Nigeria’s first higher educational institution, Yaba College of Technology, Lagos State has disowned the High National Diploma (HND) certificate presented by the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate for Surulere State Constituency II in the Lagos State House of Assembly, Mrs. Mosunmola Sangodara.

The Deputy Registrar of the institution, Mr. Olufunmi Dada, who disowned the certificate before the Federal High Court sitting in Lagos on Tuesday claimed that the candidate did not graduate from the school as an HND holder.

The Deputy Registrar, Dada made the claim while testifying as a witness before Justice Nicholas Oweibo.

Dada, who was led in evidence by Kemi Pinheiro (SAN), with Adebowale Kamoru, tendered the school convocation graduating lists for the period between 1992 and 1997, where the name of the defendant was not found.

He further claimed that the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) exemption letter tendered by the defendant was forged and non-existent in the NYSC lists that came out within that period.

During cross-examination by the defendant’s counsel, Adebisi Oridare, on why the convocation list of 1995/1996 was missing, the witness stated that two sessions were merged, which were the 1994/1995 and 1995/1996 sessions.

On his part, counsel for the 3rd defendant in the matter, Mr. S. O. Ibrahim, noted that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is after justice in the case.

He, however, argued that the convocation list of the 1995/1996 session ought to have come under a separate heading.

Meanwhile, Justice Oweibo admitted the documents in evidence and marked them as Exhibit p6 to p10 respectively.

Furthermore, the judge directed the West African Examination Council (WAEC) to file a witness statement on oath as earlier ordered in the subpoena served on them.

The judge thereafter adjourned the proceeding till Wednesday, October 5, 2022.The plaintiff, Mr. Olasunkanmi Shittu in his suit filed before the Federal High Court against Sangodara is praying the court to disqualify Sangodara and declare him as the APC candidate for the 2023 general elections.

Shittu in his statement of claim is seeking among others a “declaration that the information contained in the Affidavit in Support of Personal Particulars (Form EC9) deposed to by the 2nd Defendant and submitted to the 1st Defendant in support of the 2nd Defendant’s nomination to contest the membership of the Lagos State House of Assembly to represent Surulere Constituency 2 in the forthcoming 2023 House of Assembly Election is false”.

He is also seeking an “order declaring that the Plaintiff, being the candidate with the second highest number of votes at the 3rd Defendant’s primary election, as the candidate of the 3rd Defendant to contest the membership of the Lagos State House of Assembly to represent Surulere Constituency 2 in the forthcoming 2023 House of Assembly Election.

“An order of perpetual injunction mandating the 1st Defendant to remove from its published List of Candidates for the forthcoming 2023 House of Assembly Election, the name of the 2nd Defendant and replace same with the name of the Plaintiff.”

However, the 2nd and 3rd defendants prayed the court to strike out the suit on the grounds, among others, that the suit is “frivolous, vexatious, malicious, lacking in merit and orchestrated by enemies of the party in order to steal by the backdoor the mandate given to the 2nd Defendant through a democratically organised process”.

The defendant also in their August 22 Statement of Defence argued that the “2nd Defendant neither gave false information nor presented forged certificates as is wrongly alleged by the Plaintiff”.

According to the defendants, the 2nd Defendant completed her course in Yaba College of Technology in 1996 and therefore her duration in Yaba College of Technology was between 1991 and 1996 and not 1994 to 1996 “as it is wrongly alleged by the plaintiff”.

“The 2nd and 3rd Defendant further aver that allegation of forgery is criminal in nature and by law requires proof beyond a reasonable doubt. The Plaintiff is put to the strictest proof of the averment,” the Defendants said.





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