Court Dismisses APC’s Certificate Forgery Suit Against Obaseki

A file photo of Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki.

A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has dismissed the alleged certificate forgery suit filed against the governor of Edo State, Godwin Obaseki.

Justice Ahmed Mohammed dismissed the suit filed by the All Progressives Congress (APC) and a chieftain of the party, Williams Edobor, against the governor, in a judgement delivered on Saturday in the nation’s capital.

The APC and Edobor had filed the suit alleging that Governor Obaseki presented a forged certificate to seek re-election in the Edo State governorship election held on September 19, 2020.

According to the plaintiffs, the said document was purportedly issued by the University of Ibadan, while the governor presented same to Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) which conducted the poll.

In his judgement, Justice Mohammed held that the plaintiffs relied on the photocopied document presented by Governor Obaseki without getting in touch with the university to verify the authenticity of the said certificate.

He added that no iota of truth was brought before the court by the plaintiffs who alleged forgery, saying it was a criminal matter, but the claimants were unable to prove their case.

The judge noted that the Deputy Registrar (Legal) of the University of Ibadan had given evidence in the suit that the university duly issued the certificate to Governor Obaseki.

According to him, the governor was duly and properly admitted to study Classics which was later renamed Classical Studies in 1976 and graduated in 1979.

Justice Mohammed concluded that the plaintiffs failed to prove their allegations of forgery against Governor Obaseki and, thereby, dismissed the case.

He, however, did not award any cost against the plaintiffs.

Before the judgement was delivered, counsels to both parties in the matter had closed their cases after they presented witnesses and evidence to the court.

During proceedings on Thursday, lawyer to the Plaintiffs, Akin Olujimi, adopted his final written address.

He urged the court to affirm their position that the governor presented a forged certificate to the electoral umpire and was unfit to occupy the office.

This was, however, rejected by Governor Obaseki’s counsel, Ken Mozia, who asked the court to dismiss the suit over what he described as the plaintiff’s failure to prove their case.

Governor Obaseki contested and won the governorship election on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), in a bid to extend his stay in office by another four years.

Although he was elected into office for the first term on the APC platform, the governor later defected from the party after he was screened out from the party’s primary which saw Mr Osagie Ize-Iyamu emerging as the APC flagbearer for the election.

This came in the middle of a lingered dispute between the governor and his predecessor and immediate past APC National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole.

After defecting from the APC, he got the PDP’s ticket and went ahead to defeat Ize-Iyamu for the second time to claim the governorship seat in what can be described as a dramatic switch of political parties.

Governor Obaseki had defeated Ize-Iyamu as the APC candidate in the 2016 governorship election while the latter was the PDP candidate.

Four years later, he secured 307,955 of the total votes, 84,336 more votes than Ize-Iyamu who got 223, 619 votes

Edo 2020: Why I Lost Governorship Election – Ize-Iyamu

Candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the Edo state governorship election, Osagie Ize-Iyamu, says he will reveal his next move in no distant future after losing to his arch rival, Godwin Obaseki.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), declared Obaseki, incumbent governor of Edo and candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), winner of the election after securing 307,955 votes across 18 local government areas, while Ize-Iyamu polled 223,619 votes.

In a tweet, Ize-Iyamu said there were many irregularities during the election, adding that some of his supporters were disenfranchised.

He said he, alongside other party members, is studying the outcome of the election.

“I thank and appreciate my supporters, who had to endure many evils including being prevented from voting, for their support and determination during the election. i assure you all that i am studying the results along with other party members and will announce my next move soon,” he tweeted.

APC rejects results of Edo election, alleges foul play

The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Edo state has rejected the results of the September 19 governorship election, alleging foul play.

In a report by Channels TV, the party called on members to stay calm while APC leaders study the result and decide the next move.

John Mayaki, the chairman of the APC media campaign council who disclosed this a statement issued on Sunday, September 20, citied strong-arm tactics.

Mayaki shortly after the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared Obaseki winner of the poll said many of the party members were arrested, adding that the figures were fabricated.

Edo election: APC rejects results, alleges foul play
APC rejects results of Saturday’s governorship election.

The APC media campaign council chairman further alleged that the governorship election results were tampered with in order to add to the numbers of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Mayaki said leaders of the party were studying the result and would announce as soon as possible their decision and next course of action.

He said: “Areas where we won, they cancelled them. They decreased the votes in areas we had an advantage. They rejected our results and jerked up theirs.”

