Edo State Governor Godwin Obaseki got a lifeline this afternoon. The Federal High Court sitting in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja dismissed the certificate forgery case against him.
The case was filed by the All Progressives Congress candidate in the last September 19 governorship election in the state, Mr. Osagie Ize-Iyamu, and another chieftain of the party, Mr. Williams Edobor.
Ize-Iyamu was Obaseki’s main challenger in the tension-soaked election, which had pitted the governor against his estranged political godfather and former APC Chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole.
The certificate forgery allegation was the main plank on which the plaintiff’s challenge of Obaseki’s victory in the poll hung.
But Justice Ahmed Muhammed dismissed the suit, saying the plaintiffs alleged forgery, which is a criminal matter, but failed to prove the allegation.
The APC and Edobor had alleged that the governor presented a forged certificate to seek reelection in the last poll.
According to them, the said document was purportedly issued by the University of Ibadan, which the governor later presented to the Independent National Electoral Commission for the election.
In his judgment, Justice Muhammed held that the plaintiffs relied on the photocopied document presented by Governor Obaseki without making recourse to the university to determine the authenticity of the said certificate.
He noted that the Deputy Registrar (Legal) of the University of Ibadan had given evidence in the suit and ascertained that the university duly issued the certificate to Governor Obaseki.
The judge held that the governor was properly admitted to study Classics, which was later renamed Classical Studies in 1976, and graduated in 1979.
Justice Muhammed dismissed the case but did not award any cost against the plaintiffs.