Court Strike-out Certificate Forgery Suit against Gov. Obaseki

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A suit seeking the disqualification of Governor Godwin Obaseki from contesting the forthcoming governorship elections in the state for allegedly forging his university certificate was struck out by the Federal High Court in Abuja on Monday

The suit was filed on May 29, 2020 by Edobor Williams, Ugesia Godwin and Amedu Anakhu, ahead of the governorship election scheduled to hold in Edo State on September 19.

The All Progressives Congress (APC), the Inspector-General of Police and Obaseki himself were all respondents in the suit.

Justice Anwuli Chikere struck out the suit on Monday as neither the plaintiffs’ lawyers nor the defendants’ were present in court.

The plaintiffs alleged in the suit marked, FHC/ABJ/CS/553/2020, that the University of Ibadan certificate which he attached to his Form CF.001 which he submitted to INEC for his first term election in 2016 was forged.

They argued that the governor’s educational information contained in Part C of the Form CF 001 which he submitted to INEC on July 12, 2016 and the first degree certificate of Bachelor of Arts in Classical Studies, said to have been obtained from the University of Ibadan, Ibadan, was forged.

They contended that this was “contrary to the provisions of section 182(1)(i) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999”.

Obaseki, according to them, was therefore not qualified to run or seek the office of Governor of Edo State under the platform of the 1st defendant (APC) in the governorship election scheduled to hold in the state on September 19, 2020”.

It was earlier reported that a suit had been filed against Godwin Obaseki, governor of Edo state, over allegations of certificate forgery.

In the suit filed before a federal high court in Abuja, Edobor Williams, Ugbesia Abudu Godwin and Amedu Dauda Anakhu accused the governor of forging his bachelor of arts (B.A.) certificate in classical studies from the University of Ibadan.

They said the offence contravened section 182(1)(i) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended), which therefore makes Obaseki “not qualified to run or seek the office of the governor of Edo state” in the forthcoming 2020 governorship election.

Alex Ejesieme, counsel to the governor, described the suit as frivolous and irrelevant.

He said the defence team is preparing the reply to challenge the plaintiffs in court next week.

This suit is coming less than a week after a federal high court in Abuja issued an interim order stopping Obaseki from arresting and prosecuting Adams Oshiomhole, national chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

The Edo state government had instituted a suit against Oshiomhole for an alleged breach of the state’s public procurement law during the construction of the Edo specialist hospital and supply of equipment for the hospital, while he was governor of the state.

Obaseki and Oshiomhole have been at loggerheads, and this has caused division within the APC in Edo.

Oshimhole’s faction of the APC has picked Osagie Ize-Iyamu who defected from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as its preferred governorship candidate in the 2020 election.

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