The Supreme Court, on Friday, struck out the appeal of the All Progressives Congress candidate in the 2020 Edo State governorship election, Osagie Ize-Iyamu, challenging the election of the Peoples Democratic Party’s candidate, Godwin Obaseki.
The apex court, in a judgment delivered by Justice Emmanuel Agim, held that the appeal failed to prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt.
Justice Agim said, “The appellants failed woefully to prove their case. They did not provide any disclaimer from the school that the result was not issued by them to Obaseki. This court agrees with the lower courts completely that the appellants did not meet sufficient requirements to prove their case.”
The Supreme Court, therefore, awarded a cost of N1m in favour of Obaseki, who had been declared winner.
The appeal court in Abuja had dismissed the suit challenging Obaseki’s academic certificates on March 18, the News Agency of Nigeria reported.
The appeal was filed by the APC against the January 9 judgment of the Federal High Court in Abuja, affirming the authenticity of the certificates presented by Obaseki.
The three-man panel of the court, led by Justice Stephen Adah, unanimously upheld the argument by Obaseki’s legal team, led by Ken Mozia (SAN), that the APC appeal and one of its members was without merit.
The appellate court held that the Federal High Court, in its judgment by Justice Ahmed Mohammed, was right to have held that the party failed to prove its claim that Obaseki presented a forged certificate to the Independent National Electoral Commission to contest the last Edo governorship election.
The judge described the attitude of the plaintiffs as lazy, saying they did not make any effort to cross-check from the University of Ibadan and the West African Examinations Council, the two institutions that issued the certificates they claimed Obaseki forged.
Meanwhile, the Deputy Governor of Edo State, Philip Shaibu, has hailed the judiciary as the referee of democracy through enforcement of the rule of law.
Shaibu, in a statement by his media aide, Benjamin Atu, said the final judgment had demonstrated to the world that the Nigerian judiciary “is not a pawn in the hands of desperate politicians.”
Meanwhile, the PDP has hailed Obaseki, over his victory at the Supreme Court.
It described the victory as that of good over evil.
Meanwhile, the Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Kaduna State has dismissed the petition brought before it by the APC and its candidate challenging the victory of the PDP in the December 5 and 9 House of Assembly by-election for Bakura Constituency in Zamfara State.
The three-man panel of the tribunal, led by Justice Raliat Adebiyi, gave the unanimous judgement in Kaduna on Friday.
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