It is no longer news that former Delta State Commissioner of Finance, David Edevbie lost at the Supreme Court after his appeal challenging the nomination of Hon Sheriff Oborevwori as the candidate of the People’s Democratic Party ( PDP) in the 2023 governorship election in Delta State was dismissed.
The race for the governorship seat in Delta State has generated many reactions and comments since the Nigerian Supreme Court ruling on Friday, October 21, 2022.
The apex court on Friday, October 20, 2022, dismissed the appeal for being incompetent and lacking in merit.
Recall that the Court of Appeal had, in its judgment reversed the July 7 judgment of the Federal High Court, Abuja which voided the nomination of Speaker Sheriff Oborevwori.
Oborevwori came first in the party’s governorship primary held on May 25 but Edevbie challenged Oborevwori’s nomination, claiming that he (Oborevwori) submitted false documents to the PDP, by virtue of which he ought not to be allowed to participate in the primary.
During the PDP governorship primary in May, Oborevwori, speaker of the Delta House of Assembly, polled 590 votes to beat his closest rival, David Edevbie, a former commissioner for finance, who polled 113 votes. Aggrieved by the outcome of the primary, Edevbie filed a suit alleging discrepancies in Mr Oborevwori’s certificates.
He also contended that the PDP violated its constitution in the process of the state congress, which produced Oborevwori.
The plaintiff prayed the court to restrain the PDP from forwarding Oborevwori’s name to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Many Deltans felt betrayed, but for good reasons, David for me did not lose the contest. This is a lost battle for the good people of Nigeria and Delta State in particular.
This boils down to the rotten chaotic corruption which has eaten deep into the system of governance in Nigeria. Nigeria has become so corrupt that it is almost impossible to grow good leaders.
Judiciary that is said to be the last hope of the common man, has dashed the hope of some majority.
An astute Professor of Chemical Engineering at Michigan, United States, Prof. Edevbie had written a submission on the judgment, which has caused a palpable reaction from members of the public. He wrote: “A number of powerful people in Nigeria including politicians and those in the judiciary, for example, do not appear concerned about the interest of society that they were elected or appointed to serve. Politicians over pay themselves and break their own laws whenever it suits them. It has also become standard practice for some Judges to look for loopholes in case filings to undermine critical facts and shamelessly justify sidetracking the interest of the people for personal gains. The courts are supposed to be the last hope for the common man but a number of judges have instead constituted themselves into cults that work only for the privileged, the highest bidders for their service, thus emboldening criminal elements to depress society, the more. As a result, the combined unethical activities of politicians and judges have, for example, obstructed the rise of the most qualified, and experienced candidate in a race, leaving the contest to con artists to fight it out. Why? Because some judges as well as politicians like to raise money they need to send their children to school overseas, travel with their families to Europe and America for vacation and medical check-up, and build huge homes, all for personal comfort, at the expense of society. Many of my Urhobo friends, just as I feel, are embarrassed and humiliated to note brinkmanship. that the gladiators still standing in the race are now the face of Urhobo people known for producing many well-educated individuals and high achievers”.
In July, 2022, Justice Taiwo Taiwo of the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court, yesterday, disqualified a candidate of the Delta State Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the 2023 governorship election, Rt. Hon. Sheriff Oborevwori.
Taiwo, in the judgment, agreed with the plaintiff that Oborevwori, ought not to be on the 2023 governorship election for the PDP on account of allegedly supplying false and forged documents to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in aid of his qualification for the governorship election.The judge subsequently directed INEC and the PDP to recognise the plaintiff as candidate of the PDP in the 2023 governorship election in Delta State.But the Delta State chapter of the PDP, has called for calm from all stakeholders over the disqualification of Oborevwori as the governorship candidate, even as the sacked standard bearer, has vowed to appeal the judgment.
Olorogun David Edevbie, a former Commissioner of Finance under former Governor James Ibori, who came second in the primary, had contested Oborevwori’s participation in the primary on the grounds of alleged discrepancies in his academic qualifications as well as his age. How would an appellate court uphold an Appeal Court judgement, despite these obvious discrepancies.
A good man, Edevbie was the Commissioner for Finance and Economic Planning under the James Ibori-led Administration between June 1999 to September 2005. He also served as the Commissioner of Finance under Governor Ifeanyi Okowa from 2015 to 2019. Edevbie served as the Finance Director of the Umaru Musa Yar’Adua Campaign Organization in 2006–2007 and later as Principal Secretary to President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua from 2008 to 2010. His most recent role in the public life was as Chief of Staff to Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, which he left to pursue his aspiration to become the next governor of Delta State
Edevbie studied Economics at the University of Lagos and graduated with a B.Sc. (Hons.) in 1985. He studied for a Master of Business Administration (MBA) in International Corporate Finance from Cardiff Business School of The University of Wales – Cardiff, UK between 1987 and 1988. Edevbie did the Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School, 2003.
Edevbie’s political stances are of no mean measure. A favoured man, in June 1999, Edevbie was appointed Commissioner for Finance and Economic Planning, Delta State. In 2006, he was invited by one of the then PDP Presidential Aspirants, Umaru Musa Yar’Adua to join his small campaign team as Director of Finance and Strategy.
In 2008, President Yar’Adua appointed him as Principal Secretary to the President (PSP) to take over the responsibilities of the out-going Chief of Staff. He remained in the Presidency until shortly after President Yar’Adua’s death in April 2010.
In 2015, Edevbie was appointed Commissioner of Finance, Delta State until May 2019. He also served as the Chief of Staff to Governor Ifeanyi Okowa from June, 2019 to May, 2021.
Don’t get the facts twisted, the issue is not about David, but about the collective interest of Deltans. It is about fighting corruption and standing tall against such vices in our society. It is about being brave, courageous and fighting the whims and caprice of god-fatherism in Delta State.
To you, David, we say cheers to a brave man and a tru son of the soil.
Olamide Adeniji is a member of the editorial team of TheScript Newspaper