FACT-CHECK: Seriake Dickson Not Disqualified by Abuja High Court for Certificate Forgery

VERDICT: False

CLAIM: A WhatsApp message shared widely in groups and on Facebook was spotted  on November 13, 2020 claimed that the Federal High Court in Abuja had disqualified Seriake Dickson, from contesting  the Bayelsa West Senatorial District election over certificate forgery.

Seriake Dickson is the immediate past Governor of Bayelsa state and candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) in the forthcoming bye-election.

The message:

FACT:

A check by the CDD reveals that the former governor of Bayelsa State,  Seriake Dickson has not been disqualified for certificate forgery.

Contrary to the viral WhatsApp message, the case filed against the former Governor was dismissed by the presiding Judge, Justice Jane Nyang of the Federal High Court for lack of jurisdiction.

The court also ruled that the suit was filed out of time, meaning it was brought to the court after the stipulated time for such an action.

Eneoriekumoh Owoupele, the candidate of the All Progressive Congress (APC) had approached the court to disqualify Seriake Dickson  from participating in the election for allegedly supplying false information to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

Also, the WhatsApp broadcast claimed the court judgement was given in Abuja. Findings by our fact-checkers revealed the case was transferred from the court in Abuja to Bayelsa where the judgement was delivered.

CONCLUSION

The former Governor of Bayesla State Serieke Dickon has not been disqualified for forgery as claimed by the widely shared WhatsApp message. The governor is still in the race for the Bayelsa West Senatorial bye-election.

CDD is urging Nigerians to always verify the authenticity of stories before sharing them.

You can forward suspicious messages for verification via +2349062910568 or contact us on twitter @CDDWestAfrica

#StopFakeNews #StopDisinformation

Center for Democracy and Development West Africa| CDD West Africa