*at risk of disqualification following threats of three suits
By; KATO P. LADAN, Kaduna
A case before Justice Abdulaziz Anka of the Federal high court in Yola has revealed that the Speaker of the Adamawa State House of Assembly, Rt Hon Iya Abbas has been alleged to have falsified his declaration of age contrary to Section 29 of the Electoral Act.
In one of the documents presented to the court as exhibit, it was alleged that Iya Abbas has clearly disowned his father over his Senatorial ambition, in deposed affidavit in 2011 that was later discovered he died 13 years earlier.
The lead counsel to the plaintiffs, Abdulhamid Mohammed (SAN) while giving counter affidavit before Justice Anka, replied that the plenary objection is that Abbas has falsified documents and sworn an affidavit in 2011 that his father deposed to that affidavit, and subsequently forwarded to Independent national electoral commission (INEC).
“Our case is within a narrow scope, in 2011, he swore an affidavit and said his father deposed to that affidavit, subsequently, he presented those documents alongside the INEC’s forms, saying that his age is on a particular bracket. We looked at the date he deposed to that affidavit and at the date he deposed it, his father was late, he died about 13 years ago.” He said
Mohammed Murtala Chubado and Honourable Ibrahim BabaYola Mustapha (Baba 10) who are both plaintiffs, challenged Honourable Iya Abbas as the candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
According to them, he got the party’s ticket during the last primaries through massive electoral irregularities.
SAN, Mohammed said that three cases were filed against Iya Abbas in suit case numbers, FHC/YL/CS/09/2022, FHC/YL/CS/08//2022 and FHC/YL/CS/20//2022.
The Senior Advocate (SAN) who put an intensive argument in defense of Murtala and Honorable Ibrahim, said that two out of the three cases are dealing with the Conduct of the Adamawa People’s Democratic Party’s (PDP) primary election of the central Senatorial zone, which according to him, was characterized by many irregularities.
He argued that there were two different delegates lists, and all of them in the lists came and voted, nobody was sick and that informed his curiosity to query the authenticity of the lists.
“There are three suits, the first two are dealing with primary conduct of the election while the other one is dealing with falsification of documents
“We want court to go round exhibits and determine by virtue of the electoral act and party guidelines either there was guaranteed primaries.
” We are praying that the court will disqualify him if it finds out that he falsify his documents according to sections 29 sub section 5 of the electoral act, set aside the election and prohibit him for coming around to campaign and seizes to become the candidate of the party.
“So both the party and the candidate will be prohibited from fielding that candidate because of the consequences of given false information.” Mohammed said.
He added that, “the position of the law under Section 29 of the Electoral Act says if a candidate you contested with in the same political party presented documents to Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and those documents turn out to be false or he presented false documents to the electoral body, you have the right to come to court and challenge the falsification of those information
“How will he say that in 2011 the same person that was late 13 years ago is the same person deposed to an affidavit of his declaration of age? How will electoral body, and in the eye of the law take that kind of documents?
“He also annexed two documents from his political party and called them his membership card which have different numbers on those forms, this is a clear case of false information, which we filed a suit against him.”
Plaintiffs’ counsel said counsels to the defendants (Iya Abbas, Adamawa PDP and INEC) have failed to put up convincing arguments, rather they are going around his counter affidavit with no subdtance.
“When they filed a counter affidavit and their defence to the suit, they were more or less, restating what we saif, busy giving baseless excuses.
“What I informed the court today, they ought to have come with other documents different from ours, not for them going around our documents and telling stories. They didn’t say anything to contradict what we have already stated in our suit.
“They would have come with a different defense, which they have not done. The party they have sponsored him did not file any counter to challenge what we are saying in our process.
“We are now asking the court to disqualify him and give us judgment so that he can’t participate in any election.”
Mohammed said that he is confident and very hopeful that they are going to succeed because the exhibit and facts presented before the honorable court are good enough to make his clients get favourable judgment.
Counsel to the defendants, Barrister Hyacinth Shabbo Tersoo however, said that PDP complied with the guidelines of the Electoral Act during the primaries election that their client emerged winner.
Responding to journalists in Yola, Tersoo said they have attacked the case by putting forward substive augment.
He held that the court will never give the plaintiffs their desired prayers.
“Unfortunately I am involved in all the three cases and I know the substance of the cases, as to either our client breached the law is left to the court to decide, we have put forward our defence.
” Anyway, the ultimate decision at the end of the day is that of the court. We are confident in our argument that our client will be free and not wanting in any case,” Tersoo said.
Justice Abdulaziz Anka reserved day for judgment in the three suits, which he said can be on or before December 3, 2022.