The All Progressives Congress (APC) has lost the certificate forgery suit against the state governor, Godwin Obaseki.
The five-person panel, the apex court, said the suit lacked merit and fined the APC its co-appellant N100 million for unitive damage.
The case was initiated by an APC member, William Edobor, at a Federal High Court in Abuja in September 2020, immediately after the governorship election.
Obaseki ran under the main opposition, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), after the then APC Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, forced him and his deputy out of the party by denying him a second term.
Obaseki later won the election and had since been sworn in for his second term in office.
Immediately after the election, Mr Edobor approached a Federal High Court in Abuja, claiming Mr Obaseki forged his certificates, including the university degree he submitted to INEC.
The APC member had asked the court to disqualify Obaseki’s governorship triumph, claiming he could not run for office.
On January 9, the federal judge, Ahmed Mohammed had dismissed the suit for lacking in merit.
Not done, the APC and the co-plaintiff went to the appeal court to challenge the verdict.
Again on March 18, the court of appeal in Abuja led by Stephen Adah also dismissed the appeal, affirming the Federal High Court ruling.
The APC contested the judgement, yet again at the Supreme court.
On Friday, May 28, the apex court concluded that the appellants failed to prove their case against Governor Obaseki.
The governor took to his Facebook page to celebrate his victor.
Obaseki described the ruling as a “vindication of the decision of God and the people of Edo State”.
“The ruling puts to rest the diabolical controversy contrived by opposition elements over my credentials and puts to shame the individuals that sought to swindle Edo people with falsehood and lie in pursuit of pecuniary gains,” the governor said.
“From the statement by the Supreme Court Justices, it is clear that they align with what Edo people knew all along, which is that there was no merit in the case.”
The governor said the controversy was “diabolical” and “ill-willed” while dedicating the victory to the Edo people.