The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, on Tuesday, tendered in evidence before the Federal High Court in Abuja, the nomination form Governor Godwin Obaseki filled and submitted for the purpose of the governorship election that held in Edo State on September 19.
Justice Ahmed Mohammed admitted and marked the document known as Form EC9, with other attachments that accompanied it, as Exhibit PL-2.
He dismissed objection the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, raised to query the admissibility of the document, which INEC was summoned to produce before the court in the forgery case the All Progressives Congress, APC, instituted against Obaseki.
The APC had in the suit it jointly filed with one of its members in Edo, Williams Edobor, alleged that Obaseki forged the University of Ibadan degree certificate he submitted to INEC in aid of his qualification for the election.
At the resumed hearing of the case, yesterday, following a subpoena issued against it on December 23, INEC produced a Certified True Copy, CTC, of Obaseki’s nomination form, through one of its legal officers Samuel Omale.
Obaseki’s lawyer, Ken Mozia, SAN, and that of the PDP, Razaq Isenalohme, had insisted that Omale, who appeared as the second principal witness in the case, PW-2, lacked the capacity to tender the document in evidence.
They argued that under the rules of the court, the INEC official was not supposed to be sworn on oath before the court since he was merely subpoenaed to produce documents and not to tender them as a witness in the matter.
In his ruling, Justice Mohammed noted that though the PW-2 was not supposed to be sworn on oath, he held that the document sought to be tendered was very relevant and should not be rejected on the ground that there was an error in the manner it was produced by the witness.
Justice Mohammed held that since substantial part of the suit centred on the Form EC9, it made the document very relevant.
In a separate judgement, Justice Mohammed, dismissed the suit PDP filed to disqualify APC’s candidate, Osaze Ize-Iyamu, from participating in the Edo State governoship election.
The court held that the suit had turned to an academic exercise since the crux of the action was to stop Ize-Iyamu from participating in the election that had since been held and won by the PDP and its candidate, Obaseki.