Rivers APC Governorship Petition Suffers Setback | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Rivers APC Governorship Petition Suffers Setback

Posted: Sep 9, 2015 at 5:29 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)

The Rivers State All Progressives Congress (APC) Petition against Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike ran into troubled waters on Wednesday, September 9, 2015, as the Tribunal Struck out all the core paragraphs alleging electoral violence, snatching of ballot boxes, criminal manipulation of accreditation process and use of security agents and thugs to manipulate the election outcome.

Justice Suleiman Ambrosa, the chairman of the Tribunal, ruled that the paragraphs were incompetent because they contained criminal allegations against security agents and persons not joined in the petition by the Defeated Rivers State APC Governorship candidate, Mr. Dakuku Peterside.

According to the tribunal, such persons ought to have been joined to defend themselves before the court.

The striking out of the paragraphs alleging several criminal actions during the governorship election has weakened the petition of the Rivers State APC Governorship candidate, Mr Dakuku Peterside, as it implies that no irregular actions took place during the April 11, 2015 election as earlier alleged by the APC.

It will be recalled that PDP through its counsel, Wole Olanipekun (SAN), urged the tribunal to dismiss the petition on the ground that it contains incompetent grounds for challenging the victory of Governor Wike or in the alternative strike out all the offending paragraphs that bordered on criminal allegations.

The tribunal opted for striking out the offending paragraphs.

It will therefore expunge from its records all the paragraphs containing criminal allegations. No further arguments will be taken on such paragraphs.

On the eligibility of Dakuku Peterside to contest the election, the Tribunal ruled that it cannot disqualify the petitioner because the respondents ought to have approached a High Court to determine the issue of 21 day notice to INEC.

On the issue of inappropriate service of the respondent outside Abuja without seeking leave of the Tribunal, Justice Ambrosa ruled that Governor Wike waived his right to challenge the illegality by appearing before the Tribunal.