Alleged Birth Certificate Forgery Case Against Gov. Wike
Gov. Wike of Rivers State
A Federal high court sitting in Abuja, has dismissed the alleged birth certificate forgery suit seeking to disqualify governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers state from contesting the March 9 governorship election following allegations that he tendered forged documents to the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.
The plaintiff, Elvis Chinda had asked the court to determine whether the birth Certificate (Statutory Declaration of Age) attached to Mr Wike’s Form C.F.001 presented to INEC, was forged.
It was alleged that the birthday certificate governor Wike attached to the Form CF001 he submitted to INEC on November 2, 2018, for clearance to participate in the 2019 general election, was forged.
Counsel to the plaintiff had argued that as at 1986 when the certificate was allegedly obtained, Obio/ Akpor Local Government Areas of Rivers was not in existence.
The plaintiff, told the court that the certificate titled “Statutory Declaration of Age”, attached to Wike’s Form C.F.001, and purportedly deposed to on October 3, 1986, by one Collins Nyeme Wike had claimed that Nyesom Wike at the time of deposition, was a native of Rumuepirikom in Obio / Akpor Local Government Area of Rivers State.
He stressed that the local government in question was created in 1989 by Decree No 12 of 1989, two years after the alleged forgery was committed.
He alleged that Wike presented the bogus birth certificate to maintain consistency and coverup falsehood and lies, which he started in 1998. He said the coverup, “began in 1989, when Wike expressed desire to contest for the local chairmanship of Obio/ Akpor Local Government Area Council election in Rivers State which INEC had fixed 35 years age for eligibility. “Wike was 30 years of age then and ineligible for that election. In order to qualify for that election, he forged the Certificate of birth now in contention. He has used it in subsequent elections.”
Presiding judge, justice Inyang Ekwo, held that the suit was filed out of time, as stipulated by the section 285, subsection 9 the 1999 constitution which ought to be 14 days after the cause of action had taken place.
The court further relied on section 285 (9) of the 4th Alteration to the1999 Constitution and held that the suit had become status barred since it was not filed 14 days after Wike submitted the Form CF 001 to INEC.
Besides, Justice Ekwo held that a copy of the alleged forged document the plaintiff tendered in court lacked credibility, saying there was nothing to show that it emanated from INEC.
He held that the plaintiff failed to adduce any evidence to show that the document was issued by INEC upon payment of the prescribed fee. “None exhibition of the prescribed fee rendered the documentary evidence tendered by the plaintiff, worthless and it does not meet the evidential standard of admissibility.
“Affidavit evidence used by the plaintiff is incable of establishing the intent of the 1st defendant in this case.There is no indication from the purported document with INEC’s stamp, indicating that it was the plaintiff that applied for it. I am unable to ascribe any probative value to the documentary evidence tendered by the plaintiff. I resolve every issue in favour of the 1st defendant and I make an order dismissing this case for lack of merit”, the court held.
He further held that the entire suit is statue barred and made am order dismissing the suit as an abuse of court process.