There is palpable tension and anxiety in Edo State as Governor Godwin Obaseki will know his fate today, January 9, as the Federal High Court in Abuja will pass itís verdict in the certificate forgery suit filed against him by the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The APC had dragged Obaseki to court on allegations of perjury and supply of false information to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in the run up to the September 19, 2020 governorship election which he won on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Justice Ahmed Mohammed of the Federal High Court had, on Thursday, fixed the judgment for today after taking final submissions for and against the pre-election suit whose constitutional lifespan of 180 days expires by midnight today.
The APC had instituted the case against Obaseki on the grounds that he had supplied false information to INEC in his Form CF0001 with which he contested the governorship election.
In support of their case, the plaintiffs pleaded and led evidence in proof of the material fact that the University of Ibadan (UI) certificate, which Obaseki attached to Form CF00I for the election, is a false or non-existent document.
They plaintiffs had called six witnesses comprising two Associate Professors who revealed that the absence of the date of the award of the said certificate on its face, as well as the absence of the Registrarís signature thereon, are evidence of the fact that the said document is false or that the Obaseki had deliberately tried to conceal material information about the certificate.
On his part, Governor Obaseki had opened his defence by tendering original copies of his academic certificates which were admitted by the court in evidence.
At the last sitting, the University of Ibadan confirmed to the court that it actually issued a Bachelor of Arts certificate to Obaseki in 1979.
The institution which was summoned through a subpoena issued by the court, said it was not true that Obaseki forged the certificate he attached to Form EC9 (Nomination Form) he submitted to INEC.
As the two parties await the outcome of the landmark judgement, feelers coming from both camps have revealed that the tension has been building up.