The Okpe Union, United Kingdom, on Sunday reacted to the recent television interview by a former Minister of State for Education, Chief Kenneth Gbagi, that one Sheriff pursuing gubernatorial bid in Delta State had been convicted in the past for manslaughter.
The group said Gbagi in the interview only reinforced his reputation as a serial liar and an unrepentant blackmailer.
The group noted that although Gbagi merely accused one Sheriff, a gubernatorial hopeful, without a surname attached of having been jailed for manslaughter in the past, the leaders of Okpe Union, UK, described the former minister as a coward for lacking courage to give full names of the character involved.
The group in a statement dismissed the attempt to link the gubernatorial candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Delta State, Rt. Hon. Sheriff Oborevwori, to the report, saying that their Okpe kinsman had never being involved and convicted over any criminal conduct.
The statement was signed by the group’s President, Chief Godwin Ogholo; Mr John Ewhubare Siakpere(JP), a United Kingdom-based lawyer, who is also the Publicity Secretary, and Dr Stephen Richards, Assistant General Secretary.
The group said Gbagi merely alluded to one Sheriff in the interview in order to achieve the wicked intentions of linking the act of misdemeanor to Rt. Hon. (Chief) Sheriff F.O Oborevwori, with the aim of tarnishing the hard earned image of their kinsman in the public domain.
Stating that their findings had revealed that Rt. Hon. Sheriff F.O Oborevwori had never been convicted in the past, they added that Rt.Hon Oborevwori was serving as an adviser to ex-Governor James Ibori at the time Gbagi claimed to have visited his imaginary Sheriff in the prison.
They wondered how a convicted Sheriif would be appointed and assigned responsibility by the government of Delta State at the same time.
Describing Gbagi as a drowning man, whose “governorship bid was dead on arrival,” the Okpe Union, UK, stated that the interview was intended to lower the esteem of Rt Hon Oborevwori in the public domain.
The Okpe Union, UK declared in the statement that Oborevwori is a man of impeacable character and untainted past and urged the public to ignore Gbagi’s television interview as the “vituperation of a drowning politician, who is desperate to hold anything to survive and stay afloat.”
The group further said: “This man called Kenneth Gbagi lacks character and he is a serial liar and an unrepentant blackmailer. He knows the legal implications of lies on national television and that was why he merely talked about one Sheriff and one Ifeanyi. As a lawyer, he claimed to be, he is conscious of the law of defamation and libel. That was why he was not courageous enough to attach a surname to his imaginary Sheriff and Ifeanyi.
“We are sure and convinced that he was not referring to our own Rt. Hon. Sheriff F.O Oborevwori, who has a towering self esteem and impeccable character that placed him far and above other candidates seeking to govern the state in 2023.”
“The life history and public conducts of Rt. Hon. Chief Sheriff Oborevwori are in public domain and he has no skeleton in his cupboard. “We urge Kenneth Gbagi to instead embark on self appraisal by checking himself and antecedents to ascertain if he’s qualified to run for the exalted office of the governor of Delta State.
“We want to refer Gbagi to the various publications over his public conducts. Gbagi should avail himself of the Punch Newspaper of October 1st 2020; Nigerian Tribune of September 30th, 2020 and Saharareporters.com of October, 1st, 2020, among others when he was declared wanted by the Police over dehumanization of his hotel staff.
“Also in conclusion, we refer Gbagi to reports of his conviction by a Delta State High Court, which fined him N1m over alleged torture and stripping of his workers as published widely in many national dailies and televisions, including Vanguard Newspaper of July 20th, 2022; Daily Post of July 19th, 2022 and National Daily of July 20th, 2022, among others. The question is: who is an ex-convict and a person of questionable character, who is not fit to be voted into the exalted office of Governor of Delta State? The guess by the public is as good as ours.”