The Supreme Court on Friday dismissed an appeal brought before it by Ikie Aghwarianovwe against the Delta State Governor, Sheriff Oborevwori, for lacking in merit.
In the appeal, Aghwarianowe, a gubernatorial candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, was seeking the disqualification of the governor over the alleged falsification of documents.
He had, sometime in October 2022 dragged the governor to court, alleging that Oborevwori submitted false documents to the Independent National Electoral Commission to aid his qualification for the 2019 House of Assembly election in Delta state.
However, in a unanimous judgement of the apex court delivered by Justice Emmanuel Agim, the court held that the appellant failed to prove his case beyond a reasonable doubt.
While dismissing the appeal for lacking in merit, the court ordered the applicant to pay N3 million each as the cost of the suit to Oborevwori and his party, the PDP which was joined in the suit.
The justice held that “the mere fact that there were differentials in names does not amount to falsity.”
“An error in the date of birth in a certificate not shown evidentially to emanate from the respondent cannot amount to falsity.”
The suit was initially assigned to Justice Ekwo of the Federal High Court, Abuja, but was subsequently transferred to Asaba, Delta state capital.
The plaintiff also claimed that as a result of the alleged forged documents, Oborevwori was not qualified to contest the 2023 gubernatorial election.
However, in denying the allegation of forgery, Oborevwori, and PDP objected that the suit was statute barred.
The defendants pointed 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 Chief Ikie failed woefully to substantiate the allegations of forgery.
The dissatisfied Aghwarianovwe appealed the judgement at the Court of Appeal which also resolved the issues in Oborevwori’s favour.