Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo state is arguably the biggest political winner in the 2019 general elections. However, his victory was not achieved on a platter of gold.
Obaseki’s road to getting the second term mandate as Edo governor was rough. He fought so many battles but emerged victoriously in the end.
Following his disqualification from contesting the governorship ticket of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) over alleged certificate forgery, Obaseki joined the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to pursue his second term ambition.
As he worked hard to get the second term mandate, Governor Obaseki faced at least three major lawsuits.
This piece highlights the three lawsuits at the court’s final rulings.
1. Obaseki vs Omoregie Ogbeide-Ihama
Before Obaseki joined the PDP, the party’s governorship aspirants had already purchased their nomination forms and were about just about to be screened.
However, with the defection of Obaseki and his interest in the second term, the party’s guber aspirants were persuaded to stand down for him. All but one agreed.
Unlike other aspirants, Omoregie Ogbeide-Ihama dragged the PDP leadership to court for allegedly refusing to screen the guber aspirants within the stipulated time in a bid to give the ticket to Obaseki
The tension was high in Edo as many were afraid Obaseki could also be disqualified from contesting on the PDP’s platform based on Ogbeide-Ihama’s lawsuit.
However, at the last minute, the PDP leadership was to arrive at a political solution and get the case dismissed from the Federal High Court in Port Harcourt, Rivers state.
2. Obaseki vs ADP, APP and APM
After the declaration of Obaseki as the winner of the election, the Action Democratic Party (ADP), Action Peoples Party (APP) and Allied Peoples Movement (APM) had individually approached the tribunal, challenging the results of the poll.
However, their petitions were thrown out by the tribunal. Expressing dissatisfaction over the ruling, they filed their respective appeals before the Benin division of the Court of Appeal.
The ADP specifically filed an appeal to nullify the declaration of Obaseki as the winner of the election based on controversial degree result alongside nomination and express of interest forms submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
However, Obaseki defeated them all.
3. Obaseki vs APC
Immediately after Obaseki emerged as the PDP candidate, the APC dragged him to court over alleged certificate forgery.
After winning the election, the party decided not to challenge the result but go on with the certificate forgery lawsuit.
After losing after the lower courts, the APC headed to the Supreme Court to seek final redress.
However, on Friday, May 28, Governor Obaseki won again. The Supreme Court ruled that the APC and one of its members, Williams Edobor, failed to prove their case against the Edo state governor.
A five-man panel of justices of the apex court in a unanimous decision stated that the appellants could not provide any disclaimer from the school that the certificate, whose authenticity they challenged, was not issued to Obaseki by the institution.
In his earlier reaction to his victory against the ADP and others, Governor Obaseki described the verdict as a victory for the people of Edo state.
He said the lawsuit brought against him were inspired by hate, strife and avarice, and the arrogance of the opposition to lord themselves over the will of the majority of the people.
The governor thanked the judiciary for ensuring that the will of the people was not suppressed and President Muhammadu Buhari for ensuring a vibrant and fair judiciary that upholds the will of the masse.
Source: Legit Newspaper