Tribunal Set To Hear Petition Against Ikuforiji

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Hearing of a petition filed by a People’s Democratic Party (PDP) candidate in the last state assembly election, Barrister Olajumoke Josephine Sawyer, will commence tomorrow.

Sawyer, who contested the 26 April, 2011 election into the Lagos State House of Assembly, is urging the court to nullify the election of the current Speaker of the Assembly, Mr. Adeyemi Ikuforiji.

In a statement on oath sworn to by Barrister Sawyer and filed before the tribunal by a Lagos lawyer, Dele Awokoya, the despondent is urging the tribunal to nullify the election of Adeyemi Sabitiu Ikuforiji, who was the candidate of Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in the last election on the ground that he was not qualified to contest the said election held on the 26 April, 2011 as it affects Ikeja Constituency 01 and therefore should be cancelled in its entirety.

Sawyer alleged further that Form CF 001 filled by Adeyemi Ikuforiji and deposed to before Commissioner for Oaths at the Lagos State Ministry of Justice on 28 January, 2011 revealed a litany of lies, falsehood and deliberate misrepresentation.

In the said form, the Speaker was alleged to have declared that he was born on 24 August, 1958, while on 10 January, 2011, he deposed to an affidavit titled Declaration of Loss also before the Commissioner for Oaths, declaring that he obtained his West African School Certificate from Epe Grammar School in 1975

as well as a certificate from the Universertatea Babes-Bolyai Cluj-Napoca in Romania in 1977 and also a Master’s degree from the Academy of Economic Studies in Romania in 1981 and another Master’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Lagos in 1987.

He was also alleged to have declared that he was born on 24 August, 1958 and a certificate of birth was issued on his behalf on 29 October, 1999, while all original certificates mentioned above were misplaced and efforts to locate them proved abortive.

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Sawyer also averred that the declaration made by Mr. Ikuforiji in his affidavit of loss deposed to be asserted that he obtained a certificate of brith on 29 October, 1999, but the certificate he purportedly obtained from Babes Bolyai University, Romania in 1977 which he claimed belongs to him revealed that the owner was born on the 2 August. 1954.

Meanwhile, the owner of another certificate he purportedly obtained from the Academy of Economic Studies in 1981 was born on 24 August, 1956.

Consequently, Barrister Sawyer alleged that Mr. Ikuforiji cannot be the owner of the degrees and certificates obtained in 1977 and 1981, having been born on 24 of August, 1958, while the owners of those degrees were born on 24 August, 1954 and 24 August, 1956 respectively.

Therefore, the respondent had deliberately lied under oath and thus perjured on account of his age and certificates purportedly obtained in 1977 and 1981 and as such, he is not fit to contest the election held into the Lagos State House of Assembly held on 26 April, 2011.

The petitioner then contended that the Independent National Electoral Commission knew or ought to have known that the attached certificates the respondent claimed to be his were not genuine or had been falsified.