…Says Chief Ikie’s Suit statute barred, inconsequential and waste of precious time
The Persistent and unwarranted legal battles against the Sheriffied governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Delta State, Rt Hon Sheriff Francis Oborevwori, has again been described as an exercise in futility by the Federal High Court, sitting in Asaba.
The Court in it’s resounding judgment on Wednesday in Suit Number; FHC/ASB/CS/3/2023, filed by a well known stooge of the opposition All Progressives Congress, APC, Chief Ikie Aghwarianovwe, against PDP, Oborevwori and the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, declared that the Plaintiff’s action was statute barred as it obviously violated constitutional provisions requiring action to be filed within 14 days from the date INEC published particulars of candidates in 2018.
Ikie, who was one of the APC sponsored governorship aspirants under PDP, so as to be used for frivolous legal battles in the ongoing 2023 election, had approached the Court to stop PDP from fielding Rt Hon Sheriff Francis Oborevwori, as her candidate on the grounds that there were alleged falsifications in his date of birth and names variations in his WAEC certificate.
The Plaintiff cited Form CF001 submitted to INEC in 2018 requesting the Court, to on the basis of the alleged false information supplied in Form CF001 of 2018, to disqualify Rt Hon Sheriff Francis Oborevwori, from participating as PDP governorship candidate in the forthcoming election.
However, Ikie who is also a United Kingdom based Legal Practitioner and his legal team ran against the Law in monumental proportion, and was berated by the presiding Judge for wasting precious time of Court over a matter that has been statute barred, and inconsequential to Oborevwori’s candidacy.
The Court also declared that Oborevwori’s academic certificates are far superior to constitutional requirements and of greater value than the west African Examination Council (WAEC) certificate which Plaintiff is persistently attacking via series of futile legal battles.
Reacting to the judgment, Spokesperson of Delta State PDP Campaign Council and Leader of Sheriffied Delta Media Group, Olorogun Barr Fred Latimore Oghenesivbe, commended PDP and Oborevwori’s legal team for their individual iconic legal capacities and good knowledge of the Law, saying that Chief Ikie Aghwarianovwe’s many years of legal practice in the United Kingdom has been put to question by this judgment and other failed legal actions he brought against the Defendants.
He noted that Rt Hon Sheriff Francis Oborevwori’s political detractors are waxing cold every passing day, and that at the end of it all the Delta PDP governorship candidate shall prevail by winning the gubernatorial election with a wide margin to the dismay of all opposition political parties and their candidates, and that includes the mace runner candidate of APC and Chief sponsor of Barrister Ikie Aghwarianovwe’s Court cases, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege.
Oghenesivbe said the Court while dismissing the case held that the plaintiff’s (Chief Ikie) suit was an abuse of Court process as the plaintiff has filled a similar action which was earlier dismissed by the Federal High Court Warri, and then at the Court of Appeal, seeking similar reliefs as the one in the instant suit dismissed by FHC Asaba.
“The presiding Judge noted that if the plaintiff had won his first suit, then he wouldn’t have filed the instant suit.The Court held that the plaintiff’s suit did not disclose reasonable cause of action and therefore defective and baseless.
“On the discrepancies in year of Oborevwori’s BSC certificate – 2010 and 2009; the Court resolved that it has been clearly explained by documents tendered by PW3, which shows that 2nd Defendant (Oborevwori) sat for the examination in 2009 but the certificate was later issued in 2010 which is reasonable and valid.
“The Court further resolved that all evidence before it confirmed that the 2nd Defendant (Oborevwori) was born in 1963. The Age Declaration sworn to since 1983 shows the 2nd Defendant’s correct date of birth. It cannot be imagined that the 2nd Defendant intended to submit false information as far back as 1983.
“On failure of 2nd Defendant (Oborevwori) to fill some columns in his Form EC9 regarding his academic qualifications, the Court resolved that there was no evidence that 2nd Defendant submitted any false information to INEC.
“There is valid evidence that the 2nd Defendant is a Nigerian Citizen. He is 35 years of age and possesses the requisite academic qualifications to aspire for the office of Governor as stipulated in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,1999, as amended
“The Court also held that because the plaintiff’s suit was statute barred, it cannot go back in time to examine Form CFOO1 which was submitted in the year 2018, because the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria provides that the plaintiff has 14 days from the date the names and particulars of the candidates are published by INEC to institute an action.
“The Court further held that no Court or Tribunal has earlier found that the Defendant (Rt Hon Sheriff Francis Oborevwori) has submitted forged documents to INEC in the year 2018, and there is no disclaimer from INEC, and it is too late to determine that now.
“The Court held that Mr Speaker’s Deed Poll is a valid legal document used to reconcile Oborevwori’s name variations and that he didn’t have to correct his Date of Birth on it as that is not what a Deed Poll is used for.
“The alleged discrepancies in the age of Mr Speaker (Oborevwori) is irrelevant as his age does not fall below constitutional requirements for aspirants or candidates vying for the office of Governor of a State in Nigeria.
“The Court also held that the Plaintiff (Chief Ikie) failed woefully to prove his case beyond reasonable doubt as requested in criminal allegations, and cannot justify his claim that the defendant deliberately falsified his age.
“The Court resolved that the age provided in all Oborevwori’s documents are well above the age of 35 as required by constitutional provisions for the office of Governor.
“Very significantly, the Court noted that the plaintiff did not allow the witness from WAEC office to testify in Court because he knew that the evidence from WAEC would be in favour of the Defendant (Oborevwori).
“The Court ruled that the certificates presented by Mr Speaker (Oborevwori) is way more superior than the Senior School certificate which the plaintiff (Ikie) is contending in Court and therefore amounts to waste of time and resources.
“As for the argument of the plaintiff that there was discrepancy in the age of the Defendant, the Court held that such baseless argument and/or claim has no constitutional bearing, and inconsequential in the instant case.
“Having earlier found that the suit was an abuse of Court process and statute barred, the Suit was dismissed, and parties ordered to bear their respective costs.
“It is on record that so many attempts were made by political detractors; visible and invisible hands to stop Rt Hon Sheriff Francis Oborevwori, from contesting the 2023 governorship election, but all the attempts failed woefully and crashed like a pack of cards to the Glory of God,” Oghenesivbe said
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