The Supreme Court on Friday dismissed an appeal brought before it by Chief Ikie Aghwarianovwe, seeking the disqualification of Delta State Governor, Rt. Hon. Sheriff Oborevwori for lacking in merit.
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 reasonable doubt.
According to Justice Agim, “the mere fact that there were differentials in names does not amount to falsity.
“An error in date of birth in a certificate not shown evidentially to emanate from the respondent cannot amount to falsity”.
In dismissing the appeal for lacking in merit, the court ordered Chief Ikie to pay N3 million each as cost to PDP and Rt. Hon. Oborevwori.
Chief Ikie a gubernatorial aspirant of the PDP had in October 2022, dragged Rt Hon Sheriff Oborevwori and the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP to court, alleging that the former submitted false documents to INEC to aid his qualification for 2019 House of Assembly election in Delta State.
In the suit which was initially assigned to the Hon. Justice Ekwo of the Federal High Court, Abuja, but subsequently transferred to Asaba, Delta State, Chief Ikie also claimed that as a result of the alleged forged documents, Rt. Hon. Oborevwori was not qualified to contest the 2023 gubernatorial election.
While denying the allegation of forgery, Rt. Hon. Sheriff 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 the Defendants’ objection, saying that Chief Ikie failed woefully to substantiate the allegations of forgery.
Dissatisfied, Chief Ikie went to the Court of Appeal to appeal the judgment, but the Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja in a unanimous judgment, delivered by Justice Peter Olabisi Ige, upheld judgment of the trial court and resolved all the issues for determination in favour of Rt. Hon. Sheriff Oborevwori.
Coming down heavily on Chief Ikie for alleging falsification of documents without calling the institutions that issued the certificates to Rt. Hon. Oborevwori, the Court held that Chief Ikie’s case was moribund and could not be revived under any guise.