Edo Election Tribunal: Counsel Differ On Obaseki’s Certificate

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Counsel in the on-going challenge of the victory of Governor Godwin Obaseki in the September 19, 2020 governorship election yesterday differed on the admissibility of the 2016 suit instituted by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) against Obaseki the of the All Progressives Congress (APC), the discharge certificate of Obaseki by the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) and the report of the Screening Committee that disqualified Obaseki from participating in the APC governorship primary election in June 2020.

The suit marked EPT/ED/GOV/01/2020, ADP and its governorship candidate, Emmanuel Eboi petitioned the tribunal with INEC, PDP, Obaseki, APC, Osagie Ize-Iyamu as respondents alleging that Obaseki’s certificate was forged and not qualified to contest the election among other reliefs.

At the resumed sitting, counsel to PDP, Obaseki and INEC who opposed the admission of the documents said they would situate their reasons when they present their written addresses as was laid down in the practice direction of the tribunal.

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A defense witness, Francis Omon who is the Welfare Secretary of the APC during cross examination said he is not familiar with the signature of the Registrar and that of the Vice Chancellor on the University of Ibadan degree certificate belonging to Obaseki but that there are signatures in the document.

The witness told the tribunal during cross-examination by the Independent National Electoral Commission counsel, Kelvin Ugiagbe, that, “what I am seeing is the signature and date appended by the vice chancellor.

On the issue of the number of persons that participated in the June 22 primary election of the APC, he admitted that three persons took part in the election, adding that “they are Pius Odubu, Osagie Ize-iyamu and Osaro Obazee”.

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When asked by counsel to Godwin Obaseki, Ken Mozia, SAN, if he went to University of Ibadan to make enquiries as regards the authenticity of Obaseki’s certificate, he said, ” I didn’t go to UI to verify the authenticity of his result.

The tribunal headed by Justice Yunusa Musa at the resumed sitting after an adjournment to receive the 5th rRespondents’ Witness fixed February 9th for the adoption of written addresses of all parties in the suit.

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