By Emeka Ugwuonye, Esquire
Once it is established that a candidate submitted a forged document to INEC, it is over for that candidate. The overwhelming evidence is showing that Peter Mbah submitted forged NYSC certificate to INEC.
To understand how the law will treat Peter Mbah, I invited you to read the judgment of the Nigerian Supreme Court on a similar case of forgery in 2017.
Per Sidi Dauda Bage, Retired Justice of the Supreme Court of Nigeria summarized the position of the law in the case of SALEH v. ABAH & ORS (2017) LPELR-41914(SC)
“This Court must take the lead, in righting the wrongs in our society, if and when the opportunity presents itself as in this appeal. Allowing criminality and certificate forgery to continue to percolate into the streams, waters and oceans of our national polity would only mean our waters are and will remain dangerously contaminated. The purification efforts must start now, and be sustained as we seek, as a nation, to now ‘change’ from our old culture of reckless impunity. The Nigerian Constitution is supreme. It desires that no one who had ever presented forged certificate to INEC should contest election into Nigeria’s National Assembly. This is clear and sacrosanct. More compelling as a judicial determination had been taken by no less a technical panel sitting in, at least, a panel of three judges as Election Tribunal with constitutional mandate to determine such issues as they relate to elections and its outcomes, including eligibility. This has also been affirmed by the trial Court in this appeal. On these issues, our duty is to apply the Constitution and the law in its start, original form undiluted by ‘colourated’ interpretations.” (Pp 26 – 31 Paras E – B)”
As a good lawyer friend of mine put it in conversation this morning, “If you know your candidate, on whose mandate you stand, presented a forged certificate to INEC during the 2023 Election, get ready for the massive disgrace.”