Commercial Law

Court adjourns Obaseki’s certificates suit till Nov.16

By Olalekan Awojodu

Abuja

An alleged perjury suit leveled against Gov. Godwin Obaseki of Edo over his school certificates was on Wednesday adjourned by a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja.

After hearing out the parties in the suit, Justice Ahmed Mohammed pronounced adjournment till Nov. 16.

Earlier, counsel to the Plaintiffs, Mr Akin Olujimi, SAN, applied for an adjournment and a date for hearing.

At the resumed hearing, the judge reminded parties in the matter on the need for the suit to be heard within the stipulated 180 days.

The suit was filed on July 14,2020 as a pre-election matter. The trial judge then urged the lawyers to cooperate with the court so that the matter could be disposed of within the specified time by law.

He maintained: “Being a pre-election matter, the law stipulates that it must be disposed of within 180 days,”

Justice Mohammed reminded both parties to be mindful of the life span of the matter especially as they hoped to call witnesses in the case.

The judge adjourned the matter until Nov 16, 17 and 18 for the APC to open and close its case while Obaseki would do the same thereafter.

In the suit filed by the APC and William Edobor, Obaseki, Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP) and the  Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) are defendants.

Counsel to Obaseki, Mr Ken Mozia (SAN) informed the court that he had recently been served with a reply to his statement of defence.

“We are filing a process challenging the competence of portions of the said reply of the APC,” he told the court.

He however did not oppose an adjournment and a date fixed for hearing.

The plaintiffs, in their application, sought the court’s declaration as false, Obaseki’s claim to have earned a degree from the University of Ibadan in 1979.

They asked the court to declare as false and contrary to Section 31 of the Electoral Act 2010, Obaseki’s claim in INEC’S form CF 001 that he obtained a degree in Classical Studies from University of Ibadan.

The plantiffs further asked the court to declare that there was a contradiction in Obaseki’s WAEC certificate.

In their petition, the plaintiffs had asked the court to make an order disqualifying Obaseki from contesting the Sept. 19 governorship election in Edo.

The plaintiffs further asked the court to make another order directing INEC to remove Obaseki’s name from the list of nominated candidates for the election.

In addition, the plaintiffs asked the court to make an order that the PDP had no candidate in the Sept. 19 governorship election.

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