GOVERNOR Godwin Obaseki has won a major battle in his bid to get re-elected as Edo State governor for a second term when an Abuja high court dismissed a cause brought against him for certificate forgery.
In what has been a tumultuous month in Edo State, Governor Obaseki resigned from the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) after his application to stand for a second term as the party’s gubernatorial elections due in September was rejected. He and national party chairman Adams Oshiomhole have been involved in a bitter spat over recent years, resulting in the party’s screening committee rejecting his application, saying his academic credentials were not in order.
Subsequently, Governor Obaseki resigned from the party and decamped to the main opposition the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). He has now been elected unopposed as the PDP’s gubernatorial candidate where he will lock horns with Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, a former secretary to the Edo State government, who is standing for the APC.
With the political temperature rising, Governor Obaseki’s opponents had accused him of forging his Bachelor of Arts certificate in Classical Studies from the University of Ibadan and dragged him to court, seeking to get him disqualified from standing. His accusers argued that the act goes against section 182(1)(i) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended).
They asked the court to declare that the incumbent governor is not qualified to run or seek election to the office of the governor of Edo State in the forthcoming election. However, at the mention of the case at the Federal High Court yesterday, neither the plaintiffs nor their lawyers appeared in court and consequently, Justice Anwuli Chiekere, struck out the suit.