Supreme Court dismisses certificate forgery suit against Gov. Godwin Obaseki
The Supreme Court on Friday struck out Osagie Ize-Iyamu’s of the All Progressives Congress appeal challenging the election of Governor Godwin Obaseki in the 2020 governorship election in Edo State.
The apex court in a judgment said that the appellants failed to prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt.
The suit lack merit the Apex court said
According to a five-man panel of the apex court lead by Justice Emmanuel Agim the suit lacked merit. They went further toaward a punitive fine of N100 million against the APC and its co-appellant.
Mr Obaseki was seeking a second term in office on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the election. He later won the election and has since been sworn in for his second and final lap in office.
But claiming that Mr Obaseki forged his certificates including his university degree certificate tendered for the election, the plaintiffs had asked the court to disqualify him as the governorship candidate of the PDP in the poll.
Delivering his judgment on January 9, the trial judge, Ahmed Mohammed of the Federal High Court in Abuja, had dismissed the suit for lacking in merit. The APC and his co-plaintiff, however, went on an appeal against the verdict.
A panel of the Court of Appeal in Abuja led by Stephen Adah also unanimously dismissed the appellants’ appeal on March 18, and affirmed the Federal High Court’s verdict.
Describing the appeal as unmeritorious, the appellate court had dismissed it and awarded N250,000 cost in favour of Governor Obaseki and another N50 ,000 each in favour of the PDP and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), joined as a party to the suit.
The fine awarded against the appellants had totaled N350,000.
Still not satisfied, the appellants further appealed to the Supreme Court.
But delivering judgment on Friday, the apex court held that the appellants failed woefully to prove their case against Mr Obaseki.
A five-member panel of the apex court held that the appellants did not provide any evidence to show that the University of Ibadan and the issuing authorities of the other contested certificates tendered by Mr Obaseki denied issuing the certificates.