The Court of Appeal sitting in Benin, Edo State has ruled in favour of All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Osagie Ize-Iyamu, and his running mate, Gani Audu, setting aside an Edo High Court ruling that disqualified the candidates’ on the basis of alleged certificate forgery by Audu.
Before the judgement, the Edo High Court, presided over by Courage Ogbebor, had on January 6, 2021, held that Audu, the APC deputy governorship candidate, was not qualified to contest the election as a result of discrepancies in the names in his documents that he submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Form EC9.
The case in Suit No B/358/2020 was brought against Mr. Audu by the plaintiff, Sunday Kadiri, from Ogbona ward, in Etsako West Local Government Area of Edo State.
However, the three-member panel of the Appeal Court set aside the judgment and ruled that both APC candidates were eligible to contest for the seat.
Justices O.F.Omoleye, B.A. Georgewill and O.E.Oho unanimously declared that there was no evidence of credentials’ forgery on the part of Audu that could warrant the disqualification.
The Judges also declared that the suit was statute-barred since it was filed outside the 14-day constitutional threshold, thereby upholding the appeal of Ize-Iyamu and Audu.