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Alleged forgery: Court of Appeal dismisses Obaseki’s application



The Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja today dismissed an application filed by Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, for a stay of proceedings in the certificate forgery case against him.

The All Progressives Congress (APC) and a chieftain of the party, Williams Edobor, had filed a suit against Obaseki, accusing him of forging the first degree certificate which he submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to enable him contest the election.

They also claimed that there are discrepancies in the subject Obaseki claimed he passed in his West African Examinations Council (WAEC) exam.

The governor had asked the Federal High Court in Abuja to suspend the case indefinitely on the grounds that he had filed an application at the appellate court.

Through his counsel, Ken Mozia (SAN), he had challenged the competence of APC’s reply to his defence. He asked the court to remove some paragraphs in the plaintiffs’ statement of reply.

But in a ruling on December 2, 2020, the presiding judge, Justice Ahmed Mohammed, dismissed the governor’s motion.

Obaseki subsequently appealed the judgement, causing the judge to suspend the case at the lower court indefinitely on Tuesday.

At the appellate court on Wednesday, the court asked the governor to return to the lower court for continuous hearing of the suit against him.

In other developments, the Edo State  Governorship Election Petition Tribunal  adjudicating over  the case filed  by the Action Democratic Congress (ADP) and its Candidate at the Edo State Governorship Election, against Godwin Obaseki and others, concerning Godwin Obaseki’s  alleged presentation of forged School and other related  Documents to INEC  to participate in the September ,19th Edo State Governorship Election  has concluded the Pre-Hearing Protocols in the Petition.

The Tribunal distilled four issues for determination, one which is whether or not Godwin Obaseki is qualified to contest the Elections and if not, whether the Elections should not be  nullified with him being disqualified from participating the Elections, having not been qualified in the first place .

The Matter was adjourned to 13th January, 2021 for Hearing


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Crisis in PDP as Gov Makinde exits Oyo PDP whatsApp platform in anger




..Makinde calls Ibarapa People ‘Idiots’ for making video on how herdsmen attack them.
…members express disappointment over governor’s outrage

Sudden exit of the Governor of Oyo State, Engr Seyi Makinde, from the official WhatsApp platform of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in the State created by the Publicity Secretary, Engr Akeem Olatunji, is causing ripples among members of the party in the State.

Governor Makinde angrily left the WhatsApp platform at about 10pm yesterday, after he had confronted the PDP State Publicity Secretary for posting a video on Fulani herdsmen attack on the people of Ayete, headquarters of Ibarapa North Local Government Area of Oyo State, which has other towns like Igangan and Tapa.

The video was calling on the governor to take urgent steps to save the people of Ayete from incessant attacks by Fulani herdsmen and the PDP Publicity Secretary posted it on the platform.

Engr Olatunji had commented on the video; “This video has gone viral but the authority need to confirm the claim. It’s very urgent to address the message…”

At exactly 10:07pm, Governor Makinde reacted angrily to comment by the PDP Publicity Secretary, saying; “Everytime some idiots makes (sic) a video, the government must respond… I don’t get it really… you need mature people to make meaningful contributions on your platform.”

The governor also went on to react to another story on the ongoing All Progressives Congress (APC) membership revalidation/registration titled; “Several injured as APC members fight over registration in Oyo State.”

Governor Makinde asked; “What is the relevance of this on PDP official platform?”

He then exited the platform.

His exit was followed by comments by other participants in the group, with some saying they were disappointed that a governor could be so intolerant.

“I’m highly disappointed sir, we don’t expect this from you.

“Leaders who are low on accommodating may have trouble building up goodwill with other people,” Hon Okunlade Orelope Local Government said.

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Ondo poll: Court dismisses suit challenging Akeredolu’s reelection poll




The Federal High Court in Abuja, on Wednesday, dismissed a suit challenging the validity of the emergence of Gov. Rotimi Akeredolu as the candidate of the  All Progressives Congress (APC) in the July 20 primary election.

Delivering judgment, Justice Inyang Ekwo, dismissed the suit filed by Mrs Olajumoke Anifowose, an APC aspirant in the poll.

Ekwo held that the application was statute barred on the grounds that being a pre-election matter, it was filed outside the 14 days provided in Section 185(9) of the constitution.

Akeredolu was declared the winner of the Oct. 11, 2020 governorship election in the state after polling 292, 830 votes to defeat his closest rival, Mr Eyitayo Jegede of the PDP, who scored 195, 791 votes.

However, Mrs. Anifowose, in the suit, marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/881/2020, had challenged the adoption of indirect primary by the APC on July 20, 2020 in nominating its governorship candidate for the last election in Ondo State.

She prayed the court to void the outcome of the primary, from which Akeredolu emerged as APC’s candidate.

Justice Ekwo held that, though the suit, originally filed on July 29, 2020 was instituted within the 14 days prescribed under Section 185(9) of the constitution, it was wrongly commenced when the plaintiff chose to sue the Governor of Ondo State as against Oluwarotimi Akeredolu.

The judge said the amendment effected by the plaintiff on the originating summons, to substitute the Governor of Ondo State with Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, was done on Aug. 13, 2020, outside the 14 days allowed by the constitution.

The judge said the amendment of the originating process for the purpose of substituting the first defendant would have been in order if it was done within the 14 days allowed for the commencement of pre-election cases under Section 185(9) of the constitution.

He noted that the Governor of Ondo State is not the same as Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, and that while the former is an office, the latter is a human being, who was a participant in the primary held on July 20, 2020.

The judge added that it was Akeredolu, who participated in the primary, which was challenged, and not the Governor of Ondo State, earlier sued by the plaintiff before the amendment was effected on the originating summons.

“When the plaintiff amended their originating summons on 13th August, 2020 and substituted the initial first defendant (the Governor of Ondo State) with the present 1st defendant, Oluwarotimi Odunayo Akeredolu (SAN), (who actually participated in the primaries), the plaintiff created a constitutional debacle for herself by not considering the import of that decision against the provisions of S. 285 (9) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended),” the judge said.

Justice Ekwo faulted the argument by the plaintiff that the substitution of the Governor of Ondo State with Oluwarotimi Akeredolu (as the 1st defendant) was a mere misnomer.

He  said since the original suit was defective, the correction/substitution effected by the plaintiff outside the constitutionally stipulated 14 days could not be regarded as misnomer.

“It must be understood that where misnomer is the issue concerning parties to an action, it must have to do with the correction of a typographical error or clerical mistake in the name of the party and not the replacement or substitution of party in a suit with another person as it happened in this suit.

“It is wrong for the plaintiff to use the process of amendment to substitute the Governor of Ondo State which they sued originally with Oluwarotimi Odunayo Akeredolu (SAN) and claim that the former was misnomer.

“If the plaintiff now claims that they wrongly sued the Governor of Ondo State at the commencement of this suit instead of the present first defendant, they cannot now say that it was a misnomer. It was without mincing words, a fatal error.

“The position of the plaintiff that the Governor of Ondo State at the time the action was filed was no other than the present first defendant is wrong in all ramifications.

“Misnomer will in appropriate circumstances operate to allow correction of letter(s) in a name or even the whole word that constitutes a name so that the person therein named is not mistaken for another entity.

“The substitution of a person or party with another person in the course of proceedings is outside the realm of misnomer.

“In this case, the plaintiff was bringing in the present first defendant through the back-door in the course of proceedings in the name of misnomer.

“It is neither plausible nor sensible to argue, as the plaintiff has done, that the amendment, which brought in the present first defendant dates back to when this suit was originally commenced.

“If the suit was improperly constituted ab initio, no amendment can cure such defect.

“I find that this suit was not instituted against the present first defendant, that is, Oluwarotimi Odunayo Akeredolu, SAN (who actually participated in the primaries of 20th July 2020) within 14 days as prescribed by Section 285(9) of the 1999 Constitution.

“I therefore hold that it is statute barred. Consequently, I therefore make an order dismissing this case for being statute barred,” Justice Ekwo said.

On Dec. 16, 2020, a Federal High Court dismissed another suit challenging the validity of the July 20, 2020, primary election which produced Akeredolu as the APC candidate in the October 2020 election in the state.

Justice Okon Abang, while delivering judgment in that matter instituted by an APC governorship aspirant in Ondo State, Dr Nath Adojutelegan, also held that the case was statute-barred as it was not filed within 14 days of the arising of the cause of action.

The judge in upholding the notices of preliminary objection filed by Akeredolu and the APC held that from the facts presented by the plaintiff the crux of his grouse was about the use of the indirect mode of the primary election, which he objected.


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Alleged certificate forgery: Obaseki to know fate Jan. 9




The Federal High Court, Abuja has fixed Jan. 9 to deliver judgment in the alleged certificate forgery suit filed by the  All Progressives Congress (APC) against Gov. Godwin Obaseki of Edo.

Justice Ahmed Mohammed had, on Jan. 6, adjourned proceedings until Jan. 7 for  parties to adopt their final written addresses as their brief of arguments in the suit.

The parties are the APC, Mr William Edobor, Obaseki, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

When the matter was called on Thursday, Obaseki’s counsel, Mr Ken Mozia (SAN)  told the court that the business for the day was for parties to adopt their final written addresses.

Mozia said that he had received the plaintiffs’ 39-page final written address.

He said that on his part, he had filed his final address as well as a reply on points of law to the plaintiffs’ final written address.

“We adopt both written addresses, and premised on the arguments set out therein, we urge the court to make a firm determination that the plaintiffs woefully failed to prove their case,” he said.

Mozia urged the court to dismiss the case.

Similarly, Mr Razaq Isenelumhe, counsel to the PDP, adopted his written address as his final argument and urged the court to dismiss the case.

For his part, Mr M.A Bawa, counsel to INEC prayed the court to use the arguments filed by counsel to give judgment in the matter.

“For our part, we didn’t file any process in this suit and we have consistently remained neutral.

“In the circumstance, we will be urging the court to decide the matter one way or another based on the arguments before it,” he said.

Counsel to the APC, Mr Akin Olujimi (SAN) also adopted his written address as his final argument in the matter and urged the court to grant the claims sought by his client.

The judge, Justice Ahmed Mohammed, adjourned the matter until Jan. 9 to deliver judgment.

The APC and one of its chieftains, Mr Williams Edobor,  dragged Obaseki to court for allegedly forging the University of Ibadan degree certificate he submitted to INEC to aid his qualification for the Sept. 19, 2020 governorship election in Edo.

The plaintiffs want the court to disqualify Obaseki and his party, the PDP, from the poll, in the event that Obaseki is found to have forged his university certificate obtained from the University of Ibadan in 1979.


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