A Federal High Court in Abuja has dismissed the allegation of forgery of academic certificate brought against Edo State Governor Godwin Obaseki for lack of evidence.
Justice Ahmed Mohammed yesterday held that the All Progressives Congress (APC) and its chieftain, Williams Edobor, failed to prove the allegation that the certificate submitted by Obaseki to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) was forged.
“In fact, the witnesses admitted that none of them visited the University of Ibadan to confirm the authenticity of the certificate.
The plaintiffs (APC and Edobor) only relied on photocopies attached to form EC9 the first defendant submitted to the INEC,” the judge said.
The court further held that Obaseki satisfactorily explained the apparent discrepancies in the documents he submitted to the commission.
The APC and Edobor filed the action, alleging that Obaseki forged his University of Ibadan (UI) degree certificate he submitted to the INEC for the September 19 governorship election in Edo State.
In the suit, filed on July 14, 2019, the APC and the chieftain asked the court to disqualify Obaseki and his party from the poll in the event that he was found to have forged the degree obtained in 1979.
Reacting to the verdict, Governor Obaseki described it as a triumph of the rule of law.
“It is a testament to the fact that the truth would prevail ultimately, no matter how vehemently detractors push lies in the face of incontrovertible evidence,” Obaseki wrote in a statement.
He promised to continue to prioritise the development of the state, not minding the darts thrown by those who are embittered by their loss at the poll.
A former chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, also lauded the verdict and congratulated Obaseki on his victory
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) also hailed the judgement, describing it as a “triumph of justice.”
The party in a statement yesterday by its national publicity secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, said the verdict of the court was victory for democracy and a seal on Governor Obaseki’s success at the September 19, 2020 governorship election.