General

‘Certificate forgery’: Oborevwori, Delta PDP guber candidate, appeals disqualification

Author:
Bolanle Olabimtan

Sherrif Oborevwori, governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Delta state, has filed an appeal challenging his disqualification from contesting the 2023 election.

During the PDP governorship primary in May, Oborevwori, speaker of the Delta house of assembly, polled 590 votes to beat his closest rival, David Edevbie, commissioner for finance during the James Ibori administration, who polled 113 votes.

While Oborevwori is the preferred candidate of Ifeanyi Okowa, Delta governor, James Ibori, former governor, is said to be backing Edevbie.

Aggrieved by the outcome of the primary, Edevbie had filed a suit against Oborevwori and the party citing discrepancies in Oborevwori’s certificates

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Taiwo Taiwo, judge of a federal high court in Abuja, had on Thursday, disqualified Oborevwori for submitting false information to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to back his nomination as PDP’s candidate.

APPEAL

However, not satisfied with the verdict, Oborevwori filed an appeal through his lawyer, Joe Agi.

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As part of the nine grounds of appeal, the appellant said the judge “misdirected himself in law when he assumed jurisdiction to entertain the claim of the plaintiff predicated on Section 29(5) of the Electoral Act, 2022 before the submission of the name of the appellant (Oborevwori) to INEC by the PDP”.

He also contended that the lower court erred in law when it agreed that his certificates are forged.

“The learned trial judge erred in law when he held that the appellant did not challenge the averment that his certificate is forged and that he is deemed to admit same,” he said.

He further averred that the plaintiff failed to adduce credible evidence to establish the allegation of forgery.

The appellant is, therefore, praying the court for “an order allowing this appeal and setting aside the trial Court’s decision in Suit No. FHC/ABJ/CS/795/2022 delivered on 7th July 2022”, and “any other order(s) as this honourable court may deem fit to make in the circumstances”.

STAY OF EXECUTION

Oborevwori has also filed an application before the lower court praying for a stay in the execution of the judgment pending the determination of the appeal.

In the affidavit supporting the application, Ezra Maikama, who is also from the law firm of Joe Agi, submitted that if the execution is not stayed, it would render his client’s suit at the court of appeal useless.

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He also clarified that the judge did not declare Edevbie as candidate of the PDP, adding that “if Defendant/Applicant’s (Oborevwori)’s appeal succeeds, the implication will be that the PDP will not have a governorship candidate at the said election as the time to submit same would have lapsed”.

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