From Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
The Federal High Court, Abuja, has dismissed a certificate forgery case filed by the Transparency Advocacy for Development Initiative (TADI) against the Minister of State, Petroleum Chief Timipre Sylva.
The court, in a copy of its ruling dated March 8, dismissed the matter following an application by the counsel to the plaintiff, Edward Onaga, seeking the withdrawal of the case.
But the minister’s counsel, 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Ebokpo asked the court to reject the prayer of the plaintiff that the matter be withdrawn and, instead, make an order dismissing the case.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 Security (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 had 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 were legitimate and tendered a deed poll and a gazette publication, which settled issues surrounding name differences in his credentials.
Also, the IGP, 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 Daily Sun showed that the matter was dismissed.
Nwite said: “After hearing Edward Onaga, the counsel to the plaintiff, who conceded that the matter can be dismissed and the defendant’s 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.”