The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, was on Wednesday 30th of December, 2020 admitted more documents in evidence against Gov. Godwin Obaseki of Edo, in an ongoing alleged certificate forgery suit against him.
The All Progressives Congress (APC), tendered the documents to prove its allegation of certificate forgery against the governor.
The two documents included a University of Ibadan degree certificate, belonging to Mr Emmanuel Balogun; as well as a report by a forensic document examiner, ASP Raphael Onwuzuligbo. The documents were admitted in evidence by the court, having been tendered through the lead counsel of the APC; Mr Akin Olujimi, SAN.
The first degree certificate in agricultural science tendered was awarded to Balogun in 1979; the same year with that of Obaseki. However, the second document was admitted with a caveat following objections to its admissibility raised by Obaseki’s Counsel; Mr Ken Mozia, SAN.
Earlier, during cross examination, Balogun told the court that he had never seen the controversial degree certificate issued to Obaseki by the authorities of the University of Ibadan. Also, the witness admitted that he had never worked in the admissions department of the University of Ibadan.
However, he said that he was not in a position to comment on Obaseki’s certificates; having not worked in the university’s admission department.
The witness, who tendered the original degree certificate issued to him by the University of Ibadan in 1979; informed the court that generally, certificates were signed by vice chancellors and registrars and that they always carried dates.
Meanwhile, attempts by the APC counsel to call in their fourth witness was challenged by the defendants. The move was challenged on grounds that the plaintiffs had exhausted the number of days provided by the court for them to call their witnesses. The defendants counsel added that by the court’s adjournment on Tuesday; the plaintiffs were to close their case just as the first defendant was to open his case.
Nevertheless, the objections were overruled by Justice Ahmed Mohammed; who said that a lot of issues came up that affected the time given to the plaintiffs to close their case. Justice Mohammed said that similar consideration would be extended to the defendants.
The judge adjourned the matter to today, Thursday December 31 for continuation of trial.
The APC and one of its chieftains, Mr Williams Edobor had dragged Obaseki; his party, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to court; praying the court to disqualify Obaseki in the September 19 governorship election over alleged forgery and perjury.