After collating and sorting of the election results, the electoral umpire declared that Obaseki won 13 local governments out of the 18 local government areas of the state.

The election was keenly contested between the candidate of the APC and Obaseki.

Obaseki polled a total number of 307,955 to defeat his main challenger, Ize-Iyamu who scored 223,619. Governor Obaseki was returned elected after polling the highest number of votes in the election.

In a related development, the governorship candidate of the APC, Ize-Iyamu has released a statement following his defeat at the just-concluded Edo governorship election.

Ize-Iyamu lost to the incumbent governor and candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Godwin Obaseki.

n his official reaction after INEC’s declaration, Ize-Iyamu thanked and appreciated his supporters for their support and determination during the election just as he claimed that they “had to endure many evils including being prevented from voting”.

The APC governorship candidate said he is currently studying the results of the election and will soon announce his next move.

Obaseki, Ize-Iyamu in hot exchange of words at Channels TV Debate

Ize-Iyamu and Obaseki at Channels TV debate

Governor of Edo State, Godwin Obaseki and the All Progressives Congress, APC, governorship candidate, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu on Sunday exchanged hot words at the Governorship debate organised by Channels Television.

The two candidate disagreed and fight over every issue put across to them by the anchorman, Seun Okinbaloye.

In the area of tax, Iyamu said he would abolish multiple taxation and that he would not allow people to collect money and put it in their pocket like it was being done in Obaseki’s government.

“We need to Abolish multiple taxation. So many people are not in the tax net. We are going to support businesses to grow,” he said.

But Obaseki said most of the tax he collected were from Pay As You Earn, PAYE, and that he would expand on that to rake in more taxes.

“Pay as you earn accounts for the largest amount of taxes. What we have done is to try and expand that net.

“We have also used technology to ensure that for the low income tax payers, we make it easy for them to pay their taxes,” he said.

On whether the Civil Service is over bloated and whether he would cut down on the workforce, Obaseki said he would not cut down on the civil service, saying that “the problem is that it is overbloated. we need to bring in more people to work for government, smarter people and we need to train them.”

Obaseki said the problem with the Edo State Civil Service was that it is aged.

But Ize-Iyamu countered Obaseki, saying that “I think the model that the governor has tried to adopt, is to reduce the workforce to the barest minimum. but unfortunately, whatever savings he thinks he is making, is not seen in capital projects.

“The only vote that has been recorded is his security votes which has increased by over 100% but yet, there is no serious investment in the security sector.

“I want to make it clear that the civil service workforce is not overbloated. The problem is that the governor has not lifted a finger to develop the workforce; it will be suicidal to try him again. My simple agenda will be to properly utilise the Civil service.”

On job creation, Obaseki said he had created about 150,000 jobs from the 200,000 he promised during his last four years tenure.

Ize-Iyamu countered him again, saying “it is sad that the government of Obaseki falsifies figures. What the government calls jobs are appointments; those are not jobs. Every school we campaigned at had virtually no teachers. When you are talking about jobs, who did you give jobs to? We are doing badly.”

He also accused Obaseki of collecting over N75 billion in debts, wondering what he did with the money.

“My contestant has collected over N75 billion in debts. What did he do with them? All his promises remain unfulfilled despite the fact that he came in when there was high windfall in Edo.”

On security, Ize-Iyamu attacked Obaseki, saying that “there have been increase in security votes, but there have been no investment in security. Our state is one of the few in the country with no advance in technology for fighting security. Our security vehicles cannot fight security.”

He said he would invest in technology and trackers to fight criminals and cultism that had been on the rise in Edo State.

“The personnel deployed to our state for combating insecurity will be complemented by an organised state police, but we must work with the federal government and every other stakeholder. Our people must feel safe at all times,” he said.

But Obaseki countered Ize-Iyamu on security vote, saying that his “security vote is less than 5% of the total budget, but we have had to create a hybrid of sorts, in the form of PUWOV, working with federal authorities.”

On kidnapping, Ize-Iyamu lamented that it had been very high in Edo, saying that “we are not showing enough concern. If I were governor, I would have acted on veritable intelligence and mobilised security agencies to flush out the forests around Benin-Auchi road.”

But Obaseki said his administration had a software to track crime and monitor trends.

“We have deployed this a couple of times, especially when kidnapping was rife in the Ore-Okada axis. We cleared both sides of the forest and collaborated with federal authorities to bring sanity,” he said.