On March 26, Senator Benson Konbowei of Bayelsa Central will be charged with falsification of his National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) certificate by the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and the Minister of Justice.
The Inspector General of Police, IGP, proposed three allegations against the senator in the charge designated CR/028/2023, some of which bordered on fabrication of the NYSC exemption certificate.
In particular, he was charged with fabricating a certificate of exemption bearing the number 000256454 and dated July 4, 2008, in a fraudulent manner.
According to the police, the senator violated the Penal Code, Act CAP 532 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 1990, sections 366, 156, and 158, and was subject to penalty under Section 364 of the same Act.
Attorney for the senator, Gordy Uche (SAN), informed the court during Monday’s proceedings at the FCT High Court in the Apo division that his client was “medically indisposed” and provided a medical report to support his assertion.
“My lord, the defendant is medically ill and cannot be in court,” he declared. He’s got a drip going on. I beseech the court to postpone. I swear to supply him for the upcoming proceedings.
Egwuaba Reuben, the attorney general of the federation’s counsel, claimed that the senator was dodging justice and asked the court to issue a bench warrant for his arrest.
“We disagree with the medical report,” stated Egwuaba. On Friday, while he was in Force Headquarters, he signed a petition against me stating that he wanted the police to pursue the case.
He declared that he didn’t want me. Given this, I am requesting an order from this court to issue a warrant for the defendant’s arrest in compliance with Section 352 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA). His nonattendance is a deliberate attempt to weaken the judiciary.
But Justice Christopher Oba, the trial judge, overruled him and accepted the medical report that was given.
The issue is that factual action is expected of the court. The court decided that if someone had a different opinion, they ought to state it under oath or present additional evidence indicating the medical report was inaccurate.
The hospital’s name has to be provided, the judge ordered after noticing that it was absent from the paperwork.
He postponed the matter till March 26 and 28 in order to hold the arraignment and start the trial.
The judge threatened to dismiss the police case if they failed to present their witnesses.
When Egwuaba and Eyinsan Lawrence identified themselves as the prosecution’s attorneys, there was a spectacle in court earlier.
Egwuaba informed the court that he had a fiat to defend him and that the case had been taken over by the AGF and Minister of Justice, Lateef Fagbemi (SAN).
However, Lawrence said that just a few minutes ago, Egwuaba had told him.
“I was just informed,” he stated. I was served this morning by Egwuba. We will be notified so that the IGP may assume control of the situation, and our stance is that he should be served.
“As it stands, we will require some time to look into the fiat and his assertion that the AGF has assumed control of the situation.”
Lawrence was overruled by the judge, who also stated that the AGF is the nation’s chief legal officer.
“I will recognize him as he is from the AGF and has submitted a document to that effect,” the speaker declared. The nation’s chief legal officer is the AGF.
“Go find out if there’s any reason you shouldn’t recognize him, then get back to me.” I should follow the law in this case. I won’t be able to identify your appearance.