CJN, attorney general petitioned over Plateau lawmaker’s forgery case

Justice Walter Onnoghen shortly being sworn in as the Chief Justice of Nigeria at State House, Abuja on Tuesday, March 7, 2017. PHOTO: TWITTER/PRESIDENCY

Plateau State chapter of Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC) has petitioned the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen and the Attorney General (AG) of the Federation, Mr. Abubakar Malami over the stoppage of the hearing in a forgery case involving a lawmaker in the state.

The petition was sequel to the alleged stoppage of the hearing in a Diploma Certificate forgery case brought against a lawmaker, Mr. Ibrahim Baba Hassan by Abdul Nasir Saleh. The matter has been ongoing since 20th October 2016 at the Jos Federal High Court 2.

In a petition endorsed by the deputy chairman, Ahmed Sani, IPAC noted that they have been following the progress of the case, but observed that the case has been put on hold without cogent reasons since an official of the University of Jos testified before the court.

According to the political interest group, the court has not heard the matter for a period of six months and urged the CJN and AG to intervene to accelerate the hearing of the case.

In the petition, a copy of which was sent to the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court of Nigeria, the group also expressed concern over the non-sitting of other criminal and civil cases under court 2 presided over by Justice Musa Kurya.

They argued that justice was not being served in the cases affected because justice delayed amounted to justice denied. In particular, IPAC stressed that there was need to only to continue the case but also to accelerate it as the issue was a pre-election matter filed over two years ago and yet to be determined.

IPAC drew attention to the fact that the tenure of a legislator in the House of Assembly is four years, and that time was fast running out in a case that is time-bound. The group therefore called on the CJN, AG and other stakeholders to as a matter of urgency and in the interest fairness and justice as well as to deepen democracy in the country, order the presiding judge to revive and fast-track hearing of the case.

The registrar of University of Jos, Mr. Monday Moses Danjem, had on subpoena testified before the court last year. He told the court that Mr. Hassan was not issued a Diploma Certificate as claimed by the lawmaker, but confirmed that he attended the institution.

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