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Bayelsa deputy gov asks Appeal Court to dismiss certificate forgery case

The Deputy Governor of Bayelsa State, Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, on Friday asked the Court of Appeal in Abuja to dismiss the alleged certificate forgery case instituted against him by the governorship candidate of the Accord Party, Mr Ebizimo Diriyai.

Diriyai had filed his appeal to challenge judgment of the Bayelsa State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal which dismissed his petition against the outcome of the November 16, 2019 governorship election in the state.

Opposing the appeal on Friday, Ewhrudjakpo, through his lead counsel,  Chukwuma Machukwu-Umeh (SAN), informed the five-man panel of the Court of Appeal that the case was statute-barred.

Ume said the certificate forgery  case ought to have been filed within 14 days as stipulated by section 285 of the 1999 Constitution.

He said the case was a pre-election matter that the appellant ought not to have waited to be filed at the election petition tribunal.

But the appellant through his lawyer, Prof. A. Amuda-Kannike (SAN), urged the court to set aside the unanimous judgment of the tribunal that dismissed their petition

The five-man panel led by Justice Adriza Mshella said the date of judgment would be communicated to parties in the case.

Diriyai had dragged the Independent National Electoral Commission, Governor Douye Diri, Ewhrudjakpo and the Peoples Democratic Party, before the tribunal accussing the deputy governor of certificate forgery.

He had claimed in the petition that the deputy governor forged his National Youth Service Corps exemption certificate, which he presented to contest the November 16 governorship election in Bayelsa State.

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