Court Frees Obaseki of Certificate Forgery Charge

  • Knocks plaintiffs for failing to prove allegation

BY VICTOR BUORO – A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has dismissed the alleged certificate forgery suit brought against Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, by the All Progressives Congress (APC) and one of its chieftains, Edobor Williams.

Delivering his judgment on Saturday, Justice Ahmed Mohammed, held that the plaintiffs failed to prove their allegation that Obaseki forged the academic certificates submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) before the last governorship election in the state.

The judge said there was no credible evidence before the court to establish that Obaseki forged either his O’level certificate or the degree certificate that was awarded to him in 1979 by the University of Ibadan.

He held that claims of forgery levelled against Obaseki by the plaintiffs bordered on crime and therefore required to be proved beyond reasonable doubt.

According to the Court; “None of the witnesses called by the plaintiffs was able to prove that the certificate as forged.

“In fact, the witnesses admitted that none of them visited the University of Ibadan to confirm the authenticity of the certificate.”

“The Plaintiffs only relied on photocopies that were attached to the Form EC9 the 1st Defendant submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission.”

The Court further held that apparent discrepancies in the documents Obaseki submitted to INEC, “were satisfactorily explained.”

Justice Mohammed however described as lacklustre, the plaintiffs’ approach in the case as they failed to make necessary efforts at cross-checking from the University of Ibadan (UI) and the West African Examination Council (WAEC), the two institutions that issued the certificates they claimed were forged by Governor Obaseki.

More to come…

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