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I’m not in jail, says the rep, who was convicted for lying

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Victor Mela, a member of the house representatives, has debunked the report that he is in jail.

Mela, who is the lawmaker representing Billiri/Balanga federal constituency, was convicted for lying under oath in the CF001 INEC form he submitted ahead of the 2019 election.

The lawmaker had claimed that he did not have dual citizenship but it was discovered that he has a British passport.

A magistrate’s court in the federal capital territory (FCT) subsequently sentenced him to one month in prison for perjury.

But in a statement by Ibrahim Tal, his media aide, the lawmaker said the magistrate gave him an option of a fine, which he “satisfied immediately”.

“I had been briefed about happenings surrounding the alleged false declaration case filed against me at the instance of Hon. Ali Isa JC, who had earlier instituted 5 court cases against me since his overwhelming defeat by my humble self at the 2019 National Assembly elections,” the statement said.

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“Yesterday (Friday), the Chief Magistrates’ Court in Zone 6, Abuja finally dispensed of the matter with sentencing. I was given an option of a fine; a condition which I satisfied immediately.

“However, I would like to draw your attention to the false and malicious publications currently circulating on the internet via some online social media platforms.

“In the same vein, I have read with utmost dismay some misleading and misguided headlines that I was purportedly sentenced to imprisonment at a Correctional Center here in the FCT. This information is a grave misrepresentation of the sentence passed yesterday by the Court.

“While some of the above-mentioned outfits reported that I had earlier deposed to 3 conflicting affidavits pertaining to my citizenship status and that I hold a British passport, others said that I have been imprisoned.

“Let me clearly state here that, I do not have a British passport and neither was I imprisoned nor detained at any point in time during and after the trial.

“These are all lies concocted and fabricated by my desperate opponent to discredit me; I urge you to totally discountenance as well as disregard any such false publication(s).

“As at the end of working hours on Friday, Nov. 27, 2020, Certified True Copies (CTC) of the Judgement and Sentence of the Court had not been issued to anyone, I inclusive, as a result of which the source of the news circulating on some social media platforms remains inexplicable.

“As always and even at the moment, I am free and carrying out my legislative duties for the good people my Constituency, my state, and the nation as a whole.”

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