Calls for Training of Judges
The Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, HURIWA, has asked senator Ifeanyi Ubah of Anambra South to drag Justice Bello Kawu to the National Judicial Council over judgment which purportedly annulled his senate ticket.
The said judgement, was based on one of the grounds that Ubah presented a forged school certificate.
In his ruling, Justice Kawu noted that the 1st defendant presented a forged and fake NECO result with candidate No: 31474672FC to run for the said general election to the 3rd defendant.
“To the best of my knowledge, Exhibit ‘B’ which was the NECO result of June 2003, with candidate No: 31474672FC presented by the 1st defendant to the 3rd defendant as his NECO result is forged and fake result of which its original carried BIOLOGY, with F9 but the one presented by the 1st defendant to the 3rd defendant did not carry BIOLOGY subject, evidence of fake result.
“Exhibit B, the NECO logo and signature etc. are different from the ones on original NECO Certificate, same having been cloned”, he said.
However, HURIWA on Monday in a press conference, said that the judgment by the Abuja High Court presided over by Hon. Justice Bello Kawu dated 11th day of April 2019 marked as suit No: CV/3044/18, directly undermines judicial integrity.
Speaking in Abuja, the National Coordinator HURIWA, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, stressed that contrary to the claims made in the said verdict by Justice Kawu, the NECO certificate presented by Senator Ifeanyi Ubah is in no way forged, adding that the judge may have been deceived or he does not have the right information, or chose not to seek for the authoritative briefing of the issuing authority of NECO certificate before such an ‘extensively defamatory determination’.
Onwubiko stated that in the judgment, the judge committed a ‘factual error’, by stating that the National Assembly election of 2019 which was held February 23rd 2019 was curiously held on February 16th, adding also that the judge exhibited extensive lack of appreciation of the conceptual distinctions between the words CERTIFICATE AND STATEMENT OF RESULT, which he interchangeably identified as one and the same.
According to the HURIWA boss, “The Judge reached a laughable but defamatory conclusion that Senator Ifeanyi Ubah forged his NECO certificate which he erroneously called Statement of Result and for which he wrongly claimed that NECO issued the Statement of Result which any candidate can print out from NECO’s website.
“We are absolutely gutted that a judge of a High Court could reach such a sweeping determination without any sort of forensics or even calling for evidence from the Federal government agency that is the custodian of the certificate which was tendered by Senator Ifeanyi Ubah to INEC which INEC verified to be correct and which both the court of first instance and Appellate court had certified to be correct. Sadly, the court relied only on the affidavits tendered by the plaintiffs.
“The judge even said that the logo on the statement of result and the certificate are not the same, is the judge a forensic scientist or a criminologist?”
Onwubiko who emphasized that judges should be very careful in giving their verdict, called on the NJC to wake up and begin to train judges, adding also that NJC should collaborate with some agencies of government like NECO and WAEC to educate the judges, give them updated information especially in areas that have to do with verification or authentication of certificates that are tended.
In his words, “The judges ought to be constantly refreshed, so that you don’t have a judgement that appears very laughable and defamatory. It is wrong for a judge to reach this kind of wild conclusion that is baseless, unsubstantiated, totally wrong both in fact and in law and how can a judge not know when an election took place?
“How can a judge not know that some examination councils do not include F9 in their certificates, how can a judge not know the difference between statement of result and certificate, and why did the judge not give a fair hearing to the defendant even when he did everything he could?”
He revealed that a letter from NECO confirmed that the CERTIFICATE tendered by Senator Ifeanyi Ubah is authentic and proves the judge wrong, stressing that NJC should wake up, as Nigerians are sick and tired of contradictions coming from the court.
“We want to use this opportunity to advise the gentleman, we know that he is a politician and it is not just going to the appeal court to quash what had been done to him, we want him to drag the judge to NJC.
“The ball is in the Senator’s court to drag that judge to NJC because if he does not take action, if he only goes to appeal court…He should know that it is a very serious judgement that has been done,” he remarked.