Court frees Edo lawmaker-elect of forgery, impersonation charges

An Edo State High Court on Thursday acquitted Edo lawmaker-elect, Dumez Ugiagbe, of allegations of forgery, impersonation and threat to life.

In a seven-count charge, the prosecution had accused Ugiagbe of forging a West African Examination Council (WAEC) certificate with no NGWASSCP 1230734.

The prosecution charged him with also impersonation, alleging that the picture in the WAEC records during the examination was his the passport photograph.

He was further accused of threatening one Blessing Osagie with machete in Okhiokhio village, in Ovia North-East Local Government Area of the State.

He was arraigned in court in absentia on 25 October, 2019, where the State Government announced that it was taking over the case which had the Commissioner of Police as the complainant.

The State Counsel, Mr Peter Ojo, said then that the decision to take over the matter was in pursuant to section 212 of the constitution.

Delivering judgement in the case marked B/CD/321c/2019, Justice Efe Ikponmwonba, agreed to the No Case submission by the defendant, saying the allegations could not be proven by the prosecution.

Reacting to the judgment, Counsel to Ugiagbe, Paul Osarenkhoe, described the judgement as being well-thought-out and a victory for democracy.

He said: “We made a no case submission. As a matter of fact, the prosecution called about three witnesses, we examined the entire case and we made a no case submission.

“The judge agreed with us and upheld our no case submission and discharged and acquitted Dumez. It is a well-thought-out case and I thank the Hon. Justice Efe Ikponmwonba.

“It is a victory for democracy because I see the whole issue as politically motivated just to distract and unsettle our client but all that is history now.”

Recall that Ugiagbe was elected on the platform of the APC, during the 2019 general election, to represent Ovia North-East Constituency I in the State House of Assembly.

He and 13 other lawmakers-elect however turned down their inauguration and has since stayed away from the House.

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