Proceedings in the certificate forgery case against Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State has been shifted to November 18, by the Abuja division of the Federal High Court.
The adjournment, which was at the instance of Obaseki, is to allow the court to resolve all pending motions relating to the suit. The action, filed by the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Edobor Williams, dragged Obaseki, People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to court over alleged perjury.
In the suit marked FHC/B/CS/74/2020, the plaintiffs specifically prayed the court for an order disqualifying Obaseki from contesting the September 19 governorship election in Edo State on the grounds that he supplied false information on oath to INEC, an act said to be contrary to Section 31(5) and (6) of the Electoral Act, 2010.
The suit, which was filed on July 14, 2020 at the Benin Division of the Federal High Court, suffered some set back before it was set down for hearing Wednesday by Justice Mohammed of the Abuja division of the Court.
When the case came up yesterday, counsel to Obaseki, Mr Ken Mozia (SAN), prayed the court to hear and resolve all pending motions relating to pleadings before going into the substantive matter.
Mozia specifically asked the court to allow him move his motion challenging the competence of the reply filed by the APC to the defence of Obaseki in the matter
APC counsel, Chief Akin Olujimi, SAN, objected to the position of Obaseki on the pending motions and prayed the court to defer all the pending applications and allow him to go straight into the substantive matter by calling his witnesses who were in court
But counsel to the PDP, Razak Isenalumhe, aligned himself with Obaseki’s position that all pending motions be resolved first before delving into the main matter
In a short ruling, Justice Mohammed held that the motion of Obaseki challenging the competence of APC’s reply to his defense is fundamental because it related to the pleadings and has to be resolved first. The judge said that filing of pleadings cannot be said to have been completed when motion challenging the competence of a reply to defence has not been resolved
Justice Mohammed subsequently fixed November 18 for hearing of Obaseki’s motion.