Governor Gabriel Suswam of Benue State

By Tobi Soniyi

The West African Examination Council (WAEC) Friday cleared the fog surrounding the allegation of certificate forgery levelled against Governor Gabriel Suswam of Benue State, when it tendered the original General Certificate of Education (GCE) result of the governor before a Chief Magistrate Court in Abuja.

The council’s Assistant Registrar, Mr. Kingsley Ugo Anyim, tendered the document, which the court admitted as exhibit in the alleged certificate forgery matter involving Suswam.

Three persons are standing trial for allegedly defaming the character of Suswam in an article published in the Power Steering magazine.

The editor of the magazine Dan Ekah, Chidozie Ukpai and one Oseer were arraigned by the police for “joint act of defamation of character, injurious falsehood, printing or engraving matter, known to be defamatory and sale of printing of engraved substance containing defamatory matter contrary to sections 79,392,393,394 and 395 of the penal code law”.

The court sitting before Chief Magistrate Hafsat Soso was supposed to deliver a ruling on the “no case submission” made by the accused persons, but had to adjourn till March 23, 2012 to enable her examine Suswam’s GCE result which WAEC tendered Friday.
The court had earlier struck out the preliminary objection filed by the accused persons for been premature and ill-timed but the accused persons had insisted there was nothing linking them to the charges preferred against them by the police.

Suswam’s Special Adviser on Media and Public Affairs, Dr. Cletus Akwaya, a prosecution witness in the matter had told the court that he read the said libelous publication in the September 6, 2010 edition of the magazine which portrayed Suswam as a fake lawyer and that he forged his WAEC certificate among other malicious allegations against the governor and members of his family.

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