Judge recuses self from alleged certificate forgery case against Gov Bindow

Judge recuses self from alleged certificate forgery case against Gov Bindow

- The judge handling the alleged certificate forgery suit instituted against Governor Jibrilla Bindow has recused himself from the case

- If the move to indict Bindow succeeded, one of President Muhammadu Buhari’s in-laws, popularly known as Modi, would have been the major beneficiary

- Counsel to the governor, Chris Uche, said the case lacked merit and had no chance of going far

The judge handling the alleged certificate forgery suit instituted against the governor of Adamawa state, Jibrilla Bindow, has recused himself from the case.

Justice Abdulaziz Anka said he would return the case file to the chief judge of the Federal High Court for re-assignment to another judge, as he announced his withdrawal from the case “on personal grounds”, Premium Times reports.

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Legit.ng notes that a rights group, Global Crusade Integrity Network (GICN) had filed a case against Bindow before an Abuja Federal High Court in September 2018, following allegations that the governor forged his secondary school certificate.

If the move to indict Bindow succeeded, one of President Muhammadu Buhari’s in-laws, popularly known as Modi, would have been the major beneficiary, having emerged as the first runner-up in the disputed All Progressive Congress (APC) primaries in the state.

The case had been transferred to Yola, after it was granted accelerated hearing by Justice B.O Kadri of an Abuja Federal High Court in October 2018.

Many in the court, especially Modi’s supporters, who thought the sitting will disrupt Bindow’s hope for a second term, were reportedly rattled by Anka’s decision to jettison the case.

The presiding judge said: “Justice must not only be done but must be seen to be done."

He said that after hearing from the counsels, it had become apparent that he was uncomfortable continuing with the case.

Counsel to Bindow, Chris Uche, reacting to the withdrawal, said his client is ready to “follow the case to anywhere it may be taken”.

He added: “As we said in the open court, we are ready for the hearing in the case to continue, but the judge recused himself from the case and it is being sent back to Abuja. Wherever they take us, we will go.

“From when this case was first filed in Abuja, we raised the objection that the plaintiff (GICN) is an artificial person who has no locus standi to institute the case.

“The plaintiff was not an aspirant and is not a citizen of Adamawa state and has no business challenging Bindow as the candidate of the APC for the forthcoming election."

Uche said the case lacked merit and “had no chance of going far”.

On his part, the counsel to GICN, Edward Omaga, appeared unperturbed.

Omaga insisted that the network could not be said to lack locus standi in the suit against the governor, as it is an advocacy group duly registered by the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) to carry out its functions “for or against persons and organisations anywhere across the country."

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Recall that Legit.ng previously reported that Mahmood Halilu, also known as Modi, the brother of Aisha Buhari, wife of the president, dragged the All Progressives Congress (APC) 2019 governorship candidate in Adamawa state, Governor Mohammed Jibrilla Bindow, to court for allegedly possessing a forged certificate.

Halilu said he dragged the governor to court because his campaign organisation confirmed that the governor allegedly possesses a forged certificate.

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Source: Legit.ng

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