HomeNewsSupreme Court Upholds  Delta State Governor’s Election

Supreme Court Upholds  Delta State Governor’s Election

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The Supreme Court on Friday upheld the election of Sheriff Oborevwori as the duly elected governor of Delta State.

Mr Oborevwori, who was the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), was declared the winner of the 18 March governorship election by Nigeria’s electoral commission, INEC.

He defeated the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Ovie Omo-Agege, who proceeded to the Delta State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal to challenge the result declared by INEC.

In its judgement on Friday, a five-member panel of the court led by John Okoro dismissed the appeal filed by Mr Omo-Agege on the election dispute.

The appellants (Mr Omo-Agege and the APC) have not been able to discharge the burden of proof placed on them. The appeal lacks merit and it is hereby dismissed,” Mr Okoro said while delivering the court’s unanimous decision on Friday.

 

The Supreme Court upheld the concurrent findings of both the tribunal, which had earlier dismissed Mr Omo-Agege’s petition, and the Court of Appeal in Lagos affirming the tribunal’s decision.

Background

Mr Oborevwori won the poll, but Mr Omo-Agege, a former deputy senate president, challenged the outcome of the election on the grounds that there was substantial non-compliance with the Electoral Act 2022.

 

But the Delta State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal in Asaba, the state capital, upheld the validity of Mr Oborevwori’s victory.

 

Similarly, the Court of Appeal in Lagos affirmed the election, dismissing the appeal by Mr Omo-Agege and other governorship candidates of opposition political parties in Delta.

 

Mr Oborevwori scored 360,234 votes to beat his closest opponent, Mr Omo-Agege, who scored 240,229.

 

Ken Pela of the LP came third with 48,027 votes, while Great Ogboru of the All Progressives Grand Alliance came fourth with 11,021 votes.

 

While arguing his case, Mr Omo-Agege’s counsel contended that the recorded results from polling units did not have serial numbers.

He said this violated section 73(2) of the Electoral Act.

The lawyer to the former Senate President drew the attention of the court to the evidence tendered to substantiate his case at the lower courts, which was ignored.

“Some of the recorded results across specified polling units did not have serial numbers.

 

 

The provisions in section 73(2) state that there should be a record.

 

“It also provides for the compulsory invalidation of an election conducted without serial numbers. The Lower courts did not give slots to these exhibits. Evidence tendered has been ignored. Notwithstanding, the concurrent judgments, my Lords should set aside these judgments.”

However, the PDP’s lawyer, Joseph Abubu, a law professor and Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), referenced section 137 of the Electoral Act and urged the court to dismiss the appeal.

On his part, Mr Pela of the LP, prayed the Supreme Court to nullify the entire election and order a fresh poll.

 

The candidate of the SDP, Kenneth Gbagi, said that Mr Oborevwori was not eligible to contest the election, urging the court to nullify his victory.

 

“There is no single merit in this appeal and it is hereby dismissed,” Mr Okoro said while contributing to the judgement which dismissed the appeals by the Labour Party and SDP candidates.

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