Francis Okafor writes on the latest twist in the unfolding drama for who represents Anambra South Senatorial District
There is a rule of law which states that someone bringing a lawsuit against another and asking the court for equitable relief must do so in a sincere manner.
However, some people still go ahead to file false suits against individuals and organisations and sometimes, they still get away with it after their pure intention to mislead the people and judiciary.
Recently, a Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court in Kubwa, Abuja, gave a judgment against Ifeanyi Ubah, the senator representing Anambra South senatorial district, ordering the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to withdraw the certificate of return issued to Sen. Ubah and issue a fresh certificate to Obinna Uzoh.
The order was given in the suit filed by Mr. Uzoh challenging Mr. Ubah’s victory on the grounds that he (Mr. Ubah) allegedly presented a forged National Examination Council (NECO) certificate to INEC.
The senator, however, approached the court to set aside the judgment on grounds that he was neither given fair hearing nor served with the court process and hearing notice in the suit before the court delivered the judgment against him.
The judge thereafter ordered a stay of execution on December 4, restraining Senate President Ahmad Lawan from swearing in Mr. Uzoh, pending the hearing and determination of the motion challenging the verdict.
Though, INEC and the National Examinations Council (NECO) had long confirmed that the NECO certificate of Ubah was authentic and that he was the duly nominated candidate of his political party, the YPP.
The people of Anambra and beyond are patiently watching with keen interest, more dramas are unfolding.
The Federal Government has filed a six-count charge against Obinna Uzoh, Anani Chuka, Eziafa Enwedo, Aroh Ifunanya and Faith Samuel over allegation of forgery of court documents and judgement.
The charge marked FHC/Abj/CR/78/2020, stated that the accused persons allegedly forged court processes and judgment in a cloned suit No.CV/3044/2018 at the FCT High Court Kubwa to remove Senator (Dr.) Patrick Ubah from office as the duly elected senator representing Anambra South Senatorial district.
The criminal charge followed investigations by the Nigerian Police Force, which unearthed the fraud, involving several judicial staff, lawyers and litigants.
The charge filed by the police alleges that all the processes filed in the said suit were forged including the judgment and that the purported filing fee receipt which was originally dated 25th September 2019, was mutilated to read 19th October 2018.
The suspects are alleged to have mutilated the court register and cloned Suit No. CV/3044/2018, which was allotted in 2018 to S & M Holdings Limited vs person unknown filed on the 17th of October 2018, and affixed Suit No. CV/3044/2018 to Anani Chuka vs Ifeanyi Ubah & Ors.
The suspects were also alleged to have forged the assignment directive of the Chief Judge of the FCT High Court to purportedly assign the matter to Justice Kawu.
A letter written by the office of the Chief Registrar of the FCT High Court confirmed that the filing of the cloned Suit No.CV/3044/2018 was done on 25th September 2019. The date of judgment in the suit, 11th April 2019, predates the actual date of filing the suit.
The suspects, knowing that suit No.CV/2829/2019 was time-barred, having been commenced after the conduct of 2019 elections, allegedly connived with judicial staff to take a suit number that was already in existence, prepare processes and backdate them to 2018, fabricate proof of service of those processes on Senator Ubah and Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the YPP and then generate a judgment in concert with judicial staff.
The electoral body has also confirmed that the purported stamp of the commission that was affixed on the proof of service of processes in Suit No. CV/3044/2018 were forged as they do not have a staff of the commission known as Alhassan Sule in the legal services department and the stamp affixed purporting to be that of INEC is also forged.
Some of the counts include, “That you Eziafa Samuel Enwedo ‘m’ on or about September 2019 at the Federal Capital Territory Abuja within the jurisdiction of this court did conspire with Anani Anacletus Chuka ‘m’ ArohIfunanya ‘f’, Faith Samuel ‘f’ and Obinna Uzoh ‘m’ all of who are now at large to commit a felony to wit: forging of originating Summons in Suit No. CV/3044/2018 Anani Anacletus Chuka v Ubah Ifeanyi Patrick & Ors and thereby committed an offence contrary to section 3(6) of the Miscellaneous offences ACT, Cap M17 LFN and punishable under Section 1(2)(c) of the same act.