- Confusion Trails Judgement As Two Courts Give Conflicting Verdicts On Gani’s Certificate
The Edo State High Court on Wednesday delivered a shocking verdict as it nullified the candidacy of Osagie Ize-Iyamu, the governorship flagbearer of the All Progress Congress (APC) in the Sept 19, 2020 guber poll in Edo state.
In a ruling delivered by Justice Courage Ogbebor, Ize-Iyamu’s running mate in the election, Gani Audu was disqualified on grounds that he presented false information while filing his Form EC9 with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), leading to the nullification of Ize-Iyamu’s candidacy.
The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) through its members, Sunday Kadiri filed the certificate forgery suit as the party argued that the documents submitted to INEC by Audu show discrepancies in his academic qualifications and other means of identification.
The discrepancies in Audu’s credentials appear in a number of documents and show a trail similar to the inconsistencies found in the academic credentials of the sacked deputy governor of Bayelsa State, Biobarakuma Degi-Eremienyo, which caused the APC to lose the state after the Supreme Court ruled that his certificates were defective thereby nullifying the party’s ticket in that state’s recent governorship election.
In the documents, while Gani Audu swore to an affidavit submitted to INEC with his name as Audu Abudu Ganiyu, his other documents bear conflicting names.
However, the development has triggered confusion as the ruling of the Edo High Court on Wednesday conflicts with an earlier judgement given by an Abuja Federal High Court which had already dismissed a suit seeking to disqualify Ize-Iyamu as APC candidate.
The judgement was delivered on Monday, December 14, 2020.
The case filed by Action Democratic Party (ADP) was premised on the defective certificates of Ize-Iyamu’s running mate, Audu. However, the Abuja dismissed the case altogether.
Recall INEC had declared and returned incumbent Governor Godwin Obaseki of the People’s Democratic Party as the winner of the mouthwatering election.
Meanwhile, the APC is also seeking a disqualification of Obaseki on the grounds that he presented false certificate to INEC. The case is ongoing at the Federal High Court Abuja.