Justice Anwuli Chikere of the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court, struck out a suit on Monday seeking the disqualification of Mr Godwin Obaseki in the September 19, 2020 governorship election in Edo State over alleged certificate forgery.
Justice Chikere struck out the suit following the absence of parties in court. Some All Progressives Congress (APC) members in Edo State had early this month dragged Obaseki before the court accusing him of forging his university certificate presented to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in aid of his qualification for the governorship election in Edo State. The lawsuit which is perceived to be malicious and a ploy to drag the embattled Governor’s name in the mud was struck out by the court based on the none appearance of the parties concerned.
The plaintiffs, in the suit marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/553/2020 include; Mr Edobor Williams, Mr Ugbesia Godwin and Mr Amedu Anakhu. They specifically accused Obaseki of forging his Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) certificate in Classical Studies from the University of Ibadan. According to them the action of the governor breaches section 182(1)(i) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended).
They prayed the court to among others, hold that Obaseki is “not qualified to run or seek election to the office of the Governor of Edo State” in the September 19, 2020 governorship election in the state based on their lawsuit.
However, when the case was called on Monday, neither the plaintiffs nor their lawyers were in court absent from the day’s proceedings, same as the defendant and his lawyers.
In view of the development, Justice Anwuli Chiekere proceeded to strike out the suit as it should have since both parties did not show up.
Remember that the Screening Committee of the APC had on June 12, 2020 disqualified Obaseki from participating in the party’s primary election slated for June 22, over what they described as anomalies in his educational credentials but it is speculated that it is due to the issues happening between a party chieftain in the name of Adam Oshiomhole. Obaseki rather than appeal the decision of the committee decided to dump the APC for the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) where he won the party’s nomination for the September 19 governorship election.
The Governor will go ahead to contest in the election on the platform of the People’s Democratic Party.