9th March, 2021
Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo has been put in suspense by the Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja after it reserved ruling in the case filed by the All Progressives Congress to invalidate his re-election.
A three-man panel of justices announced the decision after listening to arguments from both parties on Monday.
The announcement came the same day that the court of appeal in Benin validated the ticket of Obaseki’s challenger, Ize-Iyamu and his running mate.
The APC and a member, Williams Edobor, allege that the certificate presented by Obaseki to contest the 2020 election was forged.
Two months ago, a Federal High Court in Abuja dismissed the case, giving Obaseki victory.
Now, he awaits the decision of the appeal court.
In their brief of argument, the APC and Edobor argued that at the lower court, issues of forgery and falsification were raised but the court only determined the issue of forgery and left out that of falsification.
Counsel to the APC, Akin Olujimi, insisted that the purported degree certificate submitted by Governor Obaseki to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) was false.
In his response, counsel to Obaseki argued that based on the pleadings of the appellant, the false information allegedly submitted by the respondent was on the fact that he did not graduate from the University of Ibadan in 1979 and did not resign from Afri- Investment Limited.
Justice Ahmed Mohammed of the Federal High Court in Abuja on 9 January dismissed the case, citing the plaintiff’s negligence in authenticating Obaseki’s certificate from the University of Ibadan.
The judge also noted that the Deputy Registrar (Legal) of the University of Ibadan had given evidence in the suit that the university duly issued the certificate to Governor Obaseki.
According to him, the governor was duly and properly admitted to study Classics, which was later renamed Classical Studies in 1976 and graduated in 1979.