Alex Enumah in Abuja
The Abuja Division of the Court of Appeal yesterday dismissed a case of alleged certificate forgery brought by the All Progressives Congress (APC) against the Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki.
The APC in the appeal was seeking to upturn a judgment of a Federal High Court, Abuja, which earlier dismissed the case of the plaintiff on the grounds of abundant evidence that the certificates Obaseki tendered to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) were genuine and issued by the relevant authorities.
APC in the suit, was seeking the sack of Obaseki as governor on the grounds that he forged documents he submitted to INEC in aid of his qualification for the last governorship election in Edo State.
Delivering judgment yesterday, the three-man panel did not only dismiss the appeal of the APC for being incompetent and lacking in merit but went ahead to award the sum of N250, 000 as cost in favour of Obaseki.
Justice Stephen Adah in the judgment held that the lower court was right in its findings and conclusion in the APC suit.
The appellate court also upheld the testimony of the Deputy Registrar, Legal, Mr. Abayomi Ajayi who confirmed that Obaseki attended the University of Ibadan in 1976 and fulfilled the requirement for admission into the institution.
Adah added that the evidence of the Deputy Registrar was direct in showing that Obaseki did not forge his University of Ibadan certificate submitted to INEC and as such fulfilled all requirement to contest for the governorship position of Edo State.
Justice Adah further said the APC failed to prove the certificate forgery allegation and that the appeal is quite unmeritorious.
The court dismissed it with N250, 000 cost in favour of Obaseki and another N50 ,000 each in favour of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and INEC.
Justice Ahmed Mohammed of the Federal High Court, Abuja had on January 9 this year dismissed the alleged certificate forgery suit against Obaseki, on the grounds that the party failed to substantiate its claim of forgery.
But not satisfied, the APC approached the Appeal Court to challenge the judgment of the lower court.