Supreme Court Dismisses Disqualification Suit Against Delta Governor Oberevwori

The Supreme Court has dismissed an appeal brought before it by Ikie Aghwarianovwe, seeking the disqualification of Delta State Governor, Rt. Hon. Sheriff Oborevwori for lacking in merit.

In a unanimous judgement delivered by Justice Emmanuel Agim, the court held that the appellant failed to prove his case beyond a reasonable doubt.

According to Justice Agim, the mere fact that there were differentials in names does not amount to falsity.

He stated that an error in the date of birth in a certificate not shown evidentially to emanate from the respondent cannot amount to falsity.

In dismissing the appeal for lacking merit, the court ordered Ikie to pay N3 million each as costs to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the Governor.

Chief Ikie, a governorship aspirant of the PDP, had in October 2022 taken Oborevwori and the PDP to court, alleging that the former submitted false documents to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to aid his qualification for the 2019 House of Assembly election in Delta State.

In the suit which was initially assigned to the Hon. Justice Ekwo of the Federal High Court, Abuja, but was transferred to Asaba, Delta State, Ikie also claimed that as a result of the alleged forged documents, Oborevwori was not qualified to contest the 2023 governorship election.

While denying the allegation of forgery, Oborevwori and PDP objected that the suit was statute-barred, pointing out that documents submitted to INEC in 2018 towards the 2019 general election, could not be a ground for disqualification of a candidate in 2023.

The trial court upheld the defendants’ objection, saying that Ikie failed woefully to substantiate the allegations of forgery.

Dissatisfied, Ikue approached the Court of Appeal to appeal the judgment, but the Court of Appeal in Abuja upheld the trial court’s decision and resolved all the issues for determination in favour of Oborevwori.

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