The Delta state governorship candidate of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) in the 2023 poll, Kenneth Gbagi has asked the state election petition tribunal to nullify the declaration of Sherrif Oborevwori of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as the winner of the March 18, 2023 governorship poll.
In the petition filed in Asaba, the State capital, on April 6, 2023, Gbagi contended that as at the time of the election, Oborevwori was not qualified to run for the office of governor and also did not meet the requirement to be elected and returned by majority of lawful votes.
Joined in the suit as co-defendants are INEC, PDP, All Progressives Congress and its governorship candidate, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, and all other governorship candidates in the state and their party.
According to the petition, Gbagi contended that aside Oborevwori, other candidates including Omo-Agege and Great Ogboru were also not qualified to run for the office of governor in the state.
In his argument against Oborevwori’s declaration as governor-elect by INEC, Gbagi contended that Oborebwori in an attempt to meet the constitutional requirements of eligibility for the 2023 governorship election, presented a fake Declaration of Age/Affidavit in support of personal particulars in Form C.F. 001.
He further averred that Oborevwori’s Statutory Declaration of Age/Affidavit deposed to in 2022 contains a different age contrary to what African Senior School Certificate (WASSC) Dated June 1999 with Certificate Number 384793.
He further argued that Oborevwori lied under oath that he does not have Primary School Certificate, Secondary School Certificate, and his university degree, whereas, in 2018, he exhibited same with his Form C. F. 00.
Gbagi also argued that a suit challenging the qualification of Oborevwori to contest the election was filed and decided at the Federal High Court, Asaba based on forged credentials, contrary to the principle laid down by the Supreme Court in Saleh v. Abah, (2017) 12 (NWLR) PT. 1578 AT P. 100.
He also adduced reasons why other candidates in the poll were all ineligible to contest the election.
Gbagi in his prayers is asking the tribunal to declare him as the only qualified candidate for the election, nullify the certificate of return issued by INEC to Oborevwori and order INEC to issue a fresh certificate of return to him as winner of the election.
In the alternative Gbagi also prayed the tribunal to order a fresh election due to irregularities that characterised the election and non complainance to the election guideline on the use of the Bimordal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS).