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Certificate forgery: Petitioner withdraws case against AbdulRazaq

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A PEOPLES Democratic Party (PDP) Adekunle Abraham challenging the veracity of the secondary school certificate of Kwara State Governor-elect Abdulrahman AbdulRazaq has in the court has withdrawn from the case.

Abraham, in the suit in the state high court is seeking to disqualify AbdulRazaq as governor-elect.

In a notice of discontinuance, Abraham said: “I hereby wholly discontinues the case against the defendant.”

The application is dated May 21, 2019 and filed on May 22, 2019.

The petitioner did not state any reason for the sudden decision to terminate the case.

However, it was gathered that his decision was predicated on the filing of the official confirmation of AbdulRazaq’s WAEC certificate in the respondent’s proof of evidence.

The confirmation was sent by the examination body through the legal team that had earlier applied for same.

“Not only this, the governor-elect’s legal team has also filed a number of depositions that proved Abraham’s claim that WAEC doesn’t issue a certificate with initials to be false,” a source said.

“The depositions contain a number of certificates with initials and within the years the governor-elect left secondary school,” the source added.

In view of Abraham’s application, the court is likely to strike out the case at the next adjournment date in June.

The governorship petition tribunal sitting in Ilorin, Kwara State capital, has fixed June 13 and 14 for the beginning of the trial in the PDP’s petition challenging the  declaration of AbdulRazaq as governor.

The PDP claimed the governor-elect does not have the secondary school leaving certificate, which is the legal prerequisite for anyone running for the office of governor – a claim AbdulRazaq insisted is false.

Chairman of the three-person panel Justice Bassey Effing announced the date after listening to counsel to the parties in the case at the continuation of the pre-hearing session yesterday.

He said the trial will hold at 10a.m. on every hearing date.

Effing said the petitioners will have four days (June 13,14 and July 9 and 10) to call their witnesses who would then be cross-examined by the respondents.

The first respondent, the INEC, will have two days (July 11 and 12) to present its defence. AbdulRazaq, who is the second respondent, will present his defence between July 16, 17 and 18; while the third respondent, which is the APC, will present its defence between July 23, 24 and 25.

Effing also said the report of the pre-hearing conference will be available after Monday May 27.

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