The Supreme Court has dismissed a certificate forgery suit against Konbowei Friday Benson, a senatorial candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for Bayelsa Central Senatorial District.
The apex court on Thursday dismissed the certificate forgery suit filed against him by Senator Moses Cleopa.
Delivering judgement in the suit. the apex court held that before legal action can be taken on the issue, the certificate forgery which is a criminal allegation, must be proven beyond all reasonable doubts.
The court ruling: Justice Okoro said the appellant ought to have contacted WAEC as the authority which issued the certificate to verify.
He noted that the law was settled that anyone or group who alleges must establish facts for the court to act upon.
Subsequently, Senator Cleopas, the appellant withdrew the suit and the court consequently dismissed the suit.
The backstory: Both senator Cleopas and Benson had contested the party’s primaries election in May last year however, While Cleopas polled 22 votes, Benson polled 110 votes making him the winner.
Senator Cleopas who is a senator representing Bayelsa Central in the National Assembly then approached the Federal High Court challenging Benson’s candidacy because he submitted false documents.
However, The lower court in its ruling dismissed the suit. Even though he had appealed at the court of appeal he also lost the case.
He subsequently approached the Supreme Court asking it to disqualify Benson because he used a forged Secondary School Certificate allegedly obtained from the West African Examination Council (WAEC).
He accused Benson of using the said certificate to participate in the senatorial primary election of the PDP and final clearance from the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for nomination.
He told the court that the said certificate bore no date, no signature and no index to justify why they did not contact WAEC for verification was resisted by the court as a non-issue and non-viable justification.
In case you missed it: in January, A Federal High Court in Abuja dismissed a suit filed by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) seeking the disqualification of Gov. Inuwa Yahaya as the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the Gombe State governorship election.
The suit filed by PDP, Mr Muhammed Barde and Mr Timothy Danlele sought to disqualify Yahaya because the certificate he submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC) to support his re-election bid was forged.