Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Senator Akume to face certificate forgery case at Abuja High court on June 4


Senator Akume

Phillip Agbese, an activist from Benue, had sued Mr. Akume, now a senator, in 2013, accusing him of forging his WAEC certificate.
An Abuja Federal High Court on Tuesday fixed June 4 for the hearing of the case of alleged certificate forgery against former Benue governor, George Akume.
The judge, Ahmed Mohammed, fixed the date after hearing counsel to parties in the suit.
When the case came up on Tuesday, the plaintiff’s counsel, O.C Onwukwu, informed the court that the motion dated October 5, 2013 was ripe for hearing.
Mr. Onwukwu, however, said that he discovered that the West African Examination Council and the Inspector General of Police have yet to be served with the motion.
He also said that all the defendants, except WAEC and the IGP, have yet to be served with the counter-affidavit to the NYSC’s preliminary objection.
“In view of the circumstance, my Lord, we shall be asking for a short adjournment to enable us serve WAEC and IGP with the said motion,’’ he said.
Counsel to other parties in the suit did not oppose to the request.
The judge, then, ordered that hearing notices be issued and served on the parties who were yet to be served and adjourned hearing in the substantive suit to June 4.
Phillip Agbese, an activist from Benue, had sued Mr. Akume, now a senator, in 2013, accusing him of forging his WAEC certificate.
He joined WAEC, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Inspector-General of Police and the NYSC, as co-defendants.
Mr. Agbese’s counsel, Amobi Nzelu, had urged the court to declare that Mr. Akume was not the owner of certificate No SCO 39633 purportedly issued to him by GSS Otukpo, Benue, in 1971.
The plaintiff also asked the court to declare that the WAEC result allegedly issued to Mr. Akume did not belong to him.
He said that Mr. Akume did not obtain any degree from the University of Ibadan as he claimed.
He urged the court to declare that the documents Mr. Akume presented to INEC for which he was cleared to contest the Benue governorship election in 1999 and 2003 were forged.
The plaintiff further asked the court to declare the Benue North-West senatorial seat vacant since he did not possess the requisite qualification to contest for the said position.
Mr. Agbese asked the court to compel WAEC and the NYSC to produce the certified true copy of the certificate purportedly issued to Mr. Akume.
He also prayed the court to restrain Mr. Akume from parading himself as a senator representing Benue North-West senatorial district in the National Assembly.
However, Sebastian Hon, Mr. Akume’s counsel, urged the court to strike out the suit because it lacked merit and was “a smear campaign” against his client.
Mr. Hon said his client lost the original copies of his WAEC, Degree and NYSC certificates, but had the certified true copies of the certificates duly issued by the institutions.
He further said that the said institutions had confirmed the authenticity of his client’s certificates.
He, therefore, put the plaintiff to the strictest proof of the allegation against the senator.



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