The Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja has reserved judgment in the appeal filed by the All Progressives Congress (APC) and its chieftain, Williams Edobor, challenging the certificate presented by Governor Godwin Obaseki to contest the 2020 governorship election in Edo State.
A three-man panel of justices of the appellate court made the reservation after listening to arguments from both parties on Monday in the nation’s capital.
arguments from both parties on Monday in the nation’s capital.
This comes two months after a Federal High Court in Abuja dismissed the certificate forgery suit against Governor Obaseki.
In their brief of argument, the APC and its chieftain argued that at the trial 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.
But in his response, counsel to the governor 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, neither did he resign from Afri Investment Limited.
On January 9, Justice Ahmed Mohammed of the Federal High Court in Abuja had dismissed the alleged certificate forgery suit against Governor Obaseki, saying the plaintiffs relied on the photocopied document presented by the governor without getting in touch with the university to verify the authenticity of the said certificate.
He added that no iota of truth was brought before the court by the plaintiffs who alleged forgery, saying it was a criminal matter, but the claimants were unable to prove their case.
The judge had also held 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.
Justice Mohammed concluded that the plaintiffs failed to prove their allegations of forgery against Governor Obaseki and, thereby, dismissed the case.