Alleged Forgery: Witness Admits Not Sighting Obaseki’s Original Credentials
A Federal High Court in Abuja has admitted the original copy of the University of Ibadan degree certificate of a witness, as part of efforts to establish the certificate forgery suit instituted against the Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki by the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The certificate belonging to Professor Emmanuel Balogun, who also graduated from the University of Ibadan, alongside Governor Obaseki was admitted as exhibit by Justice Ahmed Mohammed at the resumed hearing of the suit.
The APC who invited the witness for the tendering of the document of the original certificate asked the court to compare the witness certificate with that of Obaseki, but the witness, while giving evidence admitted that he has never sighted the degree certificate issued to the Edo governor by the university’s authorities.
Obaseki’s lawyer, Ken Mozia, however, insisted that the governor duly graduated from the University of Ibadan.
The witness, who graduated from the premier university in 1979, also told the court that he had never worked in the Admissions Department of the University of Ibadan.
Professor Balogun who was crossed examined by Obaseki’s counsel told Justice Ahmed Mohammed that he was not in a position to make comments on the governor’s certificate since he has never seen them in his life.
The APC witness who tendered the original degree certificate issued to him by the University of Ibadan in 1979 to buttress the forgery allegation against Obaseki informed the court that generally, certificates are signed by vice-chancellors and registrars and that they always bear dates.
He further told the court that authentic certificates are issued in colour with the logo of the university on it, adding that no certificate is ever issued in black and white except when photocopied.
The witness also admitted that certificates issued by the premier university were usually larger than normal foolscap paper and that they needed to be reduced or scaled-down before they can be accommodated on A4 papers.
He insisted that if the certificate is not reduced or scaled-down during photocopying, some parts will be left out and will not be a true reflection of the original.
Professor Balogun, who appeared based on a subpoena by the APC had tendered his own certificate for the court to compare with those allegedly used by Governor Obaseki to secure the nomination for the September 19 governorship election in Edo State to enable the court to establish the forgery issue.