SUSWAM VS UGBAH: TRIBUNAL DECLINES TO HEAR CERTIFICATE FORGERY SUIT

By NBF News
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MAKURDI-The Benue State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Makurdi, yesterday, said it lacked jurisdiction to entertain the issue of certificate forgery raised by the defeated candidate of the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, at the April general election, Prof Steve Ugbah, saying it was a pre-election matter.

It therefore declined to set aside its earlier ruling on the matter as according to it, it was not in its purview to hear the motion.

Counsel to Prof. Ugba, Samuel Orkuma had in a motion urged the tribunal to reverse its ruling on lack of jurisdiction and entertain the issue.

Ruling on the application, Chairman of the Tribunal, Justice Munir Ladan, insisted that the tribunal could not act as an appellate court on a decision it took earlier, and then dismissed the issue.

He said: 'The petitioner should not have referred us, the issue of certificate forgery again; it is flagrant abuse of court process, it is vexatious and lacks merit'.

The Chairman further dismissed the application that the respondents' replies be struck out, because they were filed out of time, since an earlier order extending time for them to regularize such replies had not been vacated.

The tribunal in another ruling however, granted the petitioner leave to bring in additional witnesses to support his claims and adjourned the case to today to enable the parties tender reports on the inspection of election materials as directed by the court.