The Edo State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Benin City has been asked to sack Godwin Obaseki by the Action Democratic Party (ADP) and its candidate, Iboi Lucky Emmanuel.
The suit marked EPT/ED/GOV/01/2020, listed the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Godwin Nogheghase Obaseki, All Progressives Congress (APC) and Andrew Osagie Ize-Iyamu as 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th Respondents, respectively.
ADP, in its petition, demanded that the Tribunal declare that by virtue of his non-qualification, the votes credited to the PDP candidate should be null and void and of no value and that the election should be nullified.
The party and its candidate have based their petition on several grounds, such as the allegation that the PDP candidate presented forged documents to contest the elections.
ADP has also challenged the eligibility of Obaseki, who won the election with over 80,000 votes to contest the poll in the first instance.
They claimed that in an affidavit deposed to and presented to INEC in his Form CF001 in 2016, the incumbent Governor submitted a certificate purported to have been signed by the Vice-Chancellor and the Registrar of the University and that in the Form EC9 submitted to the electoral umpire in 2020, the Governor attached an updated certificate with only one signatory purporting to be the signature of the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ibadan.
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As part of the irregularities in the said UI certificate, the petitioners alleged that the Vice Chancellor’s signature who signed the Degree Certificate being presented by Governor Godwin Obaseki died in 2015 after retirement for a long time and couldn’t have signed a re-issued certificate in 2020.
“The petitioners will rely on oral and documentary evidence to show that Professor Tekena Tamuno who was Vice Chancellor of the University of Ibadan from December 1975 to November 1979 had not only died in 2015, but could not also have signed a document purporting to be a document of the University of Ibadan after his retirement and death.”
The petitioners further prayed for “declaration that the 3rd Respondent (Obaseki) presented a forged and /or a false certificate to INEC in violation of section 182(1) [I] of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended)”.
ADP and its candidate asked that the Tribunal declare Obaseki was “at the time the election not qualified to contest the election for having submitted an alleged false/forged document or certificate to the 3rd respondent, (INEC) along with his Form EC9″.
They further asked the court to disqualify the 3rd respondent as a contestant in the governorship election.