The Governor of Edo State, Godwin Obaseki will on Saturday know his political fate as a Federal High Court in Abuja will deliver judgment in the alleged certificate forgery case filed against him by the All Progressives Congress (APC) and a chieftain of the party, Edobor Williams.
Justice Ahmed Mohammed on Thursday fixed the judgment after all the parties adopted their final briefs of argument.
While adopting his final written address, counsel to the plaintiffs, Akin Olujimi (SAN), urged the court to grant all the claims his clients are seeking in the matter.
The counsel to Obaseki, Ken Mozia (SAN), urged the court to dismiss the suit, insisting that the Plaintiffs failed to prove their allegation that his client submitted forged credentials to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
In like manner, counsel to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Razaq Isenalohme, asked the court to not only dismiss the suit but to do so with substantial cost.
Meanwhile, the INEC lawyer, Murktar Bawa in his submission stressed that it did not file any process in the matter. “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.”
The plaintiffs had in the suit marked: FHC/B/CS/74/2020, asked the court to, among others, disqualify Obaseki as the candidate of the PDP in the September 19, 2020 governorship election.
According to them, the governor forged his first-degree certificate, which he claimed to have obtained from the University of Ibadan in 1979 and which he submitted to INEC as part of his educational qualifications.
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The plaintiffs had claimed that a photocopy of the degree certificate attached to the nomination form that Obaseki submitted to INEC did not contain the signature of the Registrar of the university and the date it was issued.
But Obaseki in his defence said the Registrar’s signature and date of the 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 the plaintiffs called six witnesses in all and tendered documents in support of their case, Obaseki called three witnesses to support his case.
Among exhibits, he tendered before the court included the original copy of the Bachelor of Arts degree certificate that was awarded to him by the University of Ibadan in 1979, which the APC insisted was forged.
Other exhibits tendered by Obaseki to prove his qualification, were the School Certificate the West African Examination Council, WAEC issued to him in 1976, as well as the original copy of his Primary School Certificate issued in July 1971.
While PDP told the court that it would rely on Obaseki’s defence, INEC said it had no witnesses to call in the matter.