Court Strikes out Alleged Certificate Forgery Suit against Obaseki

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Godwin Obaseki

Alex Enumah in Abuja

Justice Anwuli Chikere of the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court yesterday struck out a suit seeking the disqualification of Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, from the September 19, 2020 governorship election in the state over alleged certificate forgery.

Justice Chikere struck out the suit following the absence of the parties in court.
Some All Progressives Congress (APC) members in Edo State had early this month sued Obaseki, accusing him of forging his university certificate presented to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in aid of his qualification for the governorship election in Edo State.

The plaintiffs, in the suit marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/553/2020 are Mr. Edobor Williams, Mr. Ugbesia Godwin and Mr. Amedu Anakhu.
They accused Obaseki of forging his Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) certificate in Classical Studies from the University of Ibadan.
According to them, the action of the governor contravenes section 182(1) (i) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended).

They prayed the court to among others hold that Obaseki is “not qualified to run or seek election to the office of the governor of Edo State” in September 19, 2020 governorship election.
However, when the case was called yesterday, neither the plaintiffs nor their lawyers were in court.
Also, absent from the day’s proceedings were the defendant and his lawyers.
In view of the development, Justice Chikere struck out the suit.

The Screening Committee of the APC had on June 12, 2020, disqualified Obaseki from participating in the party’s primary that held on June 22, over what it described as anomalies in his educational credentials.

Obaseki rather than appeal the decision of the committee, resigned from the APC and defected to the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) where he won the party’s nomination for the governorship election.