S’Court affirms Oborevwori as PDP’s Gov’ship candidate in Delta State

The Supreme Court has affirmed the Speaker of Delta State House of Assembly Sheriff Oborevwori as the governorship candidate of the People Democratic Party,PDP, in Delta State for 2023 election.

Apex Court in a unanimous judgment dismissed the appeal filed by David Edevbie who had accused Oborevwori of forging his school certificate. He had claimed that Oborevwori applied to electoral body for clearance to the contest the election with the said inconsistences certificates.

But a five-member panel of the apex court led by Amina Augie held that there was no merit in the appeal.

Justice Tijjani Abubakar, who delivered the lead judgment of the Supreme Court affirmed the legal reasoning of the Court of Appeal that the suit ought not to have been commenced by originating summons.

Justice Abubakar said issues bordering on serious allegations of fraud cannot be commenced by originating summons “as mere affidavits are not enough to address the issues.”

“Sundry allegations of fraud” by Mr Edevbie against Mr Oborevwori required calling of witnesses and oral testimony, he said.

Justice Abubakar also held that the originating summons was filed before the Independence National Electoral Commission,INEC, publish the name of governorship candidates and its request for objection .

In other words, that Edevbie who came second during the primary ought to have waited for the INEC publication detailing the list of governorship candidates before he commence the legal action.

“I find no merit in this appeal and it is hereby dismissed. The decision of the Court of Appeal delivered on 29 August is hereby affirmed,” the Supreme Court held.

The apex court held that the Federal High Court erred when it nullified Mr Oborevwori’s nomination as PDP’s candidate for next year’s governorship election in Delta State.

Recalled that David Edevbie, a former Commissioner of Finance during Governor James Ibori administration had alleged after the primary inconsistencies in the names on the academic certificates submitted by Mr Oborevwori to INEC.

According to Mr Edevbie, his opponent Mr Oborevwori used the names: Oborevwori, Sheriff, Francis and Orohwedor interchangeably in his certificates submitted to INEC in violation of the Nigerian constitution and the Electoral Act.

He contended that Mr Oborevwori was not eligible to participate in the primary election on the grounds of the alleged discrepancies in his academic qualifications.

The Federal High Court in Abuja in July nullified Mr Oborevwori’s candidacy while the Court of Appeal in Abuja restored his victory at the PDP primary.

Mr Edevbie finally lost the legal battle at the Supreme Court on Friday.