The Court of Appeal in Abuja yesterday ordered a House of Representatives member, Hon. Hassan Saleh from Benue State to vacate the seat immediately, following the setting aside of the judgment of the Federal High Court that brought him to office.
In his place, the appellate court ordered that one Hon. Christian Abah be allowed to replace him on the ground that the allegation of certificate forgery upon which he was barred by the Federal High Court from being inaugurated had never been proven beyond reasonable doubt as demanded by law.
Saleh had challenged the eligibility of Christian Abah to stand for the election on the ground that he forged an Ordinary National Diploma certificate in Accountancy purportedly obtained from the Federal Polytechnic, Mubi, in 1985.
Abah was the unopposed Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, candidate in the April 11, 2015, election.
The judgment of Justice Adeniyi Ademola of the Federal High Court in Abuja delivered last year which nullified the election of Mr. Abah as a member of the House of Representatives from Benue State on the ground of certificate forgery was therefore set aside.
The appellate court held that the judgment of Justice Ademola was pervasive because the ingredient of criminality in the allegations against Abah was not proven let alone beyond reasonable doubt.
In the Appeal Court lead judgment delivered by Justice Tani Yusuf Hassan held that the allegation of forgery of certificate brought against Hon. Abah ought to have been proven before an order withdrawing the certificate of return issued to him by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.
Justice Hassan also held that the Federal High Court was wrong in its order that INEC should issue a new certificate of return to Saleh and dabbling into the issue of nomination when in actual fact the allegation made by Saleh against his opponent had not been proven by any law court.
The court therefore upheld the certificate of return earlier issued to Abah by INEC and ordered him to be inaugurated as a member of House of Representatives from Benue State.

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