Delta 2023: Stakeholders drag PDP, Oborevwori to court over names on credentials

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Uba Group

Uba Group

Ahead of the governorship primaries of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), stakeholders of the Delta State Chapter have dragged both party and a leading aspirant before an Abuja High Court over alleged discrepancies in the aspirant’s credentials.

The aspirant, who is the current Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Sheriff Oborevwori, who had declared interest in the governorship race, was alleged to have submitted credentials with different names from Primary School Leaving Certificate to Secondary and University, including the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) discharge Certificate.

Some stakeholders were said to have raised the issue before the party’s leadership in the state and in Abuja prior to the screening exercise that took place in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.

The stakeholders were said to have expressed worry that their darling party would suffer the fate that befell All Progressives Congress in Bayelsa State where by the Supreme Court disqualified the elected Deputy Governor, and subsequently also disqualified the already elected Governor, David Lyon because of irreconcilable differences in the names of the Deputy Governor in his credentials.

But the Delta Speaker, said to enjoy the backing of state apparatus and the powers that be, was eventually cleared alongside others for the primaries.

A chieftain of the party who craved anonymity, said “The fact that this case has gone to court makes it a public subject, so the opposition APC is already aware. Don’t be surprised they are already aware and are merely pretending not to know and waiting for him to clinch the party’s ticket for them to strike.

“This means that the party is taking a grave risk which may consume it and give the opposition an unlimited opportunity to takeover Delta state. I am of the view that, if our dear party wants to retain Delta, aspirants with discrepancies in their names and are in court, should be told to step down and support the party to clinch victory in 2023. We have our reward system.”

According to an originating summon in suit number FHC/ABJ/CS//631 filed against Sheriff Oborevwori and PDP at the Federal High Court, Abuja, dated 10th May 2022, Messrs Kanaba Ovie Duke and Osigidi Amos, described as Concerned members of the PDP, are praying the court to determine if, “in view of the provisions of Section 177 (d) of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 199 (as amended) and the educational certificates and other documents attached to the People Democratic Party Nomination Form submitted by 1st Respondent to the 2nd Respondent marked as Exhibit attached to the affidavit in support of the originating summons, Sheriff Oborevwori is qualified to be nominated as gubernatorial candidate of the PDP to contest in the election into the office of Governor of Delta State, in the 2023 general election.

“Where the Honourable Court finds that the answer to the above questions is in the negative, the plaintiff prays the court for the following reliefs: A declaration that the 1st defendant is not qualified to participate as a Governorship candidate in the upcoming election to be held in 2023 into the office of Governor of Delta State. An order of this Honourable Court restraining the 2nd Defendant from presenting the 1st Defendant as one of the candidates qualified to participate in the forthcoming PDP Governorship Primary Elections to be held on 23rd of May, 2022 or any other date.”

In what some members have described as counter action, one Engr Ojie Victor Obianuju and Maize and Associate Farmers, on Wednesday, May 18, 2022, filed a similar suit at Federal High Court, Asaba Division.

The suit number FHC/ASB/OS?78/2022 is also seeking the clarification of the court if the PDP and the INEC are in order to clear Oborevwori to participate in the primary given the alleged discrepancies.

The party chieftain insisted that it was a poor and bad start for the party in Delta State to go into the electioneering season with legal cases on its neck.

“This is not a good omen. Imagine, in Osun State, it took the Court’s pronouncement yesterday for one to know the direction of things. The other party has been waxing strong all this time of internal wrangling. We don’t need this in Delta State. But when interests are involved, people go to any extent to make sure they get them actualised. We hope this one will not backfire. I see it backfiring,” he said.