Spokesperson of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2023 general elections in Delta State, Dr Fred Latimore Oghenesivbe, has congratulated Governor Sheriff Oborevwori and the PDP on their resounding victories at the tribunal on Friday, saying they worked very hard to win the governorship election in the state.
In a statement made available to newsmen in Asaba on Saturday, Oghenesivbe stated that the highly voluminous petitions of the governorship candidates of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Augustine Ovie Omo-Agege, that of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), Kenneth Gbagi, Esq, and Ken Pela of the Labour Party (LP), were bereft of credible evidential proof and legal substance, and therefore lacking in merit.
He averred that the petitioners heavily relied on hearsay evidence, procured irrelevant witnesses, unsubstantiated allegations and inadmissible wild speculations, wherein they expected the tribunal to believe their “tales by moonlight” to win frivolous cases. He pointed out that verifiable and credible evidence remained the very nucleus of criminal litigations, required to prove criminal allegations beyond reasonable doubts at the tribunal, and at all levels of post-election legal contestations.
Oghenesivbe, who served in Governor Ifeanyi Okowa’s administration as Executive Assistant on Communications, further posited that Senator Omo-Agege and Olorogun Gbagi, who are senior lawyers at the Bar, ought to know that party agents, collation officers and others assigned to take charge and monitor the voting process at the various units are the most valid witnesses in this matter.
He noted that petitioners could not call such witnesses because there was no over-voting, as can be seen from INEC’s BVAS computations, which were confirmed and acknowledged by all party agents before relevant INEC forms were signed at the various polling units and collation points.
The media and communication impresario said that when PDP and its governorship candidate, Oborevwori, were busy campaigning from ward to ward, unit to unit, local government to local government during electioneering campaigns, the petitioners were busy resolving internal party squabbles, engaging in politics of divide and rule and not reasonably engaging the electorates.
He noted that the APC governorship candidate obviously relied heavily on former President Muhammadu Buhari and the federal government to do some magic but that never happened.
“The Tribunal verdict is superlative and applauded by those who value transparency in post-election legal contestations. The judgement was so clear that even the layman can read and understand it clearly. This is a case of ‘res ipsa loquitur’ meaning the facts speak for itself,” Oghenesivbe said.
“The Tribunal cannot on its own manufacture evidence and witnesses for the petitioners to win their cases. The onus of proof is squarely in the domain of those who alleged that there was over-voting, falsification of results and figures in some polling units, but they could not prove it as declared by the Tribunal.
“Therefore, petitioners failed woefully to substantiate their claims and could not prove beyond reasonable doubts their criminal allegations against the respondents. It is crystal clear that they will not succeed at the Appellate Courts, no matter how hard they try.
“The Tribunal will neither rely on hearsay witnesses, wild speculations nor act on mere imaginations of figures by the petitioners. They ought to provide and plead facts and credible evidence, call genuine witnesses, especially party agents and those who saw it all at the various polling units disputed by the petitioners, but could not because the election was transparent, free and fair, no overvoting, no falsification of results.
“There is nothing the Tribunal can do to help the petitioners; Agege, Gbagi and Pela, respectively. They were bound to fail from the outset. Governor Oborevwori and PDP deserved their victories. I commend the Justices of the Tribunal for this sound judgment.
“My entire family and I, congratulate governor Oborevwori and Delta PDP, and urge the petitioners; Senator Agege, Olorogun Gbagi and Ken Pela, to congratulate the winners and deploy the financial resources budgeted to pursue their cases at the Appellate Courts to empower their political loyalists, poor people in their respective communities and families,” he said.