Barely one week to the governorship primary election for aspirants of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, the Delta state chapter of the party may be stuck in several court processes as the struggle to arm twist the National Working Committee of PDP and INEC to clear aspirants presenting questionable credentials persists.
It will be recalled that, the current speaker of the state house of assembly, Sheriff Oborevwori (Francis) who declared interest in the governorship race, was flagged by eagle eye observers for presenting suspicious credentials.
The embattled Oborevwori who is currently shrouded with litany of court cases in view of the numerous discrepancies in his credentials, has reportedly asked his supporters to approach a court in the state to rescue him from the mess which has further proven fact to the plea by party members that he be excused from the elections to save Delta PDP from the trap of the opposition APC.
Oborevwori, who unlike his fellow aspirants, did not get so lucky at the Port Harcourt clearance stage due to the questionable credentials. An episode that has reportedly caused his sponsors to dip hands into tax payers monies to salvage the Delta speaker from national disgrace.
Speaking to journalists over the ugly trend, a delegate who sought privacy, said: “The case filed by Sheriff people pretending to be antagonising him but ostensibly to get a judgment in Delta to counter any possible judgment that may be adverse in any which way, shows there is problem and nobody can be certain how long it will take and what might be the final judicial decision.
“This now 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 questionable qualifications 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 on 10th May 2022 and published on Vanguard Newspapers, Tuesday, May 17, 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, 1999 (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, suspected to be acting on behalf of the Sheriff group, have also on Wednesday, May 18, 2022, filed a similar suit at Federal High Court, Asaba Division, to breath down on the case filed in Abuja.
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 intention of the second suit is allegedly to enable him secure a conflicting order should the decision in the Abuja suit not be favourable.
As it is now, the legal journey may just have started for Oborevwori and Delta PDP into the primaries.