An Appeal Court on Thursday threw out a suit filed by the All Progressives Congress (APC) against Governor of Edo State, Godwin Obaseki.
The case, which was filed by APC and Edobor Williams, to tackle the judgment of the Federal High Court, Abuja, affirming Obaseki as a qualified candidate with valid academic credentials on January 9, 2021, was dismissed by the Court of Appeal today March 18, 2021, reports the Nation online.
The judgment was arrived at through a unanimous decision of a three-man panel led by Justice Stephen Adah. The panel upheld the argument of the counsel to Obaseki that the appeal filed by the APC was without merit.
The judgment was on the appeal marked: CA/ABJ/CV/71/2021.
The Court of Appeal authenticated the judgment by the Federal High Court, by Justice Ahmed Mohammed, adding that the APC had failed to provide evidence beyond reasonable doubt that the Edo State Governor had tendered fake credentials to the electoral umpire, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The Court of Appeal held that “the findings of the lower court cannot be faulted”.
The Apppeal Court went ahead to award a fine of N250,000 in favour of Obaseki, and N50,000 each to his political party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and INEC.
It willl be recalled that the APC had filed a suit at the Federal High Court, insisting that Obaseki forged his West African School Certificate O/level and A/level, and the first-degree certificate from the University of Ibadan (UI), which he submitted to INEC while seeking to contest for governor of Edo State for a second term, and sought his immediate disqualification in line with the regulations and laws of INEC.
Justice Mohammed on January 9, 2021, in his judgment, had ruled:
A fundamental flaw in the case of the plaintiffs is that while the plaintiffs alleged forgery against the first defendant (Obaseki), the evidence they brought was completely at variance with the allegation.
He found as lazy, the attitude of the plaintiffs, who did not make any efforts to cross-check from the University of Ibadan (UI) and the West African Examination Council (WAEC), the two institutions that issued the certificates they claimed Obaseki forged.
Although Obaseki had proceeded to contest the election and eventually won his second term bid, this will be the second court victory he will be recording after the election.
The Nation online.