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Published On: Fri, Jan 1st, 2021

Cert. forgery suit: Judge’s illness stalls Obaseki’s trial

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…as his original cert surfaces in court

By Vivian Okejeme, Abuja

The hearing in the alleged certificate forgery suit against Edo State Governor, Mr Godwin Obaseki by the All Progressive Congress(APC) was yesterday, stalled as trial Judge fell ill.
The hearing which was initially scheduled for 12 noon did not commence until about 2pm.
Justice Ahmed R Mohammed while apologising for the delay said he had “severe attack of malaria” and as such would not continue with the day’s proceedings.
Meanwhile, counsel to Obaseki, Mr Ken Mozia, SAN, while speaking with journalists shortly after the proceedings were adjourned showed the original Bachelor of Arts Degree Certificate of the University of Ibadan, awarded the governor in 1979.
The plaeitiffs, 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 certificate forgery and perjury.
They are contending Obaseki’s Bachelor of Arts in Classical Studies Degree he submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in aid of his qualification for the last governorship election in Edo State.
The judge had on Wednesday adjourned hearing for the cross examination of the fourth plaintiffs’ witness, one Raphael Onwuzuligbo, a retired Police officer, who claimed to be a forensic document examiner.
However, the processing couldn’t go on due to Judge’s not too strong health.
Responding, plaintiffs’ lead counsel, Chief Akin Olujimi, SAN on behalf of other counsel empathized with the judge, stressing that the judge’s health is of paramount importance to all.
Olujimi did not also oppose suggestion by Mozia, Razak Isenalumhe and Sulaiman Dambaba, lawyers to Obaseki, PDP and INEC respectively that the matter be adjourned till Monday January 4, 2021.
Meantime, the matter has been adjourned till Monday, for continuation of hearing.

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