Monday, May 16, 2011

Court orders arrest of senator for forgery

For allegedly misleading the court into awarding judgment in his favour, a magistrate court in Abuja has ordered the arrest of Alphonsus Obi Igbeke, the senator representing Anambra North senatorial district.

The warrant, which was issued in Abuja at the weekend by the presiding magistrate,Attahiru Alkali, ordered all police officers who see Mr Igbeke anywhere to arrest him as he stood charged with forgery. Before the warrant was issued, the police had told the Federal High Court, Abuja, that Mr Igbeke forged the documents he presented to the court which led to the judgment that declared him the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the April 9th National Assembly election.

The Federal High Court, Abuja, presided over by Abdul Kafarati, in a judgment delivered on the 17th day of March, 2011, declared Mr Igbeke the authentic PDP candidate for Anambra North senatorial district. Dissatisfied with the decision, his opponent, John Emeka, took his case further to the Court of Appeal, Abuja.
Mr Igbeke had filed an application for the enforcement of his rights at the Federal High Court, Abuja, after the police wrote to the clerk of the National Assembly asking for him to be released for questioning.


Mr Igbeke filed the application under the Fundamental Enforcement Procedure Rules where he claimed that the police were hunting him because they wanted to stop him from campaigning for the April 9th election. But in a counter-affidavit, the police said they were prepared to charge the senator with forgery.

The affidavit was deposed to by Jonah Wutu, a police officer attached to the Legal/Prosecution Section of the Force Criminal Investigation Department. In the counter-affidavit, the police described how Mr Igbeke allegedly altered the result of the PDP primary for the selection of the candidate to fly the party's flag for the Anambra North Senatorial district.

According to the police, the said primary was won by John Emeka, jnr, who polled 1,156 votes as against Mr Igbeke's 74 votes. But in the suit, through which Mr Igbeke got judgment at the Federal High Court, Abuja, he claimed that he was the one who scored the highest votes of 1,156 at the primary.

Relying on the alleged false depositions by Mr Igbeke, Mr Kafarati gave judgment in his favour. When Mr Emeka got wind of Mr Igbeke's claims, he wrote a complaint to the police, which said its investigation supports Mr Emeka's claim. "We are ready to charge him to court with forgery under relevant laws including Section 118 of the Electoral Act," the police said.

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