By Babajide Okeowo
Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, and his political party have hailed the judgment of Justice Ahmed Mohammed of the Federal High Court, Abuja in the forgery suit against the Obaseki for want of merit.
The governor, in a statement, said the judgment is a triumph of the rule of law and a testament to the fact that truth would prevail ultimately no matter how vehemently detractors push lies in the face of incontrovertible evidence.
The party on its part described the victory as a testimony to the fact that the Obaseki-led government was actually enthroned by the wish of the Edo people and had the blessings of God.
“The verdict of the Federal High Court, delivered by Honourable Justice Ahmed Mohammed is well-received and a victory for the rule of law. It was a most needless attempt by desperate individuals trying to undo the will of the people through the backdoor but we are happy today that justice and truth have prevailed” the governor said.
He noted that the verdict confirms once again that Edo people were well-guided in trusting him to lead them in the September 19th governorship election, promising to continue to prioritise the development of the state not minding the darts thrown by those who are embittered by their loss and continue their attempt to put a spanner in the works even when they have been roundly beaten on all fronts.
“My profound gratitude goes to the judiciary who have stood indefatigably for truth and justice; the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari (GCFR); my party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP); our party leaders and members; my teeming supporters; the good people of Edo State and all Nigerians” he added.
Similarly, the PDP advised the APC to stop traveling the road of ignominy and joined the government to build a society, where hard work is rewarded; where hate should be condemned, and love for a prosperous state the driving spirit.
Publicity Secretary of Edo PDP, Chris Nehikhare, who signed the message declared: “It is now clear that Edo APC and the news and stories they propagate are built on falsehood, social greed, intellectual imbecility, and pathological irresponsibility.
“Edo people are advised not to only punish them with their votes on election days, but to consider them public enemy number one henceforth!
However, if each and every one of them own up to their role, tender well-intentioned apologies and commit to being of good character, show respect to Edo people, toe the path of honour and have the decency of admitting to the fact that they spread lies and concocted fake stories to sell their mandate and attempted to dupe the courts, Edo people may show some mercy. After all, Governor Obaseki is a reasonable man. Edo people are reasonable people.
It is the most honourable thing to do; it is the most noble step to take. Governor Obaseki, we once again congratulate you and the good patient people of Edo State as your resetting Edo a right path,” the statement stated.
Recall that Mohammed dismissed the suit brought by Obaseki’s former party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) on the grounds that they failed to prove allegations of forgery against the governor.
According to the judge, the plaintiffs’ reliance on photocopies of Obaseki’s credentials in instituting the forgery case against him was fatal to their case.
He held that none of the witnesses called by the plaintiffs confirmed ever seeing Obaseki’s original certificate, nor visited the University of Ibadan or other relevant educational bodies to verify the authenticity of Obaseki’s certificates submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in aid of his qualification for the September 19 governorship poll in Edo State.
Recall also that the APC and one Edobor Williams had dragged Obaseki to court for allegedly forging his University of Ibadan (UI) degree certificate as well as other certificates he submitted to INEC for the governorship election.
In the suit filed on July 14, 2019, the plaintiffs asked the court to disqualify Obaseki and his party, from the poll in the event that Obaseki was found to have forged his university certificate obtained from UI in 1979.
They further submitted that Obaseki did not meet the minimum requirement for admission for a first-degree course at the university in 1976.