A legal practitioner, Achinike William-Wobodo, has filed a suit before the Federal High Court in Abuja, asking the court to disqualify the incumbent Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike, from taking part in the 2019 general election or any other election in Nigeria, on the grounds that he submitted a forged certificate of age declaration to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
In the suit filed on Wednesday, October 17, 2018, Wobodo asked the court to declare that the certificate of statutory declaration of age presented by Wike to the INEC on December 25, 2014, for the purpose of the 2015 general election into the office of the Governor of Rivers State, contained falsehoods and was forged.
Wobodo also asked the court to declare that pursuant to section 182, subsection 1 (j) of the 1999 constitution as amended, Wike is not qualified or eligible to contest or participate in the 2019 general election or any other election in Nigeria, having presented a forged certificate to INEC.
Section 182 (1j) of the constitution states: “No person shall be qualified for election to the office of Governor of a State if – he has presented a forged certificate to the Independent National Electoral Commission.”
The Rivers State government is yet to officially respond to the development.
A number of top government functionaries have been hit with certificate scandals in recent times, most prominent of which is the former Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, who resigned her position after admitting that her National Youth Service exemption certificate was fake.
Also, the Special Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on prosecution, Okoi Obono-Obla, is alleged to be parading an invalid senior secondary school certificate.