By Steve Oni, Ilorin
Kwara State High Court is to strike out the suit seeking to disqualify the state Governor-elect, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, at the request of the petitioner.
Adekunle Oluwafemi Abraham, the petitioner, said in a notice of discontinuance of Suit No. KWS/73/2019 that he “hereby wholly discontinues” the certificate case against the defendant.
The application was dated May 21, 2019 and filed May 22, 2019.
Abraham, a member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), did not state any reason for the sudden decision to terminate the case.
However, sources within the court said his decision was predicated on the filing of the official confirmation of AbdulRazaq’s WAEC certificate in the respondent’s proof of evidence.
The confirmation was sent by the examination body, WAEC, through the legal team that had earlier applied for same.
“Not only this, the Governor-elect’s legal team has also filed a number of depositions that proved Abraham’s claim that WAEC doesn’t issue certificate with initials to be false,” according to one of the sources, adding that “the depositions contain a number of certificates with initials and within the years the Governor-elect left secondary school.”
In view of Abraham’s application, the court will strike out the case at the next adjournment date in June.
Meanwhile, the governorship petition tribunal sitting in Ilorin, Kwara State capital, has fixed June 13 and 14 for the commencement of trial in the PDP’s petition challenging the declaration of AbdulRazaq as Governor.
The PDP claimed the Governor-elect does not have the secondary school leaving certificate, which is the legal prerequisite for anyone running for the office of Governor, a claim AbdulRazaq insisted is false.
Chairman of the three-person tribunal Bassey Effing announced the date after listening to counsel to the parties in the case at the continuation of the pre-hearing session on Thursday.
He said the trial will hold at 10a.m. on every hearing date.
Effing said the petitioners will have four days (June 13,14 and July 9 and 10) to call their witnesses who would then be cross-examined by the respondents.
The first respondent, the INEC, will have two days (July 11 and 12) to present its defense. AbdulRazaq, who is the second respondent, will present his defense between July 16, 17 and 18; while the third respondent, which is the APC, will present its defense between July 23, 24 and 25.
Effing also said the report of the pre-hearing conference will be available after Monday May 27.
The matter has been adjourned till Monday May 27 for the adoption of various motions already filed by all the parties.