Home Court Court strikes out certificate forgery suit against Bayelsa senator

Court strikes out certificate forgery suit against Bayelsa senator

4 min read

A Federal Capital Territory High Court in Apo has struck out the certificate forgery case against the Senator representing Bayelsa Central Senatorial District, Benson Konbowei.

Konbowei was arraigned before the court on March 26 on three counts.

In the charge marked: CR/028/2023, the Inspector General of Police accused Konbowei of fraudulently forging a document titled ‘Certificate of Exemption’ with number 000256454 and dated July 4, 2008, among others.

The senator pleaded not guilty to the charges.

At the resumed proceedings on Monday, the prosecuting counsel, Reuben Egwuaba, applied to withdraw the case.

He noted that his action followed the withdrawal of the fiat issued to him by the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Lateef Fagbemi (SAN), to prosecute the matter.

Egwuaba said, “My lord, the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice who earlier issued to me a fiat to prosecute the case, has withdrawn the fiat and directed me to withdraw it. I hereby apply to withdraw the case.”

The lead counsel for the defendant, Chris Uche (SAN), did not oppose the application moved by Egwuaba.

Uche, in addition, urged the court to dismiss the matter.

In his ruling, the trial judge, Justice Christopher Oba, turned down the request of the defence counsel to dismiss the matter.

He, however, struck it out.

He also discharged the defendant.

Oba said, “Having listened to the application of the prosecution counsel, I hereby make an order that the case be struck out. The accused is hereby discharged. ”

Addressing journalists after the proceedings, the senator who stated that he was not a criminal, said the matter brought before the court was politically motivated.

He said, “Over time, we have been on the matter. All of us in this business know that it was all about politics. They know that I am clean. This is not anything anyone should argue about. I have been a councillor, state assembly member and SSG before becoming a senator. I am not a criminal in any way.”

Also, the prosecuting lawyer noted that the merit of the case has not been determined.

He added that an action would be taken after reviewing the law.

Egwuaba said, “The fact that the AGF withdrew his fiat is not an acquittal. It is a temporary relief on the side of the defendant. The matter has not been decided on merit. We will go home and look at the law and know the necessary steps to take.”



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