Delta Gov Election: Omemavwa, SDP drag Oborevwori, Omo-Agege, 11 others before Election Tribunal
*Say other candidates failed credibility, integrity tests
*Urge INEC to declare Omemavwa Gov-Elect for Delta State
The Social Democratic Party (SDP) and its governorship candidate for Delta State, Gbagi Kenneth Omemavwa, had petitioned the Election Tribunal sitting in Asaba, Delta State, over alleged electoral frauds against some of the governorship candidates in the state.
Respondents in the petition include the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Peoples Democratic Party (PDP); Sheriff Francis Orohwedor Oborevwori; Monday Onyeme; All Progressives Congress (APC); Omo-Agege Ovie Augustine and Friday Osanebi.
Others are, Labour Party (LP); Kennedy K. Pela; Julie Nwagogo Mukoro; All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA); Great Ovedje Ogboru and Chinedu Sydney Allanah.
Gbagi hinged his 76-page petition with No. EPT/DL/Gov/2/2023, no three grounds and consequently, asked the Tribunal to declare him Governor-Elect of the Delta State.
According to him, the third respondent, the fourth, sixth, seventh, ninth, 10th, 12th and the 13 respondents at the time of the election, were not qualified to contest the
The petitioner’s second ground was that the election was invalid by reason of non-compliance with the provisions of the 1999 Constitution as amended while the third ground for seeking disqualification of his contenders was that the third respondent was not duly elected and returned by majority of lawful votes cast at the Delta State governorship election held on March 18.
According to the first petitioner,Omemavwa, the third respondent in an attempt to meet the constitutional requirements of eligibility for the 2023 Governorship election, “presented a falsified Statutory Declaration of Age/Affidavit in support of personal particulars as contained in Form C.F. 001 (Affidavit in Support of Personal Particulars of Persons Seeking Election to the Office/Membership of State House of Assembly) dated October 24, 2018 and Form EC9 (Affidavit in Support of Personal Particulars) dated June 30, 2022 to INEC.
He stated that the Governor-elect’s Statutory Declaration of Age/Affidavit deposed to in 2022 contained a different age contrary to what is contained in his West African Senior School Certificate (WASSC) dated June 1999 with Certificate Number 384793.
Gbagi accused Oborevwori of lying under oath that he does not have Primary School Certificate, Secondary School Certificate as well as university degree whereas in 2018, he exhibited same with his Form C. F. 001.
He added that the suit challenging Oborevwori’s qualification to contest the Governorship Election of Delta State held on 18th day of March 2023 was filed and decided at the Federal High Court, Asaba based on forged credentials.
Gbagi maintained that Delta State Governor-Elect’s action was contrary to the principle laid down by the Supreme Court in a suit between Saleh v. Abah, (2017) 12 (NWLR) PT. 1578 AT P. 100.
He also claimed that the Deputy Governor-elect, Monday Onyeme, was dismissed from the employment of National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) but failed to disclose the fact of his dismissal in his affidavit Form EC9 deposed to on June 29, 2022.
Gbagi is equally asking the tribunal to disqualify the candidates of the All Progressives Congress, Ovie Omo-Agege, Labour Party, Ken Pela and All Progressives Grand Alliance, Great Ovedje Ogboru, over non-compliance with the provisions of the Electoral Act 2022.
He stated in the petition that the Supreme Court of the State of California in the United States of America, found Omo-Agege guilty and consequently, convicted him of the offences of perjury and impersonation in a bid to secure a Driver’s License sometime in 1993.
He disclosed that the Deputy Senate President at the time, listed his date of birth as May 10 1965 and his name as Reginald Clark Bedney on the application, and was issued with the Driver’s License No. C9768216355315621 in the State of New York on the basis of the fake presentation made.
He further alleged that Omo-Agege was convicted in the United States of America for the offences of forgery, dishonesty and multiple pattern of misconduct, a fact which he failed to disclose in his Form EC9 despite the express demand for him to do so.
The petitioner further averred that on various occasions while in the United State of America, “Omo-Agege gave inconsistent dates of birth such as August 3, 1963; January 20, 1964 and December 16, 1965 while his names inconsistently read as Augustine Omoagege, Agege Augustine, Omo-Agege Ovie Augustine, Reginal Clark Bedney, Christopher Agege, Ronald Shawn Byrd and Kirk Darwin Johnson, for which he was found guilty of and convicted as contained in the judgement of the Supreme Court of California, but failed to disclose all these in his Form EC9 filled and submitted to the 1st Respondent.”
Other grounds for seeking disqualification of the Delta State Governor-Elect and his declaration as the duly qualified Governor-Elect include over voting, vote buying and voters inducement.
Other electoral infractions according to him included, alteration of some results sheets which did not reflect on the duplicate copies given to party agents, mutilation of form EC8As, polling units without corresponding voting points result sheets, over and under balloting.
Since other candidates allegedly did not qualify to contest for the position of the governor, the SDP candidate consequently urged the tribunal to declare the Certificate of Return issued to the candidate of PDP as the winner of the governorship election in Delta State, null, void and of no effect whatsoever.
He also urged the tribunal to withdraw the Certificate of Return and issue a fresh one to him as the duly qualified and elected governor.
“For those of us, who contested and participated, I am the only one on the list that is qualified”, Gbagi insisted.