Wednesday, 6th December 2023

Delta Guber: Supreme court dismisses suit against Oborevwori

By  Godwin Ijediogor, Asaba
08 July 2023   |   4:34 am
The Supreme Court, yesterday, dismissed an appeal brought before it by Chief Ikie Aghwarianovwe, seeking the disqualification of Delta State Governor Sheriff Oborevwori for lacking in merit.

Governor Sheriff Oborevwori

Gov Dedicates Legal Victories To God, Felicitates James Manager At 63

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

The court also ordered Aghwarianovwe to pay N3million each as cost to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Oborevwori. In a unanimous judgment delivered by Justice Emmanuel Agim, the apex court held that the appellant (Aghwarianovwe) failed to prove his case beyond reasonable doubt, saying “the mere fact that there were differentials in names does not amount to falsity” and “an error in date of birth in a certificate not shown evidentially to emanate from the respondent cannot amount to falsity.”

Aghwarianovwe, a PDP governorship aspirant, had in October last year dragged Oborevwori and the PDP to court, alleging that the now governor 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 initially assigned to the Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court, Abuja, but later transferred to Asaba, Delta State, Aghwarianovwe also claimed that as a result of the alleged forged documents, Oborevwori was not qualified to contest this year’s governorship election.
But while denying the allegation of forgery, Oborevwori and PDP raised objection 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 this objection, saying the plaintiff failed woefully to substantiate the allegations of forgery. Dissatisfied, Aghwarianovwe approached the Court of Appeal, Abuja Division, which in a unanimous judgment delivered by Justice Peter Olabisi Ige, upheld the ruling of the lower court and resolved all the issues for determination in favour of Oborevwori.  

The appellate court chided Ikie for alleging falsification of documents without calling the institutions that issued the certificates to Oborevwori, saying the plaintiff’s case was moribund and could not be revived under any guise.

Oborevwori dedicated his recent legal victories at the Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal and the Supreme Court to God. The tribunal, sitting in Asaba, had on Thursday dismissed the petition of the governorship candidate of the Labour Party, Mr. Ken Pela, for abandoning his petition, while the apex court, yesterday, dismissed an appeal brought before it by Chief Ikie Aghwarianovwe, seeking the disqualification of the governor for lack of merit. 
At a thanksgiving service held at Government House Chapel, Asaba, to appreciate God for the victories, were Oborevwori’s wife, Tobore; Deputy Governor, Monday Onyeme, and his wife, Catherine; former governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, and his wife, Edith, and Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Emomotimi Guwor, among other top government functionaries. 
Speaking at the service, Oborevwori thanked God for stamping His feet on the affairs of the state and pledged to continue to be the governor of all Deltans, urging the support of all in the task of building a virile and prosperous state. 
He disclosed that his administration was anchored on Christ, just as he attributed his electoral victory to God’s divine mercy, adding: “God cannot deny Himself. The victory God has granted us is permanent and no man can destroy what God has done by himself. 
“Today, we stand here victorious and we are grateful to God for guiding us through this challenging journey. God has taken over our battles, therefore, we are more than conquerors. These victories of yesterday (Thursday) and today (yesterday) are dedicated to God and they have come as early birthday gifts to His Excellency, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa. 
“I congratulate our leader, Okowa, for the foundation that he has laid. I appeal to Deltans to know that the victories we have recorded are not from men, but from God, and we give God all the praise.” 

Earlier in a sermon, the Chaplain, Government House Chapel, Ven. Charles Osemenam, called on Nigerians not to indulge in the nefarious act of pulling others down, urging the governor to see his legal victories as a unique call to stand with Christ and render selfless service to God and humanity. 
Meanwhile, Oborevwori has congratulated the immediate past senator representing Delta South senatorial district, Senator James Manager, on his 63rd birth anniversary.
The governor, in a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Festus Ahon, paid glowing tributes to Manager, the pioneer state chairman of the PDP for his contributions to the growth and development of the party in the state.
He stated that successive administrations in the state had continued to leverage on the rich political profile of Manager, who represented Delta South for 20 years in the senate, describing him as a very dependable politician and leader of inestimable value.
“As a government, we are proud of your sterling contributions to nation-building as a distinguished senator for 20 years.
“We thank you for your statesmanship, which you have continued to display, both in and out of the senate, and on this special occasion of your life, I join your family and political associates in celebrating 63 years of outstanding accomplishments with which God has blessed you,” the governor added.