By Seun Adeuyi
The Federal High Court in Abuja has affirmed the election of Godwin Obseki as the governor of Edo State.
Justice Ahmed Mohammed, who delivered the judgment on Saturday, dismissed the alleged certificate forgery suit filed against the governor by the All Progressives Party (APC) and a chieftain of the party, Williams Edobor.
Recall that the APC and Edobor had filed the suit alleging that the governor presented a forged certificate to seek re-election in the Edo State governorship election held on September 19, 2020.
The plaintiffs said the document was purportedly issued by the University of Ibadan (UI), while the governor presented same to Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) which conducted the poll.
Before Justice Mohammed delivered the verdict, counsels to both parties in the matter had closed their cases after they presented witnesses and evidence to the court.
During proceedings on Thursday, Akin Olujimi, lawyer to the Plaintiffs, adopted his final written address.
Olujimi urged the court to affirm their position that the governor presented a forged certificate to the electoral umpire and was unfit to occupy the office.
However, this was rejected by Obaseki’s counsel, Ken Mozia, who asked the court to dismiss the suit over what he described as the plaintiff’s failure to prove their case.
In a bid to extend his stay in office by another four years, Obaseki contested and won the governorship election on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
After being elected into office for the first term on the APC platform, the governor defected to the PDP after he was screened out from the party’s primary which saw Osagie Ize-Iyamu emerging as the APC flagbearer for the poll.
This happened in the middle of a lingered dispute between the governor and Adams Oshiomhole, his predecessor and immediate past National Chairman of the APC.
After joining the PDP, he got the party’s ticket and went ahead to defeat Ize-Iyamu, to claim the governorship seat in what can be described as a dramatic switch of political parties. Obaseki secured 307,955 of the total votes, 84,336 more votes than Ize-Iyamu who got 223, 619 votes.
In the 2016 governorship election, Obaseki had defeated Ize-Iyamu as the APC candidate, while the latter was the PDP candidate.