In Plateau, Court of Appeal dismisses alleged Hassan’s certificate forgery

The Court of Appeal sitting in Jos has upheld the election of Hon Ibrahim Baba Hassan of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as the duly elected member for Jos North North state constituency in Plateau state House of Assembly.

Justice Moses Ugor held that the appellants failed to prove their allegation that Hon Hassan forged a diploma certificate he presented to INEC to contest election in 2015.

Barrister Munir Barau had challenged the election of Hon Hassan alleging that he had presented false information to INEC by presenting ‘forged diploma certificate from University of Jos.”

However, the trial tribunal had held that Barau did not prove his allegation beyond reasonable doubt, subsequently Barau appealed the judgement.

According to the appellate court, the tribunal was right when it struck out Barau’s exhibits P7, P8 and P10, and issues 1 and 2 of his petition, saying he did not tender certified documents.

Further, Justice Ugor held that the tribunal was right when it held that PW 2, the deputy registrar of the University of Jos, only gave oral evidence rather than documentary evidence.

The court held that Barau failed to prove his allegation as required by sections 131, 132 and 133 of the evidence act.

He held that the 2nd respondent presented exhibits R 2 being a letter signed by the registrar of the university certifying that the diploma certificate was genuine and obtained from the university, adding that Hon Hassan also presented a police witness that tendered an investigation report, which also confirmed that the diploma certificate was genuine.

Justice Ugor further held that the 2nd respondent presented Leadership Newspaper publication from the university also confirming the eligibility of the certificate.

He held that the appellant did not present the registrar to disapprove his signatures on all evidences presented by Hon Hassan.

He said the issue of an alleged criminal suit pending before a federal high court as canvassed by the appellant was “not an issue at all.”

The court said it resolved all issues in favour of the respondent, and upheld the judgement of the trial tribunal, stressing that; “the 2nd respondent was not found to have forged the diploma certificate and that his election is upheld.”

Hon. Baba Hassan won the 2019 election with 41,990 votes, while Barr Munir Barau came a distant second.

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