By Olalekan Awojodu
Two more documents was Wednesday tendered as exhibit against Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State by the All Progressives Congress (APC).
It was done by the opposition party in the State in order to prove its allegation in respect of the alleged certificate forgery charge leveled against the embattled governor at the federal high court in Abuja.
The two documents which include; a University of Ibadan degree certificate, belonging to Professor Emmanuel Dele Balogun and a report by a forensic document examiner, Assistant Superintendent of Police, (ASP), Mr Raphael Onwuzuligbo, were admitted in evidence by the court after they were tendered through the lead counsel of the plaintiffs, Chief Akin Olujimi, SAN.
The first degree certificate in Agricultural Science tendered was awarded to Balogun in 1979, the same year with that of Obaseki.
The second document was admitted with a caveat following objections to their admissibility raised by the first and second defendants in the suit.
The APC and one of its chieftains, Mr Williams Edobor had dragged Obaseki, his party, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to court seeking the disqualification of Obaseki in the September 19 governorship election over alleged forgery and perjury.
The plaintiffs earlier at Tuesday’s proceedings through a subpoenaed witness, Mr Samuel Omale, INEC’s Legal Officer, tendered form EC9 completed and submitted to INEC in aid of his qualification for the last governorship poll in Edo State.
Meanwhile, Balogun during cross examination on Wednesday told the court that he has never in his life seen the controversial degree certificate issued to Obaseki by the authorities of the University of Ibadan.
While admitting further that he had never worked in the admission department of the University of Ibadan, Balogun answered that he would not be in a position to make comment on Obaseki’s certificates.
The APC witness who tendered the original degree certificate issued to him by the University of Ibadan in 1979 to buttress the forgery allegation against Obaseki informed the court that generally, certificates are signed by the Vice Channcellelors and Registrars and that they always bear dates.
Responding to question on process of photocopying of a document, the witness said, when the document to be photocopied is not properly placed in the machine, it is possible for some parts of the original not to be included in the photocopied.
“If you do not scale it some parts will be left out and it will not be a true reflection of the original documents”, he said.
After his discharged from the witness box, attempt by the plaintiffs to call in their fourth witness was challenged by the first and second defendants on grounds that they have exhausted the number of days provided by the court for the plaintiffs to call their witnesses, adding that by the court’s adjournment the previous day, the plaintiffs were to close their case and the first defendant called upon to open its case.
The objections were however overruled by Justice Mohammed, who noted that a lot of issues came up that affected the time given to the plaintiffs, stating that similar consideration would be extended to the defendants.