INEC Submits Obaseki’s Statement Form as Evidence
The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, submitted a tender to the Federal High Court of Abuja on Tuesday, and an appointment form was completed and sent by Governor Godwin Obaseki for the purposes of the Sept. 19 governor elections in Edo state.
Judge Ahmed Mohammed recognized and marked the document known as Form EC9, along with other annexed annexes, as Exhibit PL-2.
He dismissed an objection raised by the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) to question the admissibility of the document that INEC was called to submit to court in a document fraud case that the All-Progressive Congress, APC, filed against Obaseki. …
The APC, in a lawsuit filed jointly with one of its members in Edo, Mr. Williams Edobor, alleged that Obaseki forged the University of Ibadan graduation certificate he submitted to INEC to validate his qualifications for the election.
In the case marked FHC / B / CS / 74/2020, the plaintiffs also argued that there were discrepancies in the subjects that Obaseki asserted in the WAEC (West African Examining Council) exam and in the subjects of his testimony.
Consequently, they are asking the court to declare that Obaseki’s claim in its INEC EC9 form in Column C, sworn in on June 29, 2020 by the Federal Capital Territory Supreme Court Office, actually obtained from the University of Ibadan in 1979, the degree in Classical Studies is false and contrary to sections 31 (5) and (6) of the 2010 Election Act.
As well as an order claiming that Obaseki lied under oath when he testified under oath on June 29, 2020 that he worked for Afrinvest Limited from 1994 to 2014 when he retired.
Meanwhile, following the resumption of hearings in the case on Tuesday, following a subpoena against him on December 23, INEC submitted a certified replica, CTC, of Obaseki’s appointment form through one of its legal officers, Mr Samuel Omale.
Obaseki’s lawyer, Mr Ken Mozia, SAN, and the PDP’s lawyer, Mr Razak Isenalohme, insisted that Omale, who was serving as the second main witness in the case, PW-2, was unable to offer the document as evidence. …
They argued that under the rules of the court, an INEC official should not have been sworn in in court, as he was simply being sued to provide documents, rather than offer them as a witness in the case.
Mozia, SAN argued that PW-2 did not submit a written witness statement as required by Rule 3 of Order 20 of the Rules of the Federal High Court, adding that the documents were not properly certified as required by the Evidence Act. …
“My lord, ex facia from the document, there is no proof of payment as required by section 104 (1) of the Evidence Act,” he added.
Likewise, the Razak PDP lawyer argued that the exhibit on display was a computer generated document that was downloaded from the INEC website and claimed that it met the requirements of section 84 of the Evidence Act.
He said that since it was created on a computer, a certificate should have been attached to it.
For its part, INEC, which is the third respondent in the case, through its attorney, Mr. MA Bava, stated that it does not object to the admissibility of the document.
In response, the plaintiffs’ lawyer, head of SAN Akin Olujimi, called on the court to dismiss the objections.
“I agree that when a witness is sued for a document under section 219 of the Evidence Act, that person does not become a witness just because he produced the document and cannot be questioned. if u up is called as a witness.
“However, the very fact that the witness was sworn in by mistake does not diminish the fact that he was simply sued to produce a document and he could not be cross-examined,” Oluzhimi said.
Plaintiffs’ lawyer stated that, in the interests of fairness, he would not object to the court allowing the defendants to interrogate PW-2, indicating that the INEC document had been sued for the proceedings had already been used by all parties involved.
“There is no element of surprise here, because both the plaintiff and the 1st and 2nd defendants are also trying to rely on the same document.
“This is an official document in the custody of the third respondent (INEC), to which the first respondent presented it.
“INEC is the third respondent in this case. I cannot ask the other side to come and make a sworn statement. The only way to present him to your lordship is by ordering him to stand trial, ”he added.
He also denied that the document had been downloaded from the website.
In his decision, Judge Mohammed noted that although the PW-2 should not have been sworn in, he believed that the document he was trying to present was “very important and should not be rejected as there was a mistake in the way it was presented by a witness.” …
Judge Mohammed said that since a large part of the case concerned the EC9 form, this made the document very relevant.
“Indeed, without the EC9 form, this case would fall apart like a deck of cards,” the judge said, adding that the defendants could question a witness.
During cross-examination, PW-2 informed the court that, in accordance with the COVID-19 protocols, the EC9 form was posted online for candidates to download, complete and upload to the INEC website.
When asked if the copy he submitted to the court had been downloaded from the website, the witness replied: “This is a copy of the file that is in our custody. It is also part of what the second respondent completed and submitted online. ”
Meanwhile, in a separate ruling, Judge Mohammed dismissed a lawsuit filed by the NDP to disqualify the PKK candidate, Pastor Osaze Ize-Iyamu, from running for governor of Edo State.
The court found that the lawsuit turned into an academic exercise, as the essence of the lawsuit was to prevent Ize-Iyam from participating in the elections that have since been held and won by the NDP and its candidate Obaseki.
In case referenced FHC / ABJ / CS / 69/20, the NDP argued that Ize-Iyamu was not the result of a valid primary.
He told the court that the indirect primary elections that created the Ize-Iyamu were held by APC leaders led by Adams Osiomholle at a time when they were already dismissed by the Federal Capital Territory Supreme Court. judgment approved by the Court of Appeal
Source: – Vanguard