The chairman of the Caretaker Committee of the Edo State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Col David Imuse (rtd), has said that the party would appeal Saturday’s judgement by the Federal High Court, Abuja, which dismissed the alleged certificate forgery suit filed against Governor Godwin Obaseki by the party.
The presiding judge, Justice Ahmed Mohammed, had on Saturday dismissed the suit filed by the APC and a chieftain of the party, Williams Edobor, on the conclusion that the plaintiffs failed to prove their allegations of forgery against Governor Obaseki as it is expected in every criminal matter.
“Allegation of forgery borders on crime which must be proved beyond reasonable doubt. In the instant case, no iota of evidence talk-less of a proof beyond reasonable doubt was brought to prove the allegation of forgery against the first defendant (Mr Obaseki),” the judge had observed.
“Having thoroughly analysed the evidence of this case, it is the conclusion of this court that plaintiff did not forge his O’Level Certificate, his HSC certificate, and particularly his University of Ibadan degree certificate”, Justice Mohammed affirmed and subsequently dismissed the case.
Imuse, in a statement titled: “We will appeal – Col Imuse” and endorsed by Chris Azebanwan
State Publicity Secretary, said the party’s legal team would immediately move to study the judgement and file an appeal.
He expressed hope that the judiciary would remain upright and always ensure that the will of the people and rule of law prevail.
“We thank God also granting all the lawyers and the judge very good health with which they all contributed to bring the whole litigation process to this interesting stage. It is not the end of the road”, the APC chairman assured.
Imuse added that all APC members in Edo state were very hopeful like the good democrats and believers in the rule of law that they are that the Judiciary would continue to show that it is the last hope of the common man.
He, therefore, appealed to all APC members in the state to be calm and to go about their normal activities without animosity as the party appeals the verdict.
It would be recalled that in another similar pre-election matter decided by a Benin High Court on Wednesday, the candidacy of the APC governorship running mate, Gani Audu, was voided by the court on the ground that he supplied false information to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), while filing his nomination form for the September 19, 2020 governorship election.
The trial judge Justice Courage Ogbebor subsequently nullified the candidacy of the governorship candidate of the APC, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu alongside his running mate, Audu, who was the first respondent.