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Governor Wike In Certificate Mess

Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State is in hot soup as Achinike William-Wobodo Esq., a lawyer has sued him for allegedly forging his age certificate in documents he presented to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

William Wobodo instituted the law suit against Wike and INEC at the Federal High Court (Suit No. FHC/ABJ/CS/1020/2018), pursuant to Section 182(1)(j) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended). In the suit, he asked the court to disqualify Wike from participating in the 2019 Rivers State governorship election.

The complaint of the Applicant was that in 1999/2000, when Wike intended to contest for the Obio/Akpor Local Government Area Council (LGA) chairmanship election, he was less than 35 years, which was the minimum age qualification at the time for contesting the LGA Chairmanship.

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In order to qualify himself for that election, Wike allegedly got someone who deposed to an Affidavit that he was born on March 13, 1963, which made him eligible for that election.

The Applicant alleged that the governor had reasons to have known that the age declaration, which he presented to INEC as his Age Certificate, was forged — because even his date of birth earlier submitted in his documentation with INEC was December 13, 1967.

The applicant also claimed to have known the Governor from 1991, when they were both of the same Faculty of Law at Rivers State University of Science and Technology (RSUST), Port Harcourt, and that the Governor had always presented his date of birth as 13/12/1967. This, he said, made the Governor 50 years of age in 2017, and this was consistent with the Governor’s 50th birthday celebrations last year in Port Harcourt. By Wike’s age declaration to INEC, he would have been 54 rather than the 50 he celebrated in 2017.

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The applicant gave particulars of alleged forgery, which include: (1) that the document lied against/about itself; (2) that the content was made of manifest inconsistent, inexplicable and irreconcilable falsehood; (3) that the information regarding the age of the Governor is false, and to the knowledge of the Governor; (4) that the Governor intended that INEC should act on the document as genuine; (5) that INEC acted on the document as genuine; (6) and that the Constitution of Nigeria talks about presentation of forged certificate, it will be immaterial that the governor claims he did not forge the document by himself.