By Seun Adeuyi
A Federal High Court in Abuja will on Saturday afternoon, deliver judgment in the alleged certificate forgery case filed against Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State, by the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Edobor Williams, a chieftain of the party.
The time and date was taken on Thursday by Justice Ahmed Mohammed after lawyers to both parties adopted their final written addresses.
After adopting their final written addresses, Counsel for Obaseki, Ken Mozia (SAN) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Razaq Isenalumhe, urged the court to dismiss the suit.
While Mozia also prayed the court to hold that the plaintiffs failed woefully to prove their case, Isenalumhe prayed the court to award substantial cost against the plaintiffs.
“We did not file any process in this suit and have consistently remained neutral. We urge the court to decide the case one way or the other in accordance with the processes before it,” said Murktar Bawa, Counsel for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), in his submission.
In the suit marked “FHC/B/CS/74/2020”, the plaintiffs had asked the court to, among others, disqualify Obaseki as the candidate of the PDP in the September 19, 2020 governorship election.
They argued that Obaseki forged his first degree certificate, which he claimed to have obtained from the University of Ibadan (UI) in 1979 and which he submitted to INEC as part of his educational qualifications.
According to them, a photocopy of the degree certificate attached to the nomination form that the governor submitted to INEC did not contain the signature of the Registrar of the university and the date it was issued.
But in his defence, the governor said the Registrar’s signature and date of issue were cut off from the photocopies of his certificate submitted to INEC because the person who made the copies used A4, which is smaller than the size of the original certificate.
While Obaseki called three witnesses to support his case, the plaintiffs called six witnesses in all and tendered documents in support of their case. The PDP and INEC did not call any witness.