Battle for Delta PDP governorship ticket shifts to Supreme Court

By Kelvin Ohoror

The battle for the governorship ticket of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the 2023 election in Delta State has finally shifted to the Supreme Court for final adjudication.

The two contenders for the ticket, David Edevbie and Oborevwori Sheriff Orohwedor have moved their legal teams to the Apex Court to know who will fly the PDP flag at the gubernatorial poll.

Court processes sighted by journalists showed that while David Edevbie is urging the Supreme Court to uphold the judgment of the Federal High Court which declared him the PDP candidate, Sheriff Orohwedor on his part, is pleading with the Apex Court to endorse the Court of Appeal which voided the decision of the high court.

It was revealed that about 15 Senior Advocates of Nigeria SANS have been assembled by the two parties to undertake the legal fireworks.

To prevent the suit from being statute barred, Justice Amina Augie appointed by the Chief Justice of Nigeria CJN, Olukayode Ariwoola to head the panel that would resolve the dispute, has fixed September 30 for the determination of the suit to a finality.

A Federal High Court in Abuja had earlier disqualified Sheriff Orohwedor, currently, the Speaker of the Delta State House of Assembly from the gubernatorial race on accounts of certificate forgery among other criminal allegations and replaced him with David Edevbie who came second at the PDP primary election.

The Court of Appeal in Abuja on August 29, however, reversed the decision of the Federal High Court and restored Sheriff Orohwedor as the flag bearer.

The appellate court had voided and set aside the judgment of the Federal High Court which on July 7, 2022, nullified his nomination on the grounds of certificate forgery and perjury.

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Justice Peter Olabisi Ige who delivered the Court of Appeal decision had ruled that claims against the Speaker are criminal in nature and must be proved beyond reasonable doubts.

The Appellate court had also held that David Edevbie who instituted the Federal High Court suit ought to have approached the court via Writ of Summons to enable resolution of disputes and not by originating summons where only affidavit evidence is required.

Justice Ige had said that the issue of certificate forgery and faking of documents allegations against the Speaker were such that required witnesses from those who issued the certificates and the alleged fake documents.

The Court, therefore, upheld the victory of the Speaker at the May 25, 2022, primary election where he polled 590 votes to defeat Edevbie who polled only 113 votes to come second.

Justice Ige held that Justice Taiwo Taiwo s judgment which upheld certificate forgery against the Speaker was a miscarriage of justice because the criminal allegations were not established as required by law.

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