On November 11, 2023, the CDD War Room received a claim that Muritala Ajaka, the governorship candidate of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) texted his supporters that he has been disqualified due to his running mate, Sam Ranti-Abenemi’s certificate issue.
The alleged text message reads “They have done their worse. I have been disqualified bcos of Sam Abenemis certificate issue. Our votes must not waste, vote for my former party, APC.
They have done their worse. I have been disqualified bcos of Sam Abenemis certificate issue. Our votes must not waste, vote for my former party, APC.”
Claim: SDP’s Muritala Ajaka has been disqualified due to running mate’s certificate issue
It will be recalled that in the build up to the election, the Kogi government had filed a suit against Sam Ranti-Abenemi, the running mate of the SDP governorship candidate, Muritala Ajaka, for allegedly submitting a forged certificate to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). He allegedly submitted a GCE O’Level certificate to INEC, for the upcoming governorship poll in the state.
The state government, through the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) Badama Kadiri, had charged Abenemi with perjury, false declaration, use of false documents as genuine and possession of a forged 1979 Ordinarily Level Certificate tendered in his Form EC9 to INEC.
However, the case took a twist when the counsel to the accused, Jibrin Okutepa (SAN), raised two motions that the court should quash the charge against Sam Abenemi, and a motion for the judge to recuse himself from the case.
After listening to the arguments of both parties on the said motion, Justice Ibrahim reserved ruling till a date to be communicated to the parties.
Therefore, the court has not made a pronouncement to disqualify or uphold the candidacy of Sam Abenemi, the running mate of the SDP ticket.
The CDD War Room found that the judge has reserved judgment on the certificate issue of Sam Abenemi, the running mate to Muritala Ajaka of SDP. We can confirm that both Muri and Abenemi are still in the race and remain the candidates of the SDP in the gubernatorial election.