Obaseki of Certificate Forgery Allegation

Friday Olokor, PunchNG

A former Vice-Chancellor of Igbinedion University, Okada, Edo State, Prof. Eghosa Osaghae on Wednesday told Justice Ahmed Mohammed of a Federal High Court in Abuja that it is not wrong to submit an incomplete photocopy of a certificate.

Osaghae stated this while testifying as the third witness of Governor Godwin Obsaeki of Edo State.

The PUNCH reported that the All Progressives Congress and a member of the party, Edobor Williams, had gone to the Federal High Court to challenge the alleged certificate forgery by Obaseki.

The plaintiffs, among others, were contending that the photocopies of the University of Ibadan degree certificate attached to the nomination form submitted by Obaseki to the Independent National Electoral Commission for the September 19 2019 governorship election was forged.

According to them, the photocopies did not contain the signature of the Registrar of the University and the date the certificate was issued.

But Obaseki, through his two witnesses, said on Tuesday that the Registrar’s signature and the date of issue were cut off from the photocopies of his certificate submitted to INEC because the person who made the photocopy used a smaller size A4 paper, which was smaller than the size of the original certificate.

While being cross-examined on Wednesday by Akin Olujinmi (SAN), lawyer to the plaintiffs, Osaghae said he would not consider as an untrue reflection of the original when a photocopy did not contain all the features of the original copy.

He said, “If I had constraints with the photocopier I was using, and it turned out that all I could get was an incomplete copy of my certificate, I would give those constraints, go ahead to send that incomplete photocopy, knowing that I was still going to be required to submit the original certificate.”

Asked whether he would take the risk of submitting an incomplete copy if the original would not be demanded, he said, “If that is all I could get under the circumstances, I will take the risk. I will take the risk because I know that as it is my certificate, it is subject to verification.”

When cross-examined by the lawyer to the Peoples Democratic Party, Razak Isenalumhe, he said he had suffered the same fate with Obaseki when he photocopied his certificate, using A4 paper without reducing the actual size of the original document on the photocopier.

Osaghae said, “I had a personal experience when I tried to photocopy my certificate, using A4 paper without reducing the size. It cut off the bottom part, containing the Registrar’s signature and the date.

“I adjusted it, thinking it will enable me to capture the entirety of the certificate. This time, it had the same outcome, but it was the top of the certificate that was cut off.”

The witness, who earlier tendered a Certified True Copy of his degree certificate, while being led in evidence by Obaseki’s lawyer, Ken Mozia (SAN), said the copy he tendered in court was made on a paper longer than an A4, which accounted for why all the features in the original certificate were captured.

The lawyer to the third defendant (INEC), S. M. Danbaba, said his client was also not calling any witness.

After ordering the closure of the cases of the defendants and after lawyers to parties agreed to exchange their final written addresses through emails, Justice Mohammed adjourned the case till 2pm on Thursday for the adoption of the addresses.



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