Paschal Emeka, Abuja
The Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja has restored the Speaker of Delta State House of Assembly, Oborevwori Sheriff Francis Orohwedor as the Governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2023 governorship election in Delta State.
The appellate court on Monday voided and set aside the judgment of the Federal High Court which on July 7, 2022, nullified his nomination on ground of certificate forgery and perjury.
Justice Peter Olabisi Ige who delivered the Court of Appeal decision held that claims against the Speaker are criminal in nature and must be proved beyond reasonable doubts.
The Appellate court also held that David Edevbie who instituted the Federal High Court suit ought to have approached the court via Writ of Summons to enable resolution of disputes and not by originating summons where only affidavit evidence is required.
Justice Ige said the issue of certificate forgery and faking of documents allegations against the Speaker are such that required witnesses from those who issued the certificates and the alleged fake documents.
The Court, therefore, upheld the victory of the Speaker at the May 25, 2022, primary election where he polled 590 votes to defeat Edevbie who polled only 113 votes to come second.
Justice Ige held that Justice Taiwo Taiwo’s judgment which upheld certificate forgery against the Speaker was a miscarriage of justice because the criminal allegations were not established as required by law.