The Supreme Court has dismissed an appeal filed by the Delta State governorship candidate of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), Kenneth Gbagi, challenging the election of Governor Sheriff Oborevwori.
POLITICS NIGERIA reports that the apex court, in a unanimous judgment on Thursday, described the appeal as “a complete waste of time, had become spent, academic and lacking usefulness.”
The court held that the 180 days allowed for hearing the petition had expired and that there was no tribunal to even hear the appeal since the tribunal had since been dissolved.
Gbagi had filed an appeal against the decision of the Governorship Election Petition Tribunal and Court of Appeal to refuse to admit fresh evidence not pleaded during the trial.
He had claimed to have discovered new evidence to prove his petition, even after making an application for the reopening of his case on the date fixed for the adoption of final written addresses by the Governorship Election Tribunal sitting in Asaba, the state capital.
The tribunal had dismissed the aforesaid application for being incompetent, belated and strange as the document he was trying to introduce was not pleaded in his petition.
The tribunal proceeded to conclude the hearing of the petition and found that Gbagi’s claim that he won the election was totally unfounded. The tribunal also dismissed Gbagi’s claim that Governor Oborevwori, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate in the March 18, 2023 governorship election, was not qualified to contest the election.
Not satisfied with the tribunal’s ruling, Gbagi filed an appeal at the Appeal Court against the tribunal’s refusal to accept his belated application to reopen his case.
The Court of Appeal, however, dismissed his appeal and held that the tribunal was right to have refused to reopen his case.
Still not satisfied, Gbagi proceeded to the Supreme Court to appeal the judgement of the lower court.
PDP’s counsel, Ekeme Ohwovoriole, SAN, and Ayo Asala, SAN, for Governor Oborevwori, had argued that the appeal lacked merit because the tribunal had been dissolved.