Further hearing of the alleged certificate forgery case against Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State has been rescheduled for December 30, 2020.
Naija News reports that Justice Ahmed Mohammed, of the Federal High Court, Abuja, adjourned the hearing today, Monday, December 29 after admitting the document, an INEC form EC9 in evidence, as exhibit PL2.
NAN reports that at the resumed hearing on Tuesday, the APC through its counsel, Mr Akin Olujimi, SAN, attempted to tender some documents in evidence through a subpoenaed witness.
However, the Edo State sitting governor objected to the tendering of the documents, noting that the process did conform with the laws guiding admissibility of documents. According to Obseki through his counsel, Mr Ken Mozia, SAN, there was no evidence of payment for the documents.
On his part, the Federal High Court judge said that the document was relevant to the case. Naija News understands had earlier held that the fact that the process of tendering the document was not properly complied with, was not enough reason for it to be rejected.
He stated that the way out of the situation was for the witness to be cross-examined by the defendants.
According to him, without the form EC9, “the whole case would collapse like a pack of cards.”
On the issue of payment, the judge also noted that the Certified True Copy (CTC) sought to be tendered was brought at the instance of the court as an official body and as such, the court could not be required to pay for the document.
He said: “Objection is overruled,”
He added that “counsel are free to cross-examine the witness”.
It was reported that All Progressive Congress, APC, called its third witness, Mr Emmanuel Balogun, an Associate Professor, in the Department of Economics, University of Lagos to give his evidence. The defence team also objected to the witness giving his evidence on the grounds that the procedure for calling a subpoenaed witness, including service was not followed.
In his ruling, Justice Mohammed allowed the witness to give his evidence, noting that the lapses complained by Obaseki and PDP lawyers were on the part of the court and not the plaintiff. The judge, however, after the hearing adjourned the matter until Dec. 30 for the plaintiff s to close their case and for the defence to open theirs.
Naija News recalls that the ruling party and one of its chieftains, Mr Williams Edobor dragged Obaseki to court over allegations that he forged a University of Ibadan degree certificate which he used in securing his candidacy for the September governorship election in Edo.