-existent in the NYSC list within that period.
During cross-examination by the defendant’s counsel Adebisi Oridare on why the convocation list of 1995/1996 was missing, the witness stated that two sessions were merged, which were the 1994/1995 and 1995/1996 sessions.
Counsel to the 3rd defendant Mr S.O. Ibrahim stated that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is after the justice of the case adding that the convocation lists of the 1995/1996 session ought to have come under a separate heading.
Justice Oweibo admitted the documents in evidence and marked them as Exhibit p6 to p10 respectively.
The judge also directed the Weet African Examination Council (WAEC) to file a witness statement on oath as earlier ordered in the subpoena served on them.
Further proceeding was adjourned till tomorrow Wednesday 5th of October.
Shittu, the plaintiff in the suit, is praying the court to disqualify Sangodara and declare him as the APC candidate for next year’s election.
The plaintiff, in his statement of claim, is seeking among others, “A declaration that the information contained in the Affidavit in Support of Personal Particulars (Form EC9) deposed to by the 2nd Defendant and submitted to the 1st Defendant in support of the 2nd Defendant’s nomination to contest the membership of the Lagos State House of Assembly to represent Surulere Constituency 2 in the forthcoming 2023 House of Assembly Election is false.
“An order declaring that Plaintiff, being the candidate with the second highest number of votes at the 3rd Defendant’s primary election, as the candidate of the 3rd Defendant to contest the membership of the Lagos State House of Assembly to represent Surulere Constituency 2 in the forthcoming 2023 House of Assembly Election.
“An order of perpetual injunction mandating the 1st Defendant to remove from its published List of Candidates for the forthcoming 2023 House of Assembly Election, the name of the 2nd Defendant and replace same with the name of the Plaintiff.”
But the 2nd and 3rd defendants prayed the court to strike out the suit on the ground, among others, that the suit is “frivolous, vexations, malicious, lacking in merit and orchestrated by enemies of the party in order to steal by the backdoor the mandate given to the 2nd Defendant through a democratically organised process.”
They further averred in their August 22 Statement of Defence that “the 2nd Defendant neither gave false information nor presented forged certificates as is wrongly alleged by the Plaintiff.
They contended that the 2nd Defendant completed her course in Yaba College of Technology in 1996 and therefore her duration in Yaba College of Technology was between 1991 and 1996 and not 1994 to 1996 “as it is wrongly alleged by the plaintiff.
“The 2nd and 3d Defendant further aver that allegation of forgery is criminal in nature and by law requires proof beyond a reasonable doubt. The Plaintiff is put to the strictest proof of the averment.