The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, has been asked to disqualify the Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike, from contesting in the 2019 Governorship election in the State, over alleged forged birth certificate, which he presented to the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.
The plaintiff, Elvis Chinda, in a suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/1430/2018, and filed on November 26, 2018, claimed that Wike presented a forged Statutory Declaration of Age, giving his date of birth as March 13, 1963, to INEC, in order to contest the 2015 general elections.
He claimed that the Statutory Declaration of Age, deposed to by one Collins Nyeme Wike, was contradictory to December 13, 1967, which had become the day of marking the Governor’s birthday, since he assumed Office.
The Originating Summons was brought pursuant to section 31 (4), (5) and (6) of the Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended), and sections 182 (1) (i), 6 (6) (B) and 1 (1), (2) of the 1999 Constitution, as amended.
The suit is before Justice Inyang Edem Ekwo.
The first to third defendants are the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Ezenwo Nyesom Wike, and the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
The plaintiff, in an affidavit which he deposed to, claimed that Wike presented the forged certificate of age, to maintain consistency and cover up lies which he started in 1998.
He averred: “In 1998, the second defendant (Wike) expressed desire to contest the local Chairmanship of the Obio/Akpor Local Government Area election in Rivers State, for which INEC had fixed 35years of age for eligibility. (Wike) was 30 years and some months of age, and ineligible for that election. It was in order to qualify for that election, that the said Certificate of Birth (Statutory Declaration of Age) was forged
“For that election, the second defendant (Wike) for the first time, did present the said forged certificate to INEC, in his form C.F 001, on November 6, 1998.
“In the buildup to the 2015 Governorship election in Rivers State, there were social media reports that the second defendant (Wike), had in 1998, lied about his age to INEC. In a bid to preempt and forestall any inconsistencies that might arise by presenting his actual age (13/12/1967), or by the failure to present his forged certificate, (Wike) then presented the forged certificate of age again to INEC, on 25/12/2014.”
Chinda averred that Wike in a twist of record to cover up his falsehood, submitted another Statutory Declaration of Age, deposed to on October 26, 2018, to INEC, for the 2019 Governorship election.
“To cover up that falsehood, the second defendant deliberately withheld from INEC the forged Certificate of Birth (Statutory Declaration of Age), deposed to by Collins Nyeme Wike, on October 3, 1986, which he had earlier presented to the first defendant, on December 25, 2014, and in its stead, cover up another Certificate of Birth (Statutory Declaration of Age), deposed to on October 26, 2018 was presented for the 2019 Governorship election.”
The plaintiff is seeking among other reliefs, a declaration that the information contained in the Affidavit Form C.F. 001, deposed to by the 2nd defendant, on the 29th of October, 2018, and presented to the 1st Defendant
(INEC), on the 2nd of November, 2018, for the purpose of the 2019 Governorship Election in Rivers State, was false.