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Forgery: FG’s defective charge stalls Misau arraignment

The arraignment of Sen Isah Misau on amended charge before the Federal High Court, Abuja was stalled because the charge filed by the federal government was defective.

The matter was therefore, adjourned to December 12 for the federal government to arraign the senator on the 10- amended charge.

The trial, which was earlier scheduled to commence yesterday, could not proceed after it was discovered that the charge which was filed by the office of the Attorney General of the Federation and the Minister of Justice, was defective.

Although Misau, representing Bauchi Central senatorial district, was in court for his arraignment, the charge couldn’t be read to him.

Counsel to the lawmaker, Dr. Joshua Yusuf Musa (SAN), challenged the charge legal competence, noting that the charge was bereft of the requisite seal.

Musa argued that under Order 10 of the Rules of Professional Conduct, a seal duly authorised by the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) must be affixed to every charge to accord it validity.

He submitted that it would not be proper for his client to enter his plea to a defective charge.

He noted, “My lord, if there is an irregularity in the charge, it will be dangerous for the defendant to take his plea. They have to regularise the charge.”

In his reaction, a counsel from the office of the AGF, Mr. Saleh Hadi, acknowledged that seal was not affixed to the charge, even as he applied for a short adjournment to enable FG to regularise the amended charge.

Consequently, Justice Anwuli Chikere, deferred the arraignment till December 12.

In the amended charge, FG accused the embattled lawmaker of making and uttering false documents that he allegedly submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) when he was seeking election to the Senate in 2011 and 2014.

The documents, which he was said to have falsely made and uttered, comprised affidavits in support of personal particulars, statutory declaration of age deposed to at the FCT High Court and the Bauchi

State Health Management Board birth certificate with number 28799.

The federal government alleged that the lawmaker forged a Bauchi State Health Management Board birth certificate with number 141400C, which he allegedly submitted to INEC on January 28, 2011, knowing it to be false.

The various birth certificates and statutory declarations of age the Senator submitted to INEC at different times were said to have disclosed different dates of birth.

It will be recalled that FG had on October 19, equally arraigned Misau before a High Court of the Federal Capital Territory for making “injurious falsehood” against the IGP and the Nigerian Police Force.

He was released on bail to the tune of N5million with two sureties in like sum.

The lawmaker alleged that police officers allegedly paid as much as N2.5m to get special promotion and posting through the Police Service Commission.

About Vivian Okejeme, Abuja

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