Cert fraud: Court orders arrest of Edo lawmaker-elect loyal to Oshiomhole

Amidst the political tension rocking Edo State, Benin High court has ordered the arrest of lawmaker elect representing Ovia North-East I in the Edo State House of Assembly (EDHA), Dumez Onaiwu Ugiagbe.

Justice Ohimai Ovbiagele, at the Criminal Court 5 in Benin City, the Edo State capital, issued the order of arrest following the refusal of Mr Dumez to appear in court to answer to a six-count charge of forgery and impersonation against him.

It is alleged that the lawmaker is a loyalist to National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole, in his political feud with the Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki. Mr Oshiomhole is the immediate past governor of Edo and helped install Mr Obaseki as governor.

The order became necessary after the lawmaker refused to show up in court at previous scheduled hearing dates.

The case had earlier come up on Friday, October 25, at Criminal Court 5, but the defendant also failed to appear in court as he was in Abuja. With the absence of the defendant in court to take his plea, Justice Ohimai Ovbiagele adjourned the case to Friday, November 1 ,2019 and ordered the police to produce Mr Dumez in court on the new date.

The police had concluded their investigations on an allegation that the West African Examination Council (WAEC) certificate submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) by Mr Dumez for the 2019 State Assembly election had his passport superimposed on it.

WAEC officials had revealed that the passport on the original certificate in their database was not Mr Dumez’s, thereby confirming the suspicion of certificate forgery.

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