The purported certificate forgery suit brought against the governor of the Edo State, Godwin Obaseki, has been dismissed by the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja.
On Saturday, Justice Ahmed Mohammed delivered the judgement in a suit filed against the governor by the All Progressives Party (APC) and the party’s president, Williams Edobor.
The APC and Edobor filed a lawsuit alleging that Governor Obaseki had submitted a forged certificate seeking re-election in the election to the Edo State Governorship on September 19, 2020.
According to the plaintiffs, the University of Ibadan allegedly released the document, while the governor sent the same document to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), which conducted the poll.
Until the judgement in the suit was delivered by Justice Mohammed, counsel for both parties in the case had closed their cases after providing witnesses and facts to the court.
During the proceedings on Thursday, his final written address was adopted by the counsel of the complainants, Akin Olujimi.
He urged the court to assert their view that the governor presented the electoral umpire with a forged certificate and was unfit to hold the office.
However, this was denied by the counsel of Governor Obaseki, Ken Mozia, who requested the court to dismiss the suit over what he described as the inability of the plaintiff to prove their case.
A Dramatic Switch, Yet Same Result
In an effort to prolong his stay in office for another four years, Governor Obaseki contested and won the governorship election on the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) platform.
While he was elected to office on the APC platform for the first time, after being screened out of the party’s primary, the governor later defected from the party, which saw Mr. Osagie Ize-Iyamu emerge as the APC flagbearer for the election.
This came in the midst of a continuing disagreement between the Governor and Adams Oshiomhole, his predecessor and immediately past APC National Chairman.
He got the PDP’s ticket after defecting from the APC and went forward to defeat Ize-Iyamu for the second time to claim the seat of governorship in what can be described as a dramatic switch of political parties.
In the 2016 governorship race, Governor Obaseki beat Ize-Iyamu as the APC nominee, while the latter was the PDP candidate.
Four years later, he won 307,955 of the total votes, 84,336 more than Ize-Iyamu, who received 223,619 votes.