Delta State Peoples Democratic Party, PDP Governorship Candidate and Speaker, Delta State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Sheriff Oborevwori, has triumphed at the Court of Appeal, over the matter filed by his co-aspirant David Edevbie, challenging alleged discrepancies in his personal documents, submitted to INEC to support his eligibility to contest the Delta PDP Primary election.
The Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja and presided over by Justice Peter Olabisi Ige, on Monday, August 29, 2022, voided and set aside the judgment of the Federal High Court delivered by Justice Taiwo Taiwo which on July 7, 2022, which nullified Hon. Sheriff’s nomination on ground of certificate forgery and perjury, and restored the Speaker of Delta State House of Assembly, Oborevwori Sheriff Francis Orohwedor, as the Governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), in the 2023 governorship election in Delta State.
Justice Olabisi Ige, leading a three-man panel of Appeal Court Justices, who delivered the ruling, held that claims against Rt. Hon. Sheriff Oborevwori, which are criminal in nature, must be proved beyond reasonable doubts.
The Appellate court 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 said the issue of certificate forgery and faking of documents allegations against the Speaker are such that required witnesses from those who issued the certificates and the alleged fake documents.
Justice Ige further 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.
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 and by this judgement, reaffirmed Rt. Hon. Sheriff Oborevwori as the duly elected.
EDEVBIE VS SHERIFF APPEAL COURT JUDGEMENT
- Allegations of fraud such as fake documents cannnot be resolved by originating
- Case of forgery cannot be decided by affidavit evidence
- The court just held that the suit ought to have been commenced by writ of summons and not originating summons.
- The court has also held that since the matter is founded on presentation of forged documents will require calling of witnesses
5.The court also held that the cause of action of David has not crytsalize for the court to assume jurisdiction
6.Originating summon was wrongly done
- Lower court had no jurisdiction to entertain the suit
- Issue one is resolved in Favour of the appellant
9.Edevbie’s case was not ripe because Sheriff’s name has not been sent to INEC
10.The court has further held the right of David to approach the court can only accrue when INEC publishes the personal particulars of Sheriff
11.The court has held that the Federal Court misconstrued the provisions of Section 29 of the Electoral Act. The reasoning of the Federal High on the interpretation of Section 29 is erroneous.
12.The judment of the learned trial court is erroneous and is null and void as it was done without jurisdiction.