The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has dismissed a certificate forgery case filed by the Transparency Advocacy for Development Initiative (TADI) against the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva.
The court, in a copy of its ruling dated March 8, 2023, dismissed the matter following an application by the lawyer to the plaintiff, Edward Onaga, seeking the withdrawal of the case.
But the Minister’s lawyer, John Ebokpo, told the court that the application to withdraw the suit was based on the realisation that the case was baseless having been adequately defended by Sylva.
Ebokpo asked the court to reject the prayer of the plaintiff that the matter be withdrawn and instead make an order dismissing the case.
Named as defendants in the case were the Director-General, Department of State Services (DSS), the Inspector-General of Police, the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, the Senate President, the Speaker of the House of Representatives and Sylva.
TADI dragged Sylva to court demanding his suspension from office and prosecution for allegedly giving false evidence and presenting false academic credentials for all political positions he held so far.
The group claimed it found that the Minister mismatched names on his academic credentials among other allegations.
But Sylva in a counter affidavit insisted that the plaintiff’s suit was based on falsehood and an attempt to ridicule his person.
He averred that his credentials are legitimate and tendered a deed poll and a gazette publication, which settled issues surrounding name differences in his credentials.
Also, the IG through his lawyer, Matilda Ugowe, maintained the position that the suit was baseless and the allegations of the plaintiff were unfounded.
A copy of the judgement signed by the Presiding Judge, Justice Emeka Nwite, and obtained by our correspondent showed that the matter was dismissed.
Nwite said: “After hearing Edward Onaga, the counsel for the plaintiff, who conceded that the matter can be dismissed and the defendant counsel not objecting, it is hereby ordered that in view of the plaintiff’s counsel, who conceded that the matter be dismissed, the suit is hereby dismissed”.
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