30 December 2020 By Victoria Abah
The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has tendered as evidence before the court the nomination form, filled and submitted by Governor Godwin Obaseki for the Governorship election held in Edo State on September 19.
At the resumed hearing of the case following a subpoena that was issued on December 23, INEC, produced a Certified True Copy of Obaseki’s nomination form, through one of its legal officers, Mr Samuel Omale.
Obaseki’s lawyer, Mr Ken Mozia, and that of the PDP, Mr Razaq Isenalohme, had insisted that Omale who appeared as the second principal witness in the case, 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.
Mozia, argued that the 2nd witness did not file a written witness deposition as required by Order 20 Rule 3 of the Federal High Court Rules, adding that the documents were not duly certified as prescribed by the Evidence Act.
Justice Ahmed Mohammed who admitted the documents, dismissed the objection raised querying the admissibility of the document produced by INEC.
In his ruling, Justice Mohammed noted that though the 2nd witness was not supposed to be sworn on oath, the document 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.
Addressing journalists, Counsel to the plaintiffs in the matter, Chief Akin Olujimi said the court was only able to take one of the two witnesses presented.
The APC had in the suit it jointly filed with one of its members in Edo, Mr Williams Edobor, alleged that Obaseki forged the University of Ibadan degree certificate he submitted to INEC in aid of his qualification for the election.
The Plaintiffs amongst other things, alleged that there were discrepancies in the subjects that Obaseki claimed he passed in his West African Examination Council, exam and subjects in his testimonial.
Hearing on the case has been adjourned till Wednesday 30 for the plaintiffs to close their case while the defendants would begin theirs.