Certificate forgery: Obaseki fights on in court

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The Federal High Court Abuja will today the New Year’s Eve continue the hearing of the certificate forgery and perjury case against Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo.

Before the adjournment yesterday, the court admitted two more documents tendered by the plaintiffs.

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 and 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.

Although the second document, the forensic evidence, 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.

The witness also admitted that he had never worked in the admissions department of the university of Ibadan.

He, however, 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.

Attempts by the APC counsel to call in their fourth witness was challenged by the defendants 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.

The objections were however 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 APC and one of its chieftains, Mr Williams Edobor dragged Obaseki, his party, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to court.

They are asking the court to disqualify Obaseki in the Sept.19 governorship election over alleged forgery and perjury.

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