….as JUSUN members lock journalists out
By Ikechukwu Nnochiri, Abuja
The Supreme Court, on Friday, dismissed the certificate forgery case the All Progressives Congress, APC, and one of its members, Mr Williams Edobor, filed against Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State.
In a unanimous decision, a five-man penal of justices of the apex court held that the Appellants failed to prove their case against Obaseki.
The apex court said it found no reason to set aside the concurrent judgements of the Federal High Court and the Court of Appeal in Abuja, which earlier dismissed the allegation that Obaseki tendered false credentials to the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, in aid of his qualification for the governorship election that held in Edo state on September 19, 2020.
Meanwhile, protesting members of the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria, JUSUN, barred journalists from gaining entry into the Supreme Court premises, though they allowed a handful of lawyers and politicians to access the courtroom where the judgement was delivered.
JUSUN had on April 6, ordered its members across the federation to shut all courts in the country to press home their demand for implementation of financial autonomy for the judiciary.
A member of the union who spoke to Vanguard on condition of anonymity justified their action against journalists.
He said: “If we allow you people to go in and report the case now, it will appear as if we are not serious”.
Meantime, the Supreme Court, in its lead judgement that was delivered by Justice Emmanuel Agim, held that the appellants woefully failed to substantiate their forgery allegation against Obaseki.
It went ahead and awarded a cost of N1million in favour of governor Obaseki.
It will be recalled that the Court of Appeal had in a judgement it delivered on March 18, held that the case the APC and Edobor brought to vacate the January 9 verdict of the Federal High Court in Abuja, which authenticated Obaseki’s University of Ibadan degree certificate, lacked merit.
The appellate court panel which was led by Justice Stephen Adah, upheld the testimony of the Deputy Registrar, Legal, University of Ibadan, Abayomi Ajayi, who had earlier confirmed before the trial court, that Obaseki attended the University and fulfilled all the requirements for admission into the Department of Classical Studies.