Friday 7 July 2023


By: Valentine Adese (JP),

The 5 witnesses called by Hon. Mohammad Adamu Alkali, former Member of the House of Representatives, were confronted with hard and real facts under cross examination in Petition No: EPT/PL/HR/08/2023, filed by Rt. Hon. Ibrahim Baba Hassan, challenging the victory of, Hon. Agah Avia, in the just concluded election for Jos-North/Bassa Federal Constituency of Plateau State.

The petition, slated for continuation of defense of Hon. Muhammed Adamu Alkali and his party, the Peoples Redemption Party (PRP), as 4th/5th Respondents saw, Hon. Alkali calling, Ibrahim Abubakar, Hassan Adamu Ibrahim, Usman Zakari, Shehu Mohammed Abdukadir and Tijjani Mohammed Nazi, to defend him on his alleged forged Primary School Certificate in issue.

Among the 5 witnesses, 2 are ordinary witnesses, while 3 are subpoenaed witnesses.

Although, Ibrahim Abubakar, Hassan Adamu Ibrahim, who are ordinary witnesses, claimed to be Hon. Alkali’s classmates and also tendered a group photograph of their class mates under cross examination, they told the Tribunal that, the picture does not indicate the set and year of the pupils in the picture.

They also told the Tribunal that, they came to give evidence on behalf of, “Mohammed Adam”. They however, discovered that, the name in the Tribunal’s processes is Mohammed Adamu Alkali.

In their defense, the witnesses explained that, Alkali was simply a title or a nick name, which simple means “A Judge”.  However, when confronted under cross examination by the Counsel to the Petitioners, I. H. Magaji (SAN), on whether nick names could be written on sensitive documents, the two witnesses said, “I don’t know”.

Ibrahim Abubakar, Hassan Adamu Ibrahim, who claimed that, they graduated with Hon. Alkali in 1990 at LGED Primary School, Angwan Rogo, in Jos North Local Government Area (LGA) of Plateau state, told the Tribunal that, they were 250 pupils during their final examination and graduation and that, Hon. Alkali took the 12th position as contained in the allegedly forged certificate.

However, under cross examination and being confronted with the school record and the alleged forged certificate of Hon. Alkali, already tendered at the Tribunal by the Petitioners’ witnesses, they were faced with the reality that, the last name on the school record for the pupils that graduated in1990 was No: 249, contrary to the 250 they both claimed and the 75 stated in the alleged forged certificate.

Furthermore, the item 093 on the Exhibit (P14) is Muhammad Adamu and he took 36th position in the record and not Muhammad Adamu Alkali they came to defend. They also discovered.

While, Hassan Adamu Ibrahim claimed that their Headmaster was one Mrs. Elizabeth Atang, Ibrahim Abubakar, told the Tribunal that, he cannot remember the name of their Headmaster and also, whether it was a Male or Female.

Usman Zakari, Shehu Mohammed Abdukadir and Tijjani Mohammed Nazi, who are subpoenaed witnesses testified that, they know Hon. Mohammad Adam and that he graduated from the said Primary School in 1990 in Angwan Rogo.

While, Usman Zakari, told the Tribunal that he is a civil servant, Shehu Mohammed Abdukadir and Tijjani Mohammed Nazi, told the Tribunal that, they are retired civil servants.

They also disclosed that, LGED Primary School Angwan Rogo is a public school under Jos North Local Government (LG) Education Authority.

Usman Zakari, who is still a staff of the Education Authority, told the Tribunal under cross examination that, he was not at the Tribunal giving evidence in the capacity as a staff, but just for the 4th Respondent in the petition and that, he has forgotten the name of the present Executive Secretary (ES). However, he added that, he takes instructions from his superiors particularly, the ES.

He further disclosed that, as at 2006, he was working at Islamiya Pilot Science Primary School and not LGED Primary School Angwan Rogo, while emphasizing that, the schools are different.

He said, “I did not issue the certificate to the 4th Respondent it was the Headmaster. I can confirm that, until the Headmaster instructs, nobody can issue certificate to any pupil.

“I am aware that, the 4th Respondent is being investigated for giving INEC an alleged forged certificate. I did not carry out any investigation to know of the forgery because I am not in the right position to do so and I did not also offer myself to the Police to assist them in the investigation”.

On his part, Shehu Mohammed Abdukadir, who lives in Angwan Rogo and a retired civil servant, told the Tribunal that, he was at the Tribunal to give evidence in defense of the 4th Respondent in the petition, but not on official capacity, as he was not instructed by the school’s headmaster to do so.

He said, “I made reference to Azi Ajiji, but I am not speaking on his behalf.

“I came to testify on behalf of Muhammad Adam. I was not in the school as at 1990. I was posted to the school in 2003. As at, 2006, I was in the school and, I have not seen, the original copy of, Muhammad’s certificate attached to Exhibit P8. I have also not seen the record of those, who graduated in 1990.

“I had issues with Adamu in 2007. I have also made mention of Mohammed Adam and that he is Alkali, meaning Judge. This is simply a title like Imam.

“My business is only to defend Muhammad Adam”.

The last witness of Hon. Alkali before he closed his case was one, Tijjani Mohammed Nazi, who is also a retired civil servant and had made his witness statement on the 5th of July, 2023.

When shown the alleged forged certificate, he claimed it was not forged as he identified it.

In part he said, “I signed the certificate, as the Assistant Headmaster of the school and I can repeat the signature. I have exam officers and they fill the gaps, while I only signed”.

Tijjani, told the Tribunal that, the school lost valuable documents during the crises that rocked the state, especially, Jos north Local Government Area and that, documents were but including several registers among other records.

Tijjani under cross examination, told that Tribunal that he was instructed to signe the certificate by the then Principal, Mrs. Hajiya Mero Sani.

In part, he said, “Azi Ajiji was my Headmaster and I will be surprised that he said that the certificate was forged. He was no longer there. He left in February, 2006.

“It was my Headmaster Mrs. Hajiya Mero Sani, who delegated the duty to me since I am her Assistant Headmaster.

“I know the office Ajiji is occupying now. I was in his house recently”.

The petition has been adjourned for adoption of Final Address by the Tribunal.

You would recall that, REALITY had reported that, Three (3) witnesses in the ongoing trial of the petition filed by Rt. Hon. Ibrahim Baba Hassan, challenging the victory of, Hon. Agah Avia, in the just concluded election for Jos-North/Bassa Federal Constituency of Plateau State, have told the National and State Houses of Assembly Tribunal sitting in Jos that, the former member of the House of Representatives, Hon. Mohammed Adamu Alkali, forged the primary school certificate he submitted to INEC.

The three witnesses, Mr. Azi Ajiji, Gambo Adamu and Lawan Ibin Sulieman, who were on subpoena had also stated same in their statements under Oath before the Tribunal.

While Azi Ajiji is the Executive Secretary of Jos North Local Government Education Authority, Gambo Adamu was the Headmaster of Angwan Rogo Primary School, the primary school whose certificate is in question in 1990 and Lawan Ibin Sulieman is the school’s current Headmaster.

In their collective testimonies before the Tribunal, the three witnesses submitted that, the certificate of the school submitted to INEC by, Hon. Mohammed Adamu Alkali now Exhibit P8 before the Tribunal, was forged owing to several discrepancies.

In his testimony under Examination-in-Chief and Cross-Examination by 6 of the Respondent’s Counsels, Mr. Azi Ajiji the ES, told the Tribunal in part that:

“I am the Executive Secretary (ES) of Jos North Local Government Education Authority. I came here by a subpoena invitation. I have a copy here. I had deposed to a statement on Oath dated 15th June, 2023 before the Tribunal and I can recognize it by my signature.

“I am a Christian and I know the consequences and implication of telling lies.

“I saw on the face of the Certificate that, those who graduated from Angwan Rogo Primary School in 1990 are 75, but in our record, the pupils are 249.

“The 2nd Respondent, Hon. Agah Avia has nothing to do with this disclosure, but INEC.

“It is true that, the school is a public school.  You are correct to say that, it is under the authority of the Education Authority of Jos North.

“I said I was shown a certificate to certify its genuineness. The certificate from Angwan Rogo Primary school was what I was asked to check its genuineness. I personally did the verification.

“In the certificate, it is stated that, 75 pupils graduated in 1990. But, I had to compare it with our record in the office and they were at variance.

“Contrary to the name on the certificate, there is no name of Mohammed Adamu in the record. Also contrary is that 249 pupils graduated and not 75.

“The purported certificate does not also indicate that it was issued by Jos North LG Education Authority.

“Based on the contents of the Certificate and my findings, it is a forged Document as it is not from us. This certificate is attached to Exhibit P8 before the Tribunal.

“The name on the certificate is Mohammed Alkali, who contested the recent House of Representatives seat of Jos-North/Bassa.

“All I have said on Oath is the truth that I know personally.

“I can confirm that I am a staff of Jos North Local Government only.

“I am an expert in verifying documents, but not every document or paper.

“In the list of grandaunts, No: 93 is Mohammed Adamu, with position 36. There are two Mohammed Adamu on the list.

“As the Educational Secretary of Jos North Local Government Authority, I am part of Plateau state civil servant.

‘On the certificate purportedly issued by the Authority the position of Mohammed Adamu is 12. But on the record, Mhammed Adamu took position 36, while the other Adamu took position 68. Secondly from the list of 1990, Mohammed Alkali is not there”.

On his part, Gambo Adamu, the former Headmaster, distanced himself from the certificate claiming that, the signature on it is not his as he personally signed all the certificates issued to pupils of the school, who graduated in 1990.

In part, Gambo Adamu told the Tribunal under Examination-in-chief and Cross-examination that:

“I am a staff of Plateau State Primary School Education Board, Jos-North. I was the Headmaster of Angwan Rogo primary School as at 2006.

“I made a statement on Oath, dated 15th June, 2023 and I want the Tribunal to use it as my evidence in this petition.

“The signature on the certificate submitted to INEC is not mine. The certificate submitted to INEC is not obtained from Angwan Rogo Primary school because it was not signed by me as I did signed the others in 1990.

‘Apart from being the Headmaster, I am a Coordinator of the Supervisors of the Supervisors of Primary schools now”.

Putting more flesh to the testimonies of Azi and Gambo, Lawan Ibin Sulieman told the Tribunal that:

“I am the Headmaster of Angwan Rogo Primary School now! I am here on subpoena. I am asked to bring the record of pupils, who graduated from the school for 1990.

“The Police had invited me severally and I have shown the Police documents with respect to this forgery issue.

“After investigations, it was discovered that, in 1990, no name like Mohammed Adamu Alkali graduated and that contrary to the certificate, 249 pupils graduated and not 75.

“I know Gambo Adamu, he is my senior and we are working together.

“You are correct to say that, Gambo was the Headmaster in 1990”.

Earlier before commencing the trial, the Plateau State Commissioner of Police, through Inspector Muleng Alex (Mrs) had produced a report concerning the investigation of the issue, as requested in the subpoena served on him, dated 13th June, 2023.

This document was tendered by I. H. Magaji (SAN), Counsel to the petitioners from the Bar alongside other documents relating to the election.


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