The Federal High Court in Abuja has dismissed the case against the governor of Edo state, Godwin Obaseki initiated by the APC and a chieftain Williams Edobor over his alleged forged school certificate.
The plaintiffs accused the governor of forging his Bachelor of Arts in Classical Studies certificate which he submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in support of his nomination as a candidate in the Edo State governorship election.
The governor, who contested and won the September 2020 election on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, denied the allegation.
Justice Ahmed Mohammed, began his judgement at 1:20pm as he gave a rundown of the entire case and the witnesses called by both sides from start to closing arguments.
The judge giving a recap of the testimonies, says the plaintiffs called six witnesses:
First plaintiffs’ witness, Edoba Omoregie, had testified that Governor Obaseki submitted false or forged certificate which he claimed to have obtained from the University of Ibadan in 1979.
Mr Omoregie, a professor, said that the certificate submitted to INEC for the purposes of the September 2020 election was without a date of issuance and signature of the registrar.
He said the certificate presented by the governor for the 2020 election was different from the one he submitted to INEC when he contested the earlier 2016 election for his first term in office.
He said Mr. Obaseki lied under oath and submitted false or forged certificate to INEC.
The second plaintiffs’ witness, Samuel Omale, an employee and legal officer of INEC, tendered Mr Obaseki’s Form EC9 submitted INEC ahead of the 2020 election.
He said he was not part of INEC team that received documents for the purposes of the election.
The plaintiffs’ fifth witness, Gabriel Iduseri, who said he graduated from the University of Ibadan and obtained Bachelors of Arts in Classical Studies in 1976.
He insisted that Mr Obaseki gave false information in his Form EC9 where he claimed to have graduated from UI in 1979.
He said Mr Obaseki tendered an equivalent of the certificate in 2016 but completely different from the one he tendered in 2020.
He said with only three credit passes in Geography, History and Religious Knowledge, Mr Obaseki would not have qualified to be admitted into UI in 1976 whether through direct or indirect entry.
The plaintiffs’ sixth witness, Mikailu Asekome,said he gained admission to UI to study Agricultural Economics in 1974 and graduated in 1978.
He said it was not possible to be admitted to UI without five credits.
He said his own certificate he obtained from UI was signed by the university registrar and the Vice-Chancellor.
Mr Obaseki called three witnesses.
His first witness, Charity Aiguobarue, said he was the one who made the photocopy of the governor’s credentials attached to Form EC9 sumbitted to INEC last year.
He said he did not forge or falsify the documents. He said the form EC9 did not contain false information.
He said the absence of the the logo and signature of the registrar were cut off from the photocopy of Mr Obaseki’s UI certificate was “ostensibly because the size of the certificate was bigger than the A4 paper on which the photocopy was made”.
The court determined that the plaintiff had not proven their case and ruled against them.
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