By Our Correspondent.
Chairman of Coalition for Media Politics and Governance, CMPG, Chief Dr. Fred Latimore Oghenesivbe, has predicted victory for the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Delta State, Rt Hon Sheriff Francis Oborevwori, in the ongoing legal battle at the Appellate Court.
He gave the assurance while speaking to newsmen at his country home in Kokori town, Ethiope East Local Area of the State, on Thursday after visiting Okpe street construction site where Delta State Government is currently busy working round the clock to tar the road which had been abandoned for several decades by successive governments in the state.
Oghenesivbe said without prejudice, that there were critical legal lacunas and loosed evidence or lack of it, which led to an alleged miscarriage of Justice at the lower Court, adding that declaring a valid certificate to be fake or forged without recourse to the issuing authority goes to no issue, citing Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu v Governor Godwin Obaseki (2021).
He noted that Delta PDP governorship candidate, Oborevwori who he described as an honest, reliable, and law-abiding citizen, did the needful as required by Law to remain clean; as can be seen from the valid Court Affidavits, Newspaper publication, and duly executed Deed Pool, pointing out that a fraudulent and dishonest individual will never take such legal processes to prove his character and pedigree.
Oghenesivbe who is the Executive Assistant to Delta State Governor on Communications, and Distinguished Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Information and Strategic Management, Dfcism, further averred that criminal allegations relating to certificate forgery or fake certificates cannot be treated lightly on the face value, adding that evidence must be led, Court ought to Subpoenaed the issuing authority, among others, to arrive at a flawless judgment, which was not the case in the lower Court, prompting Appeal by Oborevwori and PDP.
“I am of the legal opinion that our governorship candidate in Delta State, Rt Hon Sheriff Francis Oborevwori, did the needful as required by subsisting Laws on issues relating to his names and certificate.
“Affidavits are statements of facts upon deposition before a Commissioner for Oaths, backed by newspaper publication which serves as a notice to the world. Once this is done, old things passed away, and behold all things become new, no more reference to the old, the new takes effect.
“Certificate forgery, fake certificate or impersonation are serious criminal allegations which require proof beyond reasonable doubts, not proof by face value or proof by looking at the certificate.
“And to unravel the truth, the certificate(s) issuing authority must be subpoenaed and led in evidence to prove the criminal allegations beyond a reasonable doubt. Anything done without recourse to the issuing authority amounts to a miscarriage of justice.
“You cannot shave a man’s head on his behalf, WAEC must have a say in the matter.
“The certificate issuing authority, West African Examination Council, WAEC, was neither subpoenaed nor consulted in writing by the Court or Counsels to the parties at the lower Court, thereby constitution serious lacuna in the process leading to the judgment of Justice Taiwo O. Taiwo, now retired.
“Our Courts are not father Christmas that would dispense justice without exhausting known legal procedures on any matter. Criminal allegations must never be treated lightly and at face value because they can ruin the career or public image of innocent victims in cases of obvious miscarriage of Justice.
“Merely looking at the face value of a certificate is not sufficient to conclusively declare same as fake or forged without recourse to the issuing authority. It is better to exhaustively deal with criminal issues before delving into the realm of technicalities in election matters.
“We are hopeful that the Appellate Court shall deal with all legal lacunas, review the ruling of the lower Court, and adequately dispense justice in favor of our governorship candidate, Rt Hon Sheriff Francis Oborevwori, JP, the Ukodo of Okpe Kingdom.
“Oborevwori’s name and that of his running mate were successfully submitted to INEC via due process and not affected by any deadline for submission or substitution of names.
“It follows that INEC will release Oborevwori’s name once the matter is over. Delta PDP has a candidate,” Oghenesivbe said.