The governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for the forthcoming governorship election in Kogi State, Alhaji Ahmed Usman Ododo, has been charged with forgery.
Mr Ododo is facing a criminal trial for alleged forgery of some of the documents he submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Ododo is accused of falsifying his credentials and declaration of age, according to court documents obtained by SaharaReporters.
He is also accused of forging his putative father’s signature on the declaration of age document, whose dates show Saturday and Sunday, considered work-free days for judicial workers in Nigeria.
Ododo could face up to 14 years in prison if found guilty. It could also ruin his campaign. It is also expected to exacerbate divides within the APC in the state since the complainants are in the same party as the candidate, making the party’s victory in the governorship race more challenging.
The APC leadership has yet to respond to the allegations levelled against Ododo.
A document dated October 27, 2023, shows that the suit was filed before the Chief Magistrate Court of Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, in accordance with section 89 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015 which demanded a direct summons to be issued against Ododo.
The 1st, 2nd and 3rd complainants are Abdul Ibrahim, Israel Tochukwu and Husseini Odaudu respectively while Ododo is the defendant.
The particulars of complaint are as follows: “That the 1st complainant is a business man and a member of the All Progressives Congress who resides in Lokoja.
“That the 2nd Complainant is a business man and a member of the All Progressives Congress who resides in Lokoja.
“That the 3rd Complainant is a business man, Farmer and a member of the All Progressives Congress who resides in Lokoja.
“That the Defendant is a governorship Candidate of the All Progressives Congress for the upcoming Kogi State governorship election slated for 11 November, 2023.
“That the Complainants state that the Defendant submitted Fake/Forged declaration of age contained in his Form EC9 to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Headquarters in Abuja in aid of qualifying him to contest the next governorship election of Kogi State 2023.
“The Complainants’ state that the said declaration of age was deposed to by one Usman Ododo, on the 2/8/2003 which was on a Saturday when no judicial workers works or Court operates.
“The Complainants state that the said declaration of age was signed by the Defendant Usman Ahmed Ododo, himself instead of the declarant Usman Ododo.
“The Complainants state that the signature of the declarant appended on the said declaration of age is the same signature appended on the form EC9 Usman Ahmed Ododo, and resignation letter of Usman Ahmed Ododowithdrawing from the services of Kogi Auditor General for local government.
“The Complainants state that the Defendant also submitted a fake/forged BSc Certificate in Accounting (Forensic) allegedly obtained in 2014 from the Achievers University, Owo, Ondo State.
“That as at 2014 when the Defendant claimed to have graduated from the school, Accounting as a course was yet to be Accredited by the National Universities Commission
“That the Accreditation of Accounting in the school was done in 2017, three years after the Defendant claimed to have graduated.
“That no University in Nigeria can graduate any student without the National Universities Commission’s approval.”