Appeal Court dismisses certificate forgery suit against Obaseki

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The certificate forgery suit filed against the Governor Obaseki by the All Progressives Congress and a chieftain of the party, identified as Williams Edobor, was dismissed yesterday by the Appeal Court sitting in Abuja.

The APC and Edobor had filed a suit against Obaseki, accusing him of forging the first degree certificate which he submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to enable him contest the governorship election.

But the governor had insisted that the error on the copy of his certificate, which he submitted to INEC, was made by a photocopying machine.

Also testifying as defence witness in the course of the litigation, an official of the legal unit of the University of Ibadan told the court that the institution issued a Bachelor of Arts certificate to Obaseki in 1979.

Ahmed Mohammed, the trial judge, had on January 9, 2021, dismissed the suit against Obaseki.

But aggrieved by the court’s decision, the APC approached the court of appeal.

Delivering judgment in the suit with number CA/ABJ/CV/71/2021, yesterday, the three-man panel of judges, namely, Justice Stephen Adah, Justice Ige and Justice Mohammed Mustapha, ruled that the Abuja High Court which earlier ruled in favour of the governor, did not make any mistake and that the plaintiff and witnesses did not pin the 1st Respondent to have forged the certificate.

The court, therefore, held that the appeal lacked merit, and the suit was dismissed accordingly.

The court further ordered the appellants to pay N250,000 cost to the governor and N50,000 each in favour of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and INEC.

Meanwhile, Governor Godwin Obaseki has hailed the Appeal Court judgement.

He hailed the judgement in a statement issued after the court session.

Obaseki said the ruling by the appellate court vindicated him and reiterated the fact that the suit was, from the onset, a facetious attempt to swindle Edo people through the backdoor as it was without any merit whatsoever.

He said, “The judgement today by the Appeal Court sitting in Abuja is a victory for democracy, equity, fairness and justice. It further reassures confidence in the judiciary as an impartial umpire.

“From the content of the judgement, ab initio, all Edo people knew there was no merit in the case. It was ill-willed. It is comforting that the judiciary has upheld the truth and the verdict of Edo people.”

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