Mr John Mayaki, a chieftain of the Edo State All Progressives Congress, APC, has accused Governor Godwin Obaseki of plots to delay his trial over alleged certificate forgery and perjury at the Abuja division of the Federal High Court.
The politician was responding to the application by Governor Obaseki for the matter to be adjourned indefinitely to await the outcome of his pending appeal at the Court of Appeal.
In the said appeal, the governor is challenging the refusal of Justice Ahmed Mohammad to expunge some paragraphs in the APC’s reply to his affidavit.
Mayaki, while briefing newsmen yesterday, described the interlocutory appeal as a plot to arrest justice at the lower court being a time-bound trial.
According to him; “Edo people are worried, and we want to call on the Chief Justice of Nigeria to prevail on the matter in the interest of justice and allow for an unhindered hearing in the case especially when the delay tactics have no justifiable basis. The fear of the Edo people is that of political interference which is capable of compromising the integrity of the prosecution.
“Since the beginning of this case, Obaseki’s lawyers have flooded the court with a series of motions and applications. They have asked for unnecessary adjournments. They have also challenged the ruling of the High Court at the Court of Appeal even before the hearing of the substantive suit with less than one month when the case would expire. All these points to the fact that they are employing delaying tactics to stall the proceedings, arrest hearing and justice or else, why is Governor Obaseki avoiding the hearing of this case if his facts are well established,” he said.
Mayaki stated that when the APC fielded Obaseki in 2016 for the governorship, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, challenged Obaseki in court seeking his disqualification over his alleged certificate forgery but was frustrated and the case was thrown out due to the expiration of time being a pre-election matter that was time-bound. He said, “It is these same delay tactics of filing frivolous motions, applications, and seeking unwarranted adjournments that Governor Obaseki has employed to delay justice.”
The APC chieftain in condemning the move said, “Obaseki can’t be trusted to proceed to allow the hearing of this case. We risk an indefinite delay in this case, if the trial judge ruled for a stay of proceedings; it will defeat the cause of justice. This is the supreme irony of Obaseki’s application to the Court of Appeal. He must have his day in court where justice would be served,” he said.
Mayaki said the governor has no evidence that his appeal against the ruling of the lower court would be successful but intended to buy time, so as to impede the cause of hearing and subsequent justice.
